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Masterclass: Optimize Your Studio Workflow with Peter Hurley's Guide to Tethered Photography

6/02/2024 Matt 0 Comments

Imagine this: you've meticulously set up your studio lighting, your subject is perfectly posed, and you click the shutter... only to discover the expression on their face falls flat. It happens to the best of us. Capturing genuine, captivating expressions in portrait photography can be a challenge. 

But what if there was a way to see the image instantly, allowing you to guide your subject and achieve the perfect shot? Enter tethered photography, a game-changer for headshot photographers, and Peter Hurley is here to show you why.

What is Tethered Photography?

Tethered photography connects your camera directly to your computer via a USB cable. This bypasses the traditional workflow of reviewing images on the camera's LCD screen. Instead, the image captured on your camera instantly appears on your computer monitor, allowing you and your subject to view it in real time.

Why Tether Like Peter Hurley?

Peter Hurley strongly advocates tethered photography, and for good reason. Here are just a few benefits it offers:

  • Instant Feedback: Gone are the days of guessing if you captured the perfect expression. With tethering, you and your subject can see the image immediately, allowing immediate adjustments and course correction. This is particularly valuable for capturing those fleeting moments of genuine emotion.
  • Collaborative Environment: Tethering fosters a cooperative atmosphere during the photoshoot. Your subject can see the image on the larger computer screen, allowing them to actively participate in the creative process. They can see what works and what doesn't, leading to a more relaxed and enjoyable experience.
  • Coaching Made Easy: Tethering allows you to act as a real-time coach, guiding your subject towards achieving the desired expression. By reviewing the image together, you can offer specific pointers on posture, eye contact, and subtle adjustments that elevate the final headshot.
  • Quality Assurance: Tethering enables you to zoom in on the image, allowing for a closer inspection of focus, sharpness, and potential flaws. You can address any issues immediately, ensuring you capture the perfect shot before moving on.

Peter Hurley in Action: Harnessing the Power of Tethering

Peter Hurley's YouTube video showcases the power of tethering in action.  He demonstrates how he utilizes tethering throughout his headshot session, providing valuable insights for every photographer.  Here are some key takeaways from his approach:

  • Large Display Matters: Invest in a large computer monitor for your tethered setup. This allows you and your subject to see the image clearly, facilitating communication and collaboration.
  • Embrace the Conversation: Tethering is an opportunity to connect with your subject. Use the instant feedback to guide them, offer encouragement, and create a positive and interactive experience.
  • Focus on Micro-Expressions: The beauty of tethering lies in its ability to capture those subtle nuances in expression. With the image on a larger screen, you can coach your subject towards achieving the desired energy, warmth, or confidence level.
Peter Hurley's mastery of tethered photography is a valuable inspiration for any headshot photographer.  By incorporating this technique into your workflow, you can unlock new levels of creativity, capture genuine expressions, and create a collaborative experience for your subjects.

You may also like: How to Understand the Inverse Square Law by Peter Hurley

About Peter Hurley:

Peter Hurley is a portrait photographer based out of New York City who is committed to giving out information on how to make humans look better in front of cameras! Learn the secrets to better headshots at

Images and video via B&H Photo Video