Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pittsburgh Photographer's Headshot Meetup

I'm a member of a Pittsburgh Photographer's Group on Facebook.  There are people with a wide variety of backgrounds, interests, and skill levels there.  Members have started organizing periodic meetups, so people can meet each other face-to-face, and, of course, talk about photography.

I thought it would be interesting if instead of just talking about photography, we could meet up and actually do some photography.  To actually see how other people do things, what equipment they use, and how they go about solving problems (photography is often about overcoming limitations to make great photos).

So I decided to organize a headshot meetup event.  In the age of social media, everyone needs a good headshot.  Unfortunately it is really hard to do a good self-portrait with professional equipment.  Selfies don't count.  Besides, try holding 10 pounds of camera at arms length without shaking the camera.

I suggested the idea to the group, and enough people expressed interest to make it worth doing.   I wanted us to have the option of shooting by window light, so evenings were out of the question.  I decided to plan the meetup for a Saturday afternoon at the Panera Bread in Oakland.  Many Paneras have a meeting room you can use, and the one in Oakland has outside windows in their meeting room, so we had our windowlight.

The meetup was a great success.  We had multiple flash setups for people to try, and various reflectors and other light modifiers.  It was interesting to see how others did things, and offer suggestions to those who were new to headshots and portraiture.

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