New Workshop! Lighting 3 | Advanced Off Camera Flash Preorder

Tips & Tricks

How to Pose and Light a Headshot With Jim Garner

By Hanssie on September 19th 2014

Headshot-Jim-Garner-1A headshot seems easy enough to photograph. I mean, it’s just a portrait of the client’s face, right? Actually, a headshot is more difficult than it seems. Remember, that for actors/models/performers, their headshot is one of their most important tools of their trade. A headshot could mean the difference between a callback and booking the gig, to just another photo in the rejected pile. Today, many fields also require headshots – from real estate to corporate CEOs, so headshot photography is a great field to look into if you are looking for an area to specialize in or if you’re looking to expand your photography services.

Lighting and posing is of utmost importance in headshot photography and in the following video from CreativeLive, Jim Garner explains his lighting setup and gives posing tips for business professional headshots. The clip is from his recent appearance on Creative Live’s Photo Week, from his class, How to Expand Beyond Wedding Photography.


Screen Shot 2014-09-18 at 8.30.31 PM

Jim begins by giving some quick posing tips – making sure you realize that people have sides, how to angle their shoulders and where to point their feet. He then moves onto his lighting setup and how to create a nice halo in the background. This 7 minute video is full of great information to help you light and pose your next headshot session!

There’s only a few days left in Photo Week 2014. Check it out here!

This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, however, this does not impact accuracy or integrity of our content.

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at Follow her on Instagram

Q&A Discussions

Please or register to post a comment.

  1. Eric Branch

    That reflector. Does anyone know who makes it?

    | |
  2. Yucel Yalim

    I have eyelighter envy…

    | |
  3. Ben Anderson

    Seemed as if the eyelighter was not as effective after the key was raised and not compensated for. The ‘glow’ we say when Jim was off the box wasn’t present when he began shooting from above.

    | |
  4. Duc Hong

    fyi, the photo week series on CreativeLive is absolutely one of the best sources for photographers, many many useful tips for all of us

    | |
  5. Mark Iuzzolino

    That reflector makes all the difference.

    | |
  6. Matthew Saville

    Wow I haven’t heard the name Jim Garner in like, 10 years. Crazy! Love this guy, such a great teacher…


    | |