I was asked...

To prepare to do some corporate headshots for a regional Caribbean brand recently and the turnaround was meant to be pretty quick. I was a little concerned that I might create a convoluted setup that would waste my client's time and be frustrating to transition from one setup to the next.

With the help of my assistant

I created a simple setup that required almost no moving parts and would allow for me to transition between four styles of portrait lighting within seconds. Given that I've recently changed studio spaces (again though this time I'm immediately next door to my original Pavilion Court studio), it still does take some getting used to a new space, trying to figure out its limitations, and I certainly didn't want to waste my client's time while I fiddled with lights and modifiers. (Click here to see where the studio is now.)

I created a video...

I know, I'm no maverick when it comes to producing behind the scenes content, PARTICULARLY in producing video, but I thought that it would be a fun exercise to try and make a demo video, running through the 4 lighting setups in 2 minutes. I've attached the video below just in case you wanted to take a look!

I thought it'd be useful...

... to share the images I shot during the video, unretouched so that you can see the differences between the setups I produced. Maybe some of the variations are subtle and slight, but for me, they do make a big difference to the final product.

Look 1

I designed this look to get a high contrast background with a strong highlight on the left side of the face. You can see here that my face is generally brighter in this image. The shadows aren't as deep as in look 2 and the details are sharper. This was the look that we used for almost the entire shoot.

Look 2

If you watch the video, you'll see that this look used a black "flag" to block any light from my background light spilling onto my face. This black flag helped me to:

  • keep the high-contrast background
  • reduce the overall contrast/soften the image somewhat
  • deepen the shadows on my face slightly
  • keep the high contrast background

Look 3

While watching the video you'll see that after the first two looks I completely switched off the background light (the one on the left side of the video) this produced:

  • A moodier image with deeper shadows on my face
  • a less contrasty image overall
  • a low-contrast, grey background
  • little to no reflected highlights on the left side of the face.

We used this look for one of the headshots we did that day.

Look 4

This was the last look that I prepared for our corporate headshot session that day. For this one I opted to add my silver 6ft reflector on my left side. This captured the light from the key light and bounced it onto the left side of my face:

  • softening the shadows somewhat
  • adding a subtle specular highlight on my left side to define my cheekbone & brow
  • reducing the overall drama of the image.

Here are a few other examples...

that were taken while I was testing the setup (this happened before I took the behind-the-scenes video) I thought that they were clear illustrations of the kind of effect that the lighting setups have depending on where the subject is facing. The two images below were taken using "Look 1" and "Look 2" Perhaps you'll notice that there are deeper shadows on my face in the image where my hair is out. These darker shadows definitely alter the mood, making my eye seem less "bright".

A self portrait of Logan C Thomas that he used to demonstrate 4 lighting setups he uses for corporate headshots.

Look 1

A self portrait of Logan C Thomas that he used to demonstrate 4 lighting setups he uses for corporate headshots.

Look 2


Once Cindy Legall from Red Advertising and makeup artist Mandy Cummins arrived we settled on two of the four setups (Look 1 and Look 3) and the clients were quite pleased by the end of our session!

The final images...

were taken over the course of two days at my Photography Studio just outside of Bridgetown, and we were joined by another makeup artist on the second day: "Rogue Beautii".

After we shot to concept...

One of my clients wanted to experiment a little more, so we relaxed the clothing and pose, and brought in a stool for an even more relaxed feel. These ones turned out to be some of my favourites. Here it felt like the corporate personae relaxed a little bit and we were able to make some great images that really showcased my client's personality and presence.

Portraits of Logan C Thomas' client sitting on a stool in a relaxed posture at his photography studio near Bridgetown.
A relaxed business portrait of Logan C Thomas' client in studio against a plain white background.

Just in case...

You were thinking this is the ONLY way that I take business headshots, these images were created to match the style that my client requested. I am fully equipped, professionally trained and capable of producing YOUR headshots to YOUR specifications. Please have a look at my business portrait page for more examples. If you don't see anything that looks like what you want on my website, get in touch and send me a few inspiration images. When we have our first consultation, make sure to let me know, so we can work together to define a style or look that works for you and your brand.

And that's it!

...well, for this blog post anyway. I could include more examples from my other shoots, but I wouldn't want the post to go on for too long. In any case, hopefully, you have a better idea of what it looks like to hire me, Logan C Thomas, to do your corporate or business headshots. Please don't hesitate to get in touch with me at create@logancthomas.net if you have any questions or would like to book me for your next headshot!

The Team

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