How to Shoot a Quick and Easy Portrait in an Hour

For Jay P. Morgan, a portrait shoot normally takes four hours, several lights, and at least two reflectors. Today, he’s aiming for one hour, one light, and one reflector—a quick and breezy outdoor shoot to give a real estate agent a new professional headshot:

Though he winds up taking an hour and a half (and bringing out a second reflector), the video above still gives a nice glimpse into what a relatively quick and informal photo shoot can look like.

lighting a professional headshot

Morgan did his research beforehand, knowing what kind of image he wanted and showing his subject the results as they go, making sure she’s happy and ensuring no one’s wasting their time.

cheap photography

Morgan is shooting with two lenses, a Tamron 24-70 and 70-200 lens, equipped on a Canon 5D Mark III. He ends up preferring the 200mm distance, which creates a more pleasant, fuzzier background. The final shot looks like this:

realtor headshot photography

“When the background isn’t interesting, I go to a 200mm lens every time. It gives me the shallow depth of field that I need to isolate the subject and make that uninteresting background just go away. If the background’s bad, just throw it out of focus.”

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