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How to Light Headshots with One Light – Slice Of Pye Ep. 6

By Pye Jirsa on June 20th 2019

Welcome to the live series we’re doing bi-monthly on Profoto’s Instagram called “Slice of Pye”. We’ll be covering a myriad of topics and showcasing a ton of Profoto gear in action over the course of the next year so please join us over on IG Live!

Tune in to our next episode: July 3rd at 2PM PST!

In this episode, we will discuss how to create effortless headshot images with just one light. Follow along as we take you step by step, adding in light modifiers to create different looks and showing you the subtle differences they make.


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Gear Used

Final Images from Episode

With added B10 behind the subject to create a white backdrop.

Check out our Headshot Photography course to learn more about lighting, posing, and photographing headshots.

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Founding Partner of Lin and Jirsa Photography and SLR Lounge.

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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Greg Hanselman

    I personally want to thank Pye and the entire SLR Lounge crew for hosting and presenting the Slice of Pye series. This episode especially has helped me to prepare for my first major paid photography job, an on location company headshot event. I was feeling overwhelmed but the simple yet thorough principals taught through this series have settled my nerves, and I am feeling confident with my lighting skills now. Perhaps most notably, I’ve taken the principals learned in this episode and applied them to my shoot. I was originally complicating the lighting set-up, feeling like I needed multiple light sources and large modifiers. After seeing this I’ve nailed down the set-up to a single 24″ collapsable beauty dish with a white diffusion panel and single reflector on a stand and get consistent and amazing results every single time. 

    So again, thank you. I’m living proof that your dedication to educating and helping the photography community is working!

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  2. Michael Miller

    Finally, I find a place to comment. I generally miss live presentations and sometimes get notified of them later.

    Suggestion Box:
    I just watched Slice of Pye Episode 6 and did enjoy it.  But, when you show the Comparison and even 1:1 single images, I cannot make out the details because the video is not close enough. The image may be 1:1 and the video may be pretty close, but it needs to be screen viewing distance so that the subject’s face practically fills the video.

    Also, your site told me that to comment on the Instagram video, the one that I got notice of, I had to join Instagram. I don’t use any of the amateur picture sites or tweeters, etc. The only other media sites I use are Facebook and Youtube. Do you put out notices to watch these Slices on Facebook or Youtube? I did notice that they were on FB, but I only got a notice for Instagram. I also had been watching you on SLR Lounge.

    Now, down to the hair. It’s NOT an issue. Ignore the jokes completely. Don’t answer to them. I had the same issue. My forehead and top of head was significantly shorter than the sides. I got tired of the difference, so I shaved it all off. Note, I use a barber’s electric shaver with the bare blades. Gets really close.

    Now I (we) don’t have to mess with our hair every morning any more. It was a little easier for me to accept it because I served in the Marine Corps and we always had really short haircuts, particularly in boot camp.

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