How do you use PRO Lighting to get a Professional Headshot?

KD Communications on the Real Life Questions Vlog Show

The Real Question: Pro Lighting for Professional Headshots

This week Kathryn wants to know how to master pro lighting for professional headshots. Have a watch:

Hi everyone, it’s Laura Pearman, and this is another Laura Pearman vlog.  I’ve got a good question this week, it’s a divisive one and it’s from my friend, Kathryn Dishman, who is from KD Communications.

Kathryn sent me this message from YouTube. You should go check out her YouTube channel, here’s a look right now:

Kathryn asks,

pro lighting for professional headshots

The Real Answer: Pro Lighting for Professional Headshots

Let’s Get One Thing Straight Here

Well, it’s not like anybody in public relations to be divisive now, is it? so, my instant reaction to this question is, yeah, you should use professional lighting to make your headshot look professional, but you shouldn’t be the one worrying about professional lighting if you’re not the professional photographer doing your professional headshot.

Now, if you’re looking to level up your selfies and you want all of the selfies, your social media feeds, which are not headshots, to look better, then you should be looking at investing in some cool phone attachments and I totally condone them, I think they’re really cool, I’ve got a load of little tips, that I have on different courses and different social media, tips that I put out all the time about ways, that you can hack natural light, to make it a little bit more diffused to help you make yourself look more flawless.

You can get like little light bricks, that clip onto your phone, you can get lots of attachments now, that goes onto the clips, that you put on the back of your phone.  There are tonnes of possibilities to add better lighting on your phone to make you look better, like ring flashes, all those kinds of things, so explore them to your heart’s content.

This is Where I Might Get Cross Now

But if you wanna start buying professional lighting rigs and those kinds of things, when you’re not delving into professional photography, because that’s not your living, then you’re gonna start to get my back up a little bit, so let’s just explore that a little bit further and I’m gonna explain myself, I’m not just gonna lose my mind on you.  Let’s go further, so most people, when they get into business learn a very valuable lesson, that time is money, OK!

…and your time is worth a lot of money, even when you’re not necessarily being paid to do something, your time, whether, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing, is worth some money.

pro lighting for professional headshots

Quick BASIC Mathematics

So let’s just say for argument’s sake, because my mind is not great with numbers off the top of my head, that one hour of your time is worth 100 pounds, Kathryn is worth way more than this, by the way, but let’s just say, for argument’s sake, so let’s say you’re gonna need to spend about 10 hours of time learning how to operate professional photography lighting, that’s a grand right there and then to actually buy decent lights, you’re probably looking at about 600 quid, 1,600 pounds, we’ve got to there.  That’s fast maths for me and for 1,600 pounds, you could have paid a photographer to do the whole damn thing for you.

Plus A Little More…

To get the lights PAT tested, so you could take them into a building, you’ve gotta do that, to have the lights insured, in case they kill somebody a photographer needs to do that as well and then to get them to have the desired effect, you’re probably looking at more than the 10 hours, that you’ve dropped on the 1,000 pounds.

pro lighting for professional headshots

Pack Up yer Tools Jack <read in your best Bob Dylan Voice>

So why worry about that, man, why even start delving into that?  It’s not like I’m gonna get in touch with a public relations person and say, “Can you just tell me how to go ahead “and write a press release, “without having to learn all of the ways of your arts and skills?”  I wouldn’t do that and I certainly wouldn’t try to work out any more complicated maths and that, ’cause I pay my accountant to do that.

Keep ’em Coming

So yeah, I totally love the divisive questions though, please keep them coming, I wanna do more of these on this channel, so yeah, I think that explains things a little bit further.  If it hasn’t, by all means, send me some more questions and we can delve into this topic a little bit further.  So thanks very much for that and I’ll see you next time.

Bye. MWAH!

Find Out Some More


If you want to give things a go on your own before going PRO with headshots then take a look at my #LoveYaSelfie Challenge. 5 Days of phone-ography accountability FOR FREE.

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