Cinematic Headshots

I was approached by the Napa Valley Film Festival to shoot updated headshots of the employees. I proposed the idea of something "cinematic". Think classic Hollywood glamour images in black and white. Of course being the photo nerd that I am, I couldn't just light them with my normal strobes or LED light panels -- oh, no -- I had to use authentic Hollywood lights. I borrowed four 1000 watt ARRI lights from Pacific Union College...about $5000 worth of equipment.

Those lampheads are known for their quality light, but it's a fairly narrow beam of light. Once the models are in position, they can't really move too much. Plus, the light is fairly harsh, so they had to face the light or they'd have unflattering shadows across their faces. The lights are also extremely bright and hot. That director's chair was not a comfortable place to be when those lights are directed at your face.

When the stars aligned, we got some good shots. However, I learned that I will never use those things again.