tips

Photographing Headshots Without a Studio by Jordan Hefler

Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | 5 Tips by Jordan Hefler

So as a full time photographer, one of the most common questions I get is “where is your studio?” Well… I don’t have a studio. Is that weird? I’m not sure. Maybe. I do all of my shoots on location and with natural light- and that’s how I like it.

I think there’s still a place in this world for studio driven work, but it’s just not my style. Although I’ve done work on static backgrounds with lighting before, I find that I am much more inspired and satisfied with my work when I am out in the world creating it.

My friend Abigail was looking for new headshots for her professional dancing career (she gets to travel all over the world to do performance work!) so I was excited to get to dream up some colorful ideas with her! I’ve done a few headshot sessions in the same area in Mid-City Baton Rouge where some colorful walls are, but with every client it’s a different experience and I get completely different results.

Here are my top 5 tips for photographing headshots on location and not in a studio:

Find A Versatile Spot

I think people really underestimate how much magic photographers can make with any given location. Between strategic cropping, depth of field, and a creative eye, an otherwise mundane spot can end up being perfect for close up headshots from the perspective of a photographer. I like to bring clients to spots that will make the most out of our time together. This might mean a colorful wall that’s also near a white wall that’s also near an area with greenery that might also be near some graffiti… you get the picture. It doesn’t have to be anything super glamorous- I literally had Abigail sit down against a dumpster for one of the shots. I want to be able to walk around and get a ton of different shots within a short time frame so we don’t waste time driving from location to location.

Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | Jordan Hefler
We took this photo in front of a dumpster just because it was orange. YOLO

We took this photo in front of a dumpster just because it was orange. YOLO

Tell Your Client to Bring A Few Looks

If you’re going to make the most of your time by shooting in a few different spots, you might as well have your subject change shirts or something too. This way you can really milk the shoot and get multiple looks out of it. Sometimes just the simple changing of a shirt or hairstyle can inspire you in a whole new way even if you’re just crossing the street to take photos somewhere else.

Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | Jordan Hefler

Photographer Secret: You can also cheat a little bit with editing. The photo above and below were both taken in front of the same wall, but I changed the HSL sliders when editing the predominant blue tones in the shot to give a few different final options for her.

Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | Jordan Hefler

Strive to Shoot in Shade or on a Cloudy Day

Everyone likes to think that cloudy days mean rescheduling, HOWEVER the clouds act as a natural soft box or lighting diffuser for the sun! This is the same concept as what you’d be getting in a studio with the giant umbrella over the flash. I always try to shoot in shade when I can so that skin tones look even, and if it’s an overcast day then shade doesn’t matter and you can shoot anywhere.

Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | Jordan Hefler
Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | Jordan Hefler

Change Up Your Perspective

Don’t just take every photo from eye level! Get up high, get down low, have your client sit on a curb or stand up higher than you. Play around with it!

Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | Jordan Hefler
Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | Jordan Hefler

Shoot Shallow

Always try to shoot with a shallow depth of field if you can so that your subject is distanced from the background. If you’re shooting against a plain wall but you place your client a few feet away from it and shoot at like 1.4 or 1.8, you can really cheat the effect of having a professional back drop because the wall textures are now so out of focus that they aren’t as visible.

Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | Jordan Hefler
Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | Jordan Hefler

And most important of all… just get your client to relax! Get comfortable with them, make them laugh, and make sure they feel at home.

Need headshots? Contact me here to set something up!

Photographing Headshots Without a Studio | 5 Tips by Jordan Hefler

Why Solopreneurs Should Have a Business Address by Jordan Hefler

Why Solopreneurs Should Have a Business Address | Jordan Hefler

I love my neighborhood. I love where I live. But I DON’T love people knowing where I live. Why? Because it’s not safe!

Do you remember back in the day when we had Myspace and all of our parents/the media were freaking out about our safety? We were all so afraid of being kidnapped yet now we’re constantly sharing where we are, when we are, and what we have. Remember Kim Kardashian’s legendary Parisian hold-up where she was gagged and robbed after posting her jewelry and location on the internet?

It’s one thing if you have a brick and mortar store location or a remote office somewhere, but when you’re working from home I find it creepy to know that your business address doubles as where you sleep at night.

A few years ago when I wanted to start a mailing list with Mailchimp, I realized that in order to be compliant with the legalities of sending out a mass newsletter, I had to list my address at the footer of every email I sent out. During and after college I moved a solid 8 times in 7 years and knew that none of the apartments/houses I lived would ever be a permanent business address for me. At the time of wanting to start a mailing list, I was living in an apartment with my brother and working from home…and there was no way I was going to publicly list my apartment address on a mass email!

Why Solopreneurs Should Have a Business Address | Jordan Hefler

I decided to open a personal mailbox for my business at a local UPS store in town, that way when I would inevitably move out from living with my brother I’d at least have a consistent address listing for my business. Do you know how annoying it was to open an LLC at one address, then apply for a credit card at another, but then have my license listed at another? I now live alone, work from home, and am focusing on growing my email list/sharing more and more on social media for my business- not a great recipe for having people know where you live amirite??!?

Although it’s a yearly business expense (only around $250 or so I think?) it’s great for peace of mind. My business now has a solid mailing address I feel comfortable listing everywhere, and I don’t have to worry about having my packages stolen off my doorstep (something that happens a lot in my neighborhood!) It also makes me look legit listing a street address with a “suite” when I’m really just chillin at home in my panda pajama pants and checking a box once a week.

Why Solopreneurs Should Have a Business Address | Jordan Hefler

If you’re sharing a lot of your life on social media, working from home, and having people send you packages/checks/important information to your home- you’re giving me anxiety. Bite the bullet and get a personal P.O. Box or UPS mailing address and avoid the stress of break ins, randos from Instagram, checks going missing, and people just “dropping by” while you’re in your Spongebob t-shirt on the couch eating chocolate.

Why Solopreneurs Should Have a Business Address | Jordan Hefler