Shooting with Nick was a lot of fun. He was really laid back and up to try anything. I spent about a half day with him before he was heading back to New York to finish up at NYU. He just got a part in an off Broadway play, so he was really excited to go back to NYC with new headshots.
After doing all of my usual natural light setups with reflectors and such, I busted out my new ring light (some people call it a ring flash, but it doesn't flash, so I'm sticking with ring light). My dad and uncle are both talented woodworkers and electricians. I showed them a ring light someone else made and they gave it their all. The result is amazing. Such a clean design. All wires are hidden, it has two dimmer switches, and sturdy mounts that work on standard light stands.
The setup for this shot was pretty easy. I positioned Nick so that he was between two windows, about 8 feet from the wall. I knew that this would create a bluish (cold) background and frame his face. The next step was figuring out how close to have him stand to the light. After some experimentation, I had him pretty close to the bulbs so I could see the lights in his eyes very clearly, while not interfering with his pupils.
The most difficult part of this shot was getting the white balance just right. The warm light from the bulbs was hard to mix with the cold light from the windows. I spent about 30 minutes in Adobe Lightroom before settling on something that I liked.