Headshots by BenMarcum Louisville

What is Tethering and What Does It Mean for Headshots

Have you seen any of behind the scenes shots of one of my headshot sessions and noticed a bright orange cable coming out of my camera (Thank you Tether Tools!)? Have you been following me on social media ( and honestly, why wouldn’t you be?  All my links are at the bottom of the page. Click them!) and seen me do posts about shooting my sessions tethered? Allow me to demystify what shooting tethered means for every person who steps in front of my camera.

In the simplest of terms, tethering means that I shoot my sessions with my camera hooked up to my computer.

So, what exactly does this mean for you?

This means that seconds after I click the shutter, the image pops up on my computer screen, giving us immediate feedback during a headshot session to know what’s working and what’s not. It’s one of the most powerful tools that I use to coach people. For example, during a session, I have people move in ways that don’t always feel natural. Those of you who have been in the studio will recognize phrases like “forehead out, chin down” and know what I am talking about.

Ben Marcum taking headshots tethered

Once I am able to bring a person over to the computer screen so they can see what those movements and stances look like on camera, the rest of the session is a snap!

I also review your images with you as we are working. We will shoot a look, then go to the screen to make sure that we have everything that you want before we move on to the next outfit. In my headshot sessions, there are no surprises when you leave my studio because you’re already seen your amazing shots before you walk out my door.

There’s one other way shooting tethered is vital – during sessions, the amazing makeup artists from The Beauty Patrol use it as well. They watch the screen the entire shoot and make adjustments as needed once they see how the makeup looks under the lights, on camera.

I started shooting tethered 3 years ago and it was a game changer. Now I cannot even think about doing a headshot session without that tool in my arsenal.

I would love for some of my clients to leave some thoughts in the comments below about how being able to see their headshots on screen helped during their headshots!


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