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Actor Head shots with Fuji XT-1 and Ice Lights Big results small Kit

Sunday, October 2, 2016 13:49
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Joao Carlos Daily Dose

Bruno Gonçalves – image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens ;
Whenever I am asked to define my work or what kind of pictures I take, I always say fashion and advertising, but I have been taking portraits longer than any other subject matter. 
The actor portrait also known as the head shot is a photograph of a person’s face or head and shoulders.    
Casting directors sift through hundreds of headshots, looking for the person with the right look for a particular role. 
The possiblites of a connection with an actor can be really amazing , The possible range of expressions can create something wonderful when the pieces come together . 
    Bruno Gonçalves - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens
    This series of images is from one of those moments. I was invited by my good friend and amazing actor and actor instructor Liliana Leite to give an actors head shot workshop. Basically I gave them an introduction to head shot photography as part of their actors workshop. Like this they get a full experience and this can better prepare them for future shoots and castings.
    Bruno Gonçalves - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens
    Head shots often feature the actor or actress facing off-center. A performer will often have head shots expressing different poses and expressions to give a potential employer,  an idea of the subject’s range of appearances or expressions. These types of head shots are called “looks”. It is common for an actor to have different head shots for different roles, but for the most part these consist of a change in attire. The head shots that include a person’s shoulders are called “three-quarter” shots.
Bruno Gonçalves - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens  barn doors on Ice lights create more dramatic lighting. 
Liliana Leite - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens

Ana Carvalho - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens 

Ana Carvalho - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens 

This was my first official shoot with the Fuji XT-1 — on a side note you are going to see a lot more on the Fuji X line of cameras here on the blog. I had received the XT-1 and had only had time to shoot some street style images. I had been more interested in understanding the camera’s interface than getting the shot. Well on this sunday it was serious and I had to get the shot.  
Bruno Gonçalvesimage taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens 
Bruno Gonçalves - Image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens

Bruno Gonçalves - Image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm ; f/1.2 R Lens ; Aperture f/5.0 Shutter 1/30 / ISO 350 Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect

Luis Nascimento - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens  Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect 
The biggest challenge of the day was maybe the fact I had five subjects to photograph in the same afternoon , that doesn’t leave allot of time to make the connection and get the shot .. I don’t want my gear to be in the way , in fact its the exact opposite , I use the Wesctcott Ice lights because of the quick lighting options it provides . quick change of angle or use of barn doors and the lighting is can be completely different . 
BTS view of the lighting set up two Westcott Ice-lights with barn doors , I also used a discontiued Tri- reflector . you can replace it for a similar affect  with the EyeLighter also from Westcott ,  You can also see the Fuji XT-1 with  XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens . 
Bruno Gonçalves - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens  Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect 

Ana Carvalho - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens  Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect 


Liliana Leite - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens  Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect 

Liliana Leite - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens ; Aperture f/2.8 ; Shutter 1/125 / ISO400 Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect 

Liliana Leite - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens  Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect 

 Luis Nascimento - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect 

Afonso Molinar - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect 
  1. Previously, head shots were often in black-and-white; however, most head shots are now taken in color.
    Actors’ head shots, when printed and not simply uploaded online to an industry database, are done in an 8″×10″ format. Other promotional images, for example, press shots and lobby prints, may be in many different aspect ratios. Acting head shots are often not photographic prints, instead they are typically printed via a lithographic or laser process.
    The main purpose of an actor’s head shot is identification. Therefore, the most important feature of an actor’s head shot is that it represents the subject. Theatrical head shots are usually very “neutral” looking shots of the actor clearly showing their facial features.
    Head shots are intended to show a person as they currently appear and reflect their best qualities. Therefore, if an actor’s hair has been recently cut or colored, they would often get a new head shot to reflect their new image. Additionally, if an actor has a scar or facial blemish, it is expected to be visible on the head shot and not digitally removed from the image. Pimples or spots are temporary and, therefore, are usually digitally retouched.

Actor Head Shots with the Fuji XT-1 from JOAOCARLOSMEDIA on Vimeo.

Gear List 

Fujifilm X-T1 Silver Edition
Fujinon XF Super EBC 14mm f/2.8
Fujinon XF Super EBC 27mm f/2.8
Fujinon XF Super EBC 35mm f/1.4
Fujinon XF Super EBC 56mm f/1.2
Fujifilm extra battery
Fujifilm flash
Sandisk extreme pro SD cards
3 Legged Thing Tripod
Fujifilm microfiber lens cloth
G-Drive ev 1 Tb
Moo Business cards
Koylab Minibook
RAVPower 3200mAh External Battery with flashlight 


The Ice Lights are amazing. They’re small and very portable, and they produce a beautiful light, which is daylight color balanced. They also run for about 2.5 hours on a single battery which is great — and if that’s not enough then you can attach an extra battery through the Ice light two-way connector which gives about 1 to 1.5 hours of extra battery time. Em q occasions usa ice lights

F.J. Westcott Icelight Bag
2x Westcott Ice Light
2x Westcott Ice Light Power Pack Battery
2x Westcott Ice Light Tungsten Gel
2x Westcott Barn Doors for Ice Light
2x Westcott Tilter Bracktet with brass spigots
2x Westcott Ice Light Two-Way Connector
2x Batteries Chargers
1 Tri Flector or EyeLighter

Post Processing 
Head Shots can either be in color or black & white if you decide to go black and white , this a quick step by step I created using Tonality Pro by Macphun .
Buying Software from MacPhun – reduced price

10% off if you use the code: JOAOMACPHUN10 follow the link . 

 I start by retouching the skin imperfections  . Since I am used to Photoshop thats usually my first step  but lately I have been using Snapheel Pro more and more . After cleaning any blemishes and or pimples or spots .

Afonso Molinar - image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R ; Aperture f/3.3 ; Shutter 1/30 / ISO 320 Lens Barn doors and Ice Light create a  dramatic effect . 
Step 1 -

I open the image in Tonality Pro and there is plethora of presets and  authentic film emulation to choose from . I start by creating a  copy layer .



 Step 2- 

I always love Hi contrast images below you can see the difference a little contrast can do .

 Step 3 – Ilford Delta 3200 Iso  film emulation preset . 

Step 4 -I ad yet another layer and use Crsip preset  at 6%

A little extra clarity will go along way , and the Fuji files hold up brilliantly . I love the Hi contrast sharp look and feel to the images , classic but still contemporary. 

Afonso Molinar -  Final Edited image taken with Fuji XT-1 Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2 R Lens .


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