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Child, teen and adult actor headshots — 15 years apart — Venice, Gardena, Mar Vista

Child actor old school headshot shot with 4x5 film Child actor headshot shot with 35mm black and white film Heashot shoots fifteen years apart

Actor compcard    

Headshot 1

This was one of the first headshots I took. It was shot in 1995 using large format black and white film which I processed and printed in a home darkroom. The camera is made of wood and you need to drape a large cloth over it in order to focus. The image quality is extremely high.

Most photographers shoot digitally now and this format is pretty much obsolete. Almost no one shoots headshots now with 4x5 film. The cost of film is too high, it is difficult to focus and few labs will process the film.

This image is interesting because when printed as an 8x10, Tutu's head is larger than life size. Tutu was cast in the movie from the 1990's Mummy series with the Rock and is now an accomplished photographer and musician.

Headshot 2

This headshot was taken around seven years later, around 2002. I was still shooting film, though instead of the 4x5, I used an old Nikon F2 with 35mm Tri-X film. I developed the film myself, but instead of printing with an enlarger, I scanned the film.

Headshot 3

The thrid shoot was taken another nine years later, in 2011. I shot it with the Nikon D3 which is about the best digital SLR available now. We shot outside in the afternoon using Tutu's house to block the sun.

Open shade lighting, where the subject faces the light but is positioned in complete shade with sky overhead, is great for natural light protraits. In this case, the wall of the house was shorter than ideal.

For this shot, we used a crumpled tarp clamped to a background stand. The tarp created a slightly more irregular background than would seamless paper. The idea to use the tarp came from the crumpled piece of dirty, white seamless paper Steve Buscemi's character used to shoot a headshot in a hilarious scene from Paparazzi.

I supplemented the light with a large thin rectangular soft box on an Elinchrom strobe placed high and slightly to the right of center. A large reflector leaning against the light stand bounced some light back up.

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Copyright © Brian Minami / Minami Pictures