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In The Headshot: The Secrets to Creating Amazing Headshot Portraits, author Peter Hurley shares everything the student needs to know in order to get great images of their subjects—whether it's on assignment, a personal project, or simply shots of family and friends. Starting with his trademark "recipe"—"white background, flat light, chopped-off heads"—in over a dozen chapters he covers the following: the technical aspects of the shot, including lighting, composition, and camera setup; establishing a rapport with your subject, as well as provoking thought in order to drive expression; and how to direct the subject, including detailed discussions of how to influence the jaw, the smile, the eyes, and the eyebrows. With The Headshot, students will be equipped to dramatically improve their headshot photographs—from lighting to composition to directing the best expression from their subjects.
Peter Hurley is well known among headshot and portrait photographers as a passionate photographer and teacher. His business has grown by leaps and bounds over the past few years, and he is a go-to resource as both a photographer and an educator. He teaches his own workshops, and is a regular instructor at conferences such as Photo Plus, WPPI, and Photoshop World.
Chapter 1: The headshot recipe that started it all
Chapter 2: Hitting the technical on the head
Chapter 3: Lights, camera, action–or not?
Chapter 4: Establishing a rapport
Chapter 5: Let’s craft what’s in your director’s toolbox
Chapter 6: The art of Sherlock Holmesing
Chapter 7: Breaking the nonverbal two thirds barrier
Chapter 8: It all starts with the jaw
Chapter 9: The beauty of the human smile
Chapter 10: Make em squint
Chapter 11: It’s all about the therapy/direction and the inner dialogue going on between us and our subject
Chapter 12: Pre-shuttter release checklist
Chapter 13: Don’t shoot it if it just ain’t right
Peter is a New York and Los Angeles based photographer specializing in advertising and commercial work, including portraiture, fashion, beauty, editorial, actor's headshots, events and corporate photography. “Let me give you an idea of the round about way I picked up a camera and found a new love. It and most of my life revolve around the sport of sailing. In 1993 after graduating from Boston University I hadn't a clue as to what I was going to do with myself. That summer I was doing what I had done every summer since I can remember, racing sailboats.In August, I won a National Championship and decided to train for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. While training full time, a friend sent me to see a designer at Ralph Lauren, who was in search of real sailors to model in a Polo Sport advertising campaign. I had an incredible time and months later my picture was seen around the world. More importantly, I met a true friend and eventual mentor, Bruce Weber, who was the photographer on the shoot. Bruce continued to take pictures of me sailing and after failing to make the '96 US Sailing Team, I found myself in New York at the start of a new modeling career. Modeling led me into acting, but the dream of a gold medal still lingered in the back of my mind. After a few years, I dropped everything and decided to jump back in the boat and train for the Sydney '00 Games. It was during this time that Bruce encouraged me to start taking pictures of sailboats. My training paid off landing me a berth on the 2000 US Sailing Team. Shortly afterward, I took up the camera and while shooting a regatta I turned the camera on a fellow model/actor and friend of mine who had come along for the day. Those pictures ended up in his portfolio and created the outset of my new career. Since then my pictures have led me into advertising and my clients now include Levi's, Reebok, DKNY, Johnnie Walker and Axe Deodorant to name a few. I am continually growing as a photographer and I'm so glad that my crazy path has landed me here with a camera in hand. I would like to give a special thanks to Caggie Simonelli, Bruce Weber, and Josette Lata for making this possible.”