If you follow my blog you’ll know that I’ve photographed Jay several times before and we have established a good rapport and a fun working relationship.

Formerly a professional drummer, Jay has now done a Phil Collins and stepped to the front of the stage, turning his talents to singing. When he asked me for another headshot session I was happy to oblige.

We shot in a large, open studio. I typically kept the lighting quite simple, opting for two-point or ‘sandwich’ lighting. A beauty dish close to Jay for the main light and a large softbox to the rear to give some rim light separation from the background. The background paper was actually white, but because we were quite a few feet in front of the background and I had placed the main light close to Jay, the falloff of light meant that the background went dark grey to almost black.

The Inverse Square Law of Light

New Headshots for Jay, by Paul JonesThe amount of light and quality of the light on the background is affected by how close the light is, how close the model is, and the way that the light falls off. Similarly, the quality (hardness of softness) of the light on the model and the intensity of the shadows is affected by the distance of the light to the model. A general rule is that the closer the light is to the model, the quicker the light will fall off. Moving the light farther away will lead to more even lighting (less intense shadows). This is because light doesn’t travel in a straight line, but spreads out as distance increases. For more information on how the ‘Inverse Square Law of Light’ affects the look of your photographs see this earlier post with Jay.

Camera settings were:
Lens: Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 lens
Aperture: f/8
Shutter speed: 1/125
ISO: 100


After the lighting is set up, it’s a matter of working with the model/subject to get the right kind of expressions. I think this ‘coaching the shot’ is the biggest part of headshot and portrait photography. It’s not just about lighting or camera settings, but about creating an image that the subject can use to help them get more work, or for use on their social media.

I’m always grateful to receive feedback after a photoshoot, so was thrilled when Jay emailed me to say:

“In my experience, it’s difficult to find a great photographer to capture the essence of your look and personality. Paul is that man! I’ve done multiple shoot days with Paul now, and he always manages to produce something special. His easy going nature puts you at ease straight away, and he’s very good at directing expressions and poses to paint the subject in the best light. I’m looking forward to doing more great work with Paul in the future. He’s a great photographer and I would highly recommend him!”

Here’s just a few of my personal favourite images from the shoot. Click to see them bigger and please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading.

New Headshots for Jay, by Paul Jones

New Headshots for Jay, by Paul Jones

New Headshots for Jay, by Paul Jones

New Headshots for Jay, by Paul Jones

New Headshots for Jay, by Paul Jones

New Headshots for Jay, by Paul Jones

Categories: photography

Leave a Reply

Twitter updates

No public Twitter messages.


  • Shop for Cameras and Lenses at Amazon
  • Shop for Camera Bags at Amazon
  • Find Great Photographers on Amazon
  • Compare Tablets at Amazon