Headshot photography, once reserved for actors and the occasional executive, is now about as mainstream as LinkedIn or Facebook. Whether you’re looking for a job, changing careers, starting a new business, or looking for a date, an amazing headshot is step one. Headshots are the core to the now overused term of personal branding. Call it whatever you want, but it all starts with a headshot.

I can think of no better way to learn headshot photography than from the man himself, Peter Hurley. Peter has been perfecting the craft of headshots for many years in New York. But only in the last few years has he been teaching the tricks of the trade.

Who’s This Tutorial For?

Peter Hurley’s latest tutorial, Perfecting the Headshot, is his most comprehensive title to date. If you’re a photographer looking to expand your offerings, definitely give this tutorial a look. Peter gets right down to business though, so if you don’t have a basic understanding of photography & studio lighting, you may find yourself with one of those puzzled looks that Peter pulls from his subjects.

People photographers of any discipline (wedding, family, boudoir etc) will enjoy the sections on building rapport with your clients. So even you have no intention of setting foot in a conference room to photograph a bunch of executives, you’ll find the tricks work anywhere, in any setting.

Not a photographer? Actors, models or anyone looking to build up some comfort in front of the camera will enjoy particular sections of the tutorial. But, if you’re not going to be taking the pictures, it’s probably a little overkill.

What Does it Cover?

The tutorial covers Peter’s signature light setup in a studio setting. He discusses many of the subtleties as well — elements you might’ve never considered in a headshot. It’s one thing to light a decent picture of the human face. It’s a whole different story to pull a great expression from your subject. And it takes a true professional to do both in every session. Remember, most headshot photographers aren’t working with models on a daily basis, so it’s no easy task.

There are videos covering hair, working with glare from glasses, working with kids, and you’ll also get to watch a few full sessions. Retouching and some business basics are also covered. But the best content definitely centers on the setups and subject interaction.

A little direction goes a long way in a headshot.

Final Thoughts

The tutorial, without question, will make you a better headshot photographer. Peter’s workflow has been tested and refined over many years — so this tutorial is a great place to get started. But as with any video tutorial, the learning doesn’t stop when the videos end. Completing the videos simply marks the beginning of your journey. Expect to practice and practice. As Peter stresses, the technical stuff needs to become second nature so you can focus on the subject. As a working headshot photographer and past student of Peter’s, I can’t emphasize this point enough.

If you’re ready to jump in now, head over to the Fstoppers store and use the code Photofocus10 to get 10% off now until October 1st.