The Headshot Doctor’s Spot My Photos Settings for High Volume Headshots

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When I do a high volume headshot shoot I always use SpotMyPhotos to easily distribute my images.  Using the power of AI facial recognition, it automatically creates private galleries for each of the people I photograph and a gallery with all the images for me to give to the event organizer so they have all the shots.  I absolutely adore it.  

I’m able to give my clients the option of real time delivery of the un-retouched images, or I can do in-person image selection with each person and can then retouch the images and have them show up in their personalized galleries when I am ready to have them sent out.  Generally I prefer the real time delivery because it produces such a WOW factor.


So you want to give it a try? Here’s how I set up my camera and lights for high volume shoots. 

The first choice you need to make is your lighting setup. When I am in my studio I normally shoot using one of Peter Hurley’s signature lighting setups. These involve the lights being very tight on the subject and in the frame. After the shoot is done I remove the lights in the frame in photoshop. When doing a high volume shoot with real time delivery I don’t want the lights to show up in the end product the subjects are receiving in their personalized galleries. To accomplish this there are a few workarounds. The first is to change up your lighting setup. Clamshell lighting with a light above the subject and an arc reflector below can work well, but it yields a distinctly different lighting look than Peter’s triangle lighting produces. Another option is to make your triangle a little wider and to shoot a square crop in camera. That’s the way I prefer to do it as most of my clients book me for the distinct lighting pattern the triangle setup generates.

If the subjects are signing up for sessions in advance I give them a link that allows themself to “self-spot” by taking a simple selfie when prompted by the SpotMyPhotos platform so it will recognize them for me.  At the shoot I have a QR code printed up that also takes people to that same self-registration page in case they forgot to do it in advance and can do it while they are waiting in line for their turn.  And if all else fails I can just spot them…right on the spot.  

I set my shutter speed to 1/160th, my aperture to 4.5 and my ISO is at 200.  I then adjust the power output of the lights as necessary.  If I have a subject with eyes that are very sensitive to the lights I will increase my ISO and lower the power on the lights.  I get the lights in position so they are JUST out of frame for the square crop.  The closer the lights are to the subject the more painted on the light will feel.  I shoot tethered to my laptop and shoot RAW+S1 JPG.  I keep the RAW images just in case someone wants retouching on their image afterwards.  Be sure to choose a picture style that you like, I tend to choose portrait, but on most cameras you can even create your own custom picture style that will be applied when your camera processes the JPG image for you. The picture style will determine the amount of saturation and contrast the image has.  Dial in the correct White Balance for the room and adjust the tint as necessary on your camera.  This is extremely important if the client is not receiving straight out of the camera in real time.  The S1 JPG files are automatically pulled up into the cloud from my designated hot folder by the SpotMyPhotos uploader and processed in real time.  By the time we are done taking the hand full of photos I ask the subject to check their phone for a text message.  To their astonishment a text message saying they have been spotted has already been delivered and all they have to do is click on the link to retrieve their images.

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Clients are mind blown when they have their own personal gallery delivered automatically to their phone just moments after they have finished their session.

At the end of the day I provide the session organizer with a link to all the photos from the day so they can use the shots as necessary for the office website and the like.

The same amazing SpotMyPhotos technology can also be used when I am photographing corporate events, allowing me to provide the attendees with their photos in real time as well.  SpotMyPhotos has been a total game changer for me and my clients!

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