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The Key to Producing Consistent Images for Headshot Photography

BY HEADSHOT PHOTOGRAPHER COACH, Vanie Poyey

One of the questions I’m most frequently asked by other photographers is how to produce consistent images.🤔

After some probing, I often find that their efforts are focused on post and “fixing” the inconsistent images.

And what they’d like to know is how to make that process go faster or how they can make it easier on themselves to fix their images in post.

The problem is, post isn’t the problem.

Post processing is NOT the answer to fixing inconsistent images.

The problem is that they captured inconsistent images.

Post processing is for processing RAW images, after and only after they are properly exposed.

I come from the days of film so I had NO CHOICE but to learn how to be consistent with my exposures. The photo lab would give me a proof-sheet with all 36 frames from the film printed on that one sheet. If I wasn’t consistent in my exposure (guess guess what, no preview to look at), some would be dark and others would be lighter. There was no fixing that.

If I wanted to hand that over to a client without embarrassment, I had to make sure I took the time to expose my images properly so that my proof-sheets looked consistent.

WHEN I TEACH photography students how to light, I make it a point to spend the *most* time on the setup process. For natural light, I may take five minutes or ten minutes just setting up. For strobes, I may take anywhere from a half hour to an hour.

I make sure that my exposure is exactly the same from one outfit and background to the next outfit and background. How do I do that?

By using either an in-camera light meter or a hand held one.

This is *the* number one most critical step to consistency.

This means that before I even click the shutter, if my subject has moved even the slightest, I’m re-metering to make sure my settings have not changed.

We all are shooting on manual right? Just making sure!😉

I’m also re-metering when we change outfits and when we change backgrounds.

If I can help it, my exposure can never change from one frame to the next or I’d be I’m spending hours in post working on “fixing” the difference from frame to frame.

When my exposure is consistent from one frame to the next and from one background to the next, it’s much easier for me to select all the images and apply my presets to them all at once.

After that, the only additional time I’m spending is fine tuning each setup including background, outfit and lighting changes in batches.

Got questions? Ask here in my FB group, it’s a small one for now and yours truly will answer!

Hi, I’m Vanie!

Pronounced like Bonnie… and I blame my parents for the misspelling of my name! I went from having $300 in the bank to building a six-figure headshot photography business doing what I love. I’m here to teach you how to do the same!

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