Sunday , 21 December 2014

How to Achieve Amazing Catchlights in the Eyes

Want to know what inspired it all?

A Little over two years ago I came across photographer Peter Hurley, whom I’ve fell in love with. He is arguably one of the most successful and well known Portrait Photographers of our time. I was just marveled and intrigued at how he built a foundation and style off of head shots with such a simplistic approach. As my interest in his work grew, I learned about his style of shooting, workflow, lighting, clients,  pricing, etc, being a portrait photographer myself all of this stuff resonated with me. I was on the site and saw that the guys over at FS linked up with Peter to create “The Art Behind the Headshot” DVD which was amazing. That can be found here. Watching this was like watching a magician expose all of their secrets. Not to dive into the DVD too much but this guy was working magic literally transforming people right before your very eyes. Granted nothing is new under the sun but the fact that he was showing you his techniques and engaging with the audience in such a fashion made you say wow!

A few months after watching the DVD, I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Peter at the 2012 FStoppers Photo Plus Party located at Peter’s Studio in Manhattan. There was food, drinks, and a tone of amazing people.  I went from doing a little research on this guy, to buying his DVD, to actually meeting him in person. Man it was truly a humbling experience to be around such a noted photographer. He was so cool and down to earth I felt as if I was hanging out with a good old friend. He even complimented me by saying I was by far the best dressed person of the night. You talk about a confidence booster that went straight to my ego lol, just kidding. The ambiance of it all had me so pumped and excited. By the end of the night I was even more intrigued.

That interest led me on a hunt to obtain those magical fluorescent lights that Peter uses, which are Kino Flo Lights. I was quickly derailed when I discovered that those Kino Flo lights were close to 3k a pop for a kit. Looking at those prices in lesser terms paralyzed me, because I knew they were way out of my budget. Instead of getting all depressed, my next best thing was to find an alternative, like my mom always says, “There are many ways to skin a cat.” She was absolutely right because I came across a photographer by the Joe Eldleman who did a fabulous DIY build with the fluorescent banks that can be found here. After watching his video over 50 times, I took note of everything I needed to do in order to build these lights, and I made it happen. It feels good to receive, but it feels even better to give back and that’s exactly what I was set out to do. I was inspired to share my build and the awesomeness I was creating with it and this is how I came up with “How to achieve amazing catch lights in the eyes series.”  You know it still amazes me what you can create with $350 and some appliances from Home Depot. I want to give a huge shout out to Peter Hurley and Joe Edelman for all of their “AWESOMENESS”, it’s people like these guys who give birth to people like me!

About Lorenzo Pickett

Lorenzo Pickett is a New Jersey based published Artist and Portrait Photographer. He started his photography journey in 2008. In pursuit of improving his art portfolio he picked up a camera to take high res photos of his art work. Blown away by the sheer quality of his new DSLR, it spawned an entirely new career path for him. Lorenzo's passion for "Creating" has led him to new heights. With his use of mixed lighting and unique style he is bound to produce stunning work.