Peter Hurley: The Art Behind The Headshot DVD Pre-Order Begins Now

Update: The DVD is now Available for purchase here.
A few months ago Patrick and I flew up to NYC and filmed our first ever full length DVD (dual DVD actually) with Peter Hurley. The DVD is still being edited but we can finally see an end in sight.

Initially we didn't plan on having a pre-order but when Peter Hurley decided to start teaching workshops, we decided to create a special pre-order deal. When the dual DVD is released, it will cost $300. If you purchase it before October 1st, 2011, we will give you a $300 credit towards any of Peter's workshops (and this can be used at any time) so you are actually getting the DVD for free. Peter is also going to personally sign all of the pre-ordered DVDs. Patrick and I are working as fast as we can to edit this DVD while managing Fstoppers.com and also shooting a wedding every weekend. Things are busy but we hope to have this DVD released sometime this summer. Head over to Hurley's website to sign up for "The Headshot Intensive," his new 2 day workshop. There are currently 4 slots left for his first workshop on May 21-22.




Click here to pre-order the DVD today
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63 Comments
kombizz kashani's picture

how about their foreheads

M's picture

 This video was hilarious, but personally I think $300 is a little much for a dvd. 

I don't live in new york or la (pretty far from both).  So unfortunately I probably wouldn't even be able to make use of the workshops if I wanted to :(.

Maybe consider selling it for a bit less if you have enough orders? :D

Christopher-Kasey Breneman's picture

I really like his personality. Seems like a nice, relaxed, down to earth guy.

Its great to have a headshot-specific video. And seeing his previous videos it will certainly be worth the price.

tomas chrapciak's picture

How much will that workshop credit last? 2 years are ok?

Lee Morris's picture

at this point we are not putting any sort of expiration date on your credit. If you have the page that proves you preorded, Peter Hurley will give you that in a discount for any of his workshops at any time.

Yilkee Lam's picture

I want the dvd and i'd like to go to the workshop! Now all I have to do is find me a sponsor :p

Lee Morris's picture

I guess you guys don't seem to find this as funny as we did (as seeing from the star ratings). Lighten up people!

William Smith's picture

I guess it's one of those "you had to be there" moments. I got a laugh out of it but as an advertisement for a $300 DVD and a $1500 2-day class it doesn't do it for me. (Not to knock the price of either - one-on-one follow-on mentorship with Peter Hurley after the workshop is an awesome value added deal)

Lee Morris's picture

Ya, this isn't the "real" promo for either the DVD (we will release that once it actually launches), this was just supposed to be a funny insight into the character of Peter. I think everyone was expecting a DVD promo and got an outtake video and perhaps that was a bad call on our part for combining the two.

Golgo Thirteen's picture

LOL yeah what William said. I like Peter though. This dude seems mad cool. $300 dvd? Better have Sean Armeta doing retouching tutorials on it too. And if its talking about, "You look so hot and yeah that's a sexy face", you wont be selling this to schools or women with power issues.

Lee Morris's picture

Trust me, we know the price is high but we can justify it. I assumed this DVD was going to be all about headshots and after shooting for 3 days I was shocked at everything I had learned about photography in general. This DVD set is going to have way more than anyone currently thinks and we will do our best to prove it when we launch the real promo video.

I'lll save the outtakes for the end of the DVD :)

Ghislain Leduc's picture

Training is important, people spend way too much money on their gear instead of training. I think if someone who wants to shoot Headshot is better to spend 300$ instead of 1800$ for a 24-70mm f/2.8 because a lot can be done with just a simple 50mm f1/8.... I think this video is great but maybe you're right, maybe it should have talked about what's in the video but hey you can post several video here so who cares? Not a bad call at all. but I think a video or a post about what you can find on that DVD is important.

Lee Morris's picture

quite true. I just didn't want to start talking about all the nitty gritty stuff that is going to be in the DVD before we totally finished editing it. Those details will be released soon!

Golgo Thirteen's picture

I want this dvd to show me how to get enough money to own a Hasselbad and not lease it for $400 a month. Im sure once you reach Hasselblad money your attitude towards photography changes. I be you walk around like, "Heo yeah I'm walking around with a $20,000 camera, even IF I suck, you won't think so because I walk with my chin up. "

People will be like, "why did you bring a camcorder", and you can be like, "this camera has 60 mega pixels and can see into the future of this shoot and trust me it will be awesome."

People say the camera doesn't make the photographer, well true but I bet it's a huge confidence booster knowing your are holding a car in your hands and the kit lens cost more than other peoples whole camera system.

Lee Morris's picture

Haha I think we should have named this DVD "my camera can see into the future"

Nick Shek's picture

that's a new fstoppers t-shirt right there.

Rex Larsen's picture

Good luck selling your $300 DVD

Patrick Hall's picture

Thanks Rex! I really think this might be one of the most educational DVDs out there for a photographer. I mean this isn't any ol photographer talking about how to be successful...it's the top headshot photographer in the country who shoots A level talent day in and day out. I've def paid more to hear less successful and inspiring photographers lecture about things that ultimately never changed the way I approached my work. Peter has probably changed the way I approach my work more than anyone I've ever worked with....and I'm not even a headshot photographer :)

Anonymous's picture

You guys steal everyone else's videos to feature on Fstoppers...and then you're going to charge $300 for your own producted video? Wow! Way not to suck guys!

Ghislain Leduc's picture

ToriGee, what are you talking about? Nothing gets steal here.. People wants to have their Behind the scene here. I asked mine to be published and it was. Lots of photographer has been found because of this site. What is being done here is the total opposite of stealing. It's one of the only community where everyone is willing toactually try to help each other..well I see of course there's exception... but Most of the people who post in here are here to help in anyway they can. Sure everybody like to be publish so that people gets to know them. Anyway, like everything else, if you don't like it, don't buy it or don't read it but please don't write things that are so negative to people who for more than a year has been helping the photography community.

Anonymous's picture

My apology...the fact that the DVD is autographed totally makes it worth $300.

Kim Long Vo's picture

Any estimate on when pre-order will close?

Sean Shimmel's picture

First, I always respect your thoughtful (and fun posts).

As for this $300 offering? Hmmmmm.... not so much.

Based purely on immediate intrigue, I'd have to choose one of Joe McNally or Joel Grimes' tutorial sets.

Again, I'm sure it is packed with value, but...

(cough) $300?

Bas ter Beek's picture

Not much of a promotional video. Doesn't make me want to buy it, sorry guys.

I think the initial thought people have in reference to the value varies depending on what type of photographer you are. Peter Hurley is a master in his field. Not just because his camera sees in the future either. There is a real ART behind doing head shots. Evoking expressions, and then fine tuning them vocally to the client is a talent in itself. Not to mention the fine details that go into a head shot. If you are a portrait photographer, a beauty photographer, or a fashion photographer, this should be a no-brainer. Consider it an investment toward furthering your general knowledge of the art. Consider it another tool to fine tune your arsenal of knowledge.

Anonymous's picture

You guys steal everyone else's videos to feature on Fstoppers...and then you're going to charge $300 for your own producted video? Wow! Way not to suck guys!

Patrick Hall's picture

I'm not sure I see your logic here Tori. We don't steal everyone else's videos, we promote them. Everyone we have featured on FS has put their video online publicly to be viewed and in many cases we have sent more viewers and brought more attention to that photographer than anyone else.

We also produce a TON for free content including a 10 min video on Peter Hurley himself. That video alone cost us a lot of money to fly to NYC, Film him all day, and edit it down for more than 40 hours. Imagine the amount of FREE time we have given away in making the Bon Jovi, iphone, pocket wizard, wakeboard, and other videos...and at the end of the day we encourage other sites to 'steal' our videos for free as well. That's how an open and sharing community should work.

In term's of the price of the DVD...$300 really isn't much money at all IMO. I think a lot of our readers probably don't even have a photosession that is below $300 for their clients and I'd be hard pressed to find a piece of gear in my bag that I use often that is worth less than $300. In the end you have to view this product as Continuing Education which in any field is expensive because it is an investment (flight, seminar, meal, hotel, etc, etc).

Peter put over 36 hours into this video just filming it and we are putting in 100s of hours in producing and editing the video. This is an entirely different beast of a DVD than anything I've ever seen. Peter is THE TOP guy in this field and he's showing you how he works with real paying clients. He is also telling you exactly how he markets his business. IMO that amount of knowledge from someone as successful as Peter is really invaluable if your goals are to make photography not only your living but also your retirement.

Ultimately, this DVD is not for 90% of our readers because 90% of our readers are probably DSLR enthusiasts and are not interested in making a full time career out of photography. It's also not for gear heads because they will never realize that education is the MOST important investment in this field. It's also not for those photographers who think they have it all figured out and business is booming. I'll be honest, Lee and I were both floored when we saw what Peter was able to do with people's faces that we joked it was like magic. I've learned so much from watching him, and I have no doubt that those skills will help me sell more clients and make the people in my photos look that much more amazing.

Sorry for the long reply to such a simple post. This might be the only time I get to sit down and respond to a lot of the comments all at once. We are always interested in everyone's thoughts

Anonymous's picture

300 bucks, and people cry about it, as would have been expected. What these people don't take in to account is that those 300 dollars may give you something that'll make YOU money in the end. Paying 300 bucks for a better insight and the possibility to step my game up and get more clients, while my competitor stays in the same mediocre shape (while I steal his clients)? It's a no brainer, people.

That being said, this, of course, pumps up the expectations of this DVD quite alot, so I expect the DVD to be as informative and thorough as needed for the 300 dollar price tag. But seeing the earlier video starring Peter Hurley this should be no problem. :)

Anonymous's picture

I think $300 price point is too steep.
I'll be honest, it will soon end up on torrents.
Here's an idea:
Remember what apple did with Snow Leopard update?
It was the first OS upgrade that a majority of people paid for, including me instead of torrenting.
Same with new Final cut, most people I know are ready to buy it at the new lower price point
& lastly apple TV. At the new $99 price point it's selling like hotcakes.
I believe if this DVD was priced lower you could make more money as you would have more volume.
Just my 2 cents

Anonymous's picture

You complainers really don't understand the value in this? Then stop bitching about it and move on. I think you're complaining cause you want to learn it so badly, but you don't want to have to pay for it. Get out of here then. I can also promise you that this DVD is worth way more then the price of admission. I'm in Peter's market and I'm not touching his share. I hope to be reaching that vloume at some point, but I'll be picking this up as an "investment" in my business. Damn you guys are whiners.

Judging from all the comments it seems like you guys are pricing yourself away from your target market. Producing a DVD is expensive. Hell, just duplication alone can be a crazy expense and it's tempting to try to recoup all that expense as quickly as possible. I think that at the $300 price point you will find you will sell less than half as many as you would at the $150 range. And at $300 the video better kick some serious ass for both content and production value. If it's a 2 camera shoot in a conference room or studio with no cut-aways and bad sound you might want to re-think things.

Ghislain Leduc's picture

I am so surprised to see people saying that 300$ is too high for a DVD. BUT often those same people upgrades from a D300 to a D300s even if they don't shoot any video, spend thousands of dollars on lenses/flashes that stays in the closet most of the time...

Golgo Thirteen's picture

I would seriously suggest renting the episodes of this dvd. I paid $15 for a 1hr retouching video from a master and they have tons of them. Pressing and shipping this dvd will add to that cost but allowing rental on the ipad and android tablets might prove to be better..........AND COOLER.

I'm sure there is great value in this dvd but with sites such as your very own, people don't see the need to pay $300 when they are already learning so much for free from Youtube and Fstoppers.com. Most people what to know light setups because there is no real HUGE technique in pushing the shutter button. Peter does well because of his personality and you can't teach that.

Rent this thing for $15 a pop and then do the same for Sean Armenta but charge $20 and I promise you will see tons of purchases.

Patrick Hall's picture

We are toying with this idea and we may offer this feature. The problem I see is this DVD might be the type that you want to watch over and over. 60% of what Peter is talking about and showing isn't something that you can just watch once and go "Oh, that's how he did it". Sure the lighting is easy and you probably don't need the DVD for that but how he can coach someone with an eye difference and a jacked up smile into getting an amazing headshot that makes the person look attractive is something people might want to watch over and over. It's the details that make this DVD so amazing.

Has Patrick or Lee ever put out a video with poor production quality? lol. As much info that gets doled out around this site... you can be sure that a DVD from fstoppers would be chock full of good stuff! I'm getting this video.

Golgo Thirteen's picture

Patrick honestly I would look into renting segments. People will want to see the next segment if you just end it with a click to see the next segment. This will also cut back on people pirating your dvd. Honestly if I'm on a flight, I would rent stuff like this. Peter is freakin' so cool and his head shots inspired mine. I looked at how he lit everything and reproduced my own version that is out the lens pretty much perfect like his.

I seriously would love to see a Peter channel and a Sean channel. People don't realize how legit these two guys are. Peter learned from Bruce Weber. Bruce Weber is the man behind all the Ralph Lauren work and the ground breaking Abercrombie & Fitch work. Sean is one of the main photographers for Wet Seal clothing. When ever I see a Peter or Sean post, I stop what I am doing and watch.

These two provide a wealth of knowledge and are more creditable than most anyone that gets posted here. They also are kind enough to tell their successful techniques.

People see $300 and they are like, dude that mad money and they think about all the tanks of gas they could be buying or Xbox 360 games they could be buying. I would just sell it by the section. Then if people want to watch that same section over again, they pay that price again. I watched the same $15 retouching segment on youtube 2 times in one week just to see one part again because it was so detailed.

I look forward to seeing what is going on.

I loved the Peter Hurley BTS video. $300 is steep for me but may not be for others for this new video. I hope it is successful. I know Patrick and Lee create good stuff.

Jon Miller's picture

$300 wouldn't have hurt in 2006, but in 2011 it does.

Also, consider how much more money $5 apps in the iPhone App Store make than most $500 (or even some $50,000) apps make from traditional models.

The value of the content may be superb. But the pricetag IS high. It's more than 3 years of NAPP or WPPI membership, for instance. I know I get a tremendous value out of that. It's in line with one year of pro-level PPA membership. Are you saying that the value here is right on with PPA membership? I know how much PPA does for me as a photographer.

I've certainly seen more expensive DVD sets available from photographers, but not many. And considering the value I got from the Strobist and McNally DVD sets at a fraction of this price (each) it's hard to imagine that this would be that much better. (But I'm happy to be proven wrong!!!)

But maybe I'm reading too much from your outtake/teaser video? Again, I have to compare with the killer promo Joe McNally did for his set (and actually every other set I've ever seen, even while still in production; what's up with that???).

Can't wait to see some samples of actual content. Three-and-a-half minutes of laughing about ponytails didn't really do it for me. :)

Patrick Hall's picture

I don't know what to say Jon.  I'm convinced that this DVD will help every photographer who makes a living with photography (and those who don't too).  I have no doubt that the information in this set will increase your sales, the quality of work you produce, and the praises of your clients who will ultimately gain you more jobs.  I've never paid for NAPP, WPPI, or PPA memberships (I do pay about $300 a year to WPJA, hard to tell if it's making me money) but I have to believe this disk will give you real skills to make even more money at your craft.  $300 in training from someone at the top of their field seems way more useful to me than the $300 I pay to WPJA for advertising but that is a decision each person needs to make for themselves.  I hope everyone is making more money in 2011 than 2006...seems the photography market is only growing and your business should be growing as well.

Jochen Nünning's picture

Is it possible to get discounts as a student?

Jochen Nünning's picture

Seriously! I'm really looking forward to an answer!

Patrick Hall's picture

 Hey Jochen, we are not currently offering a student discount on this disk yet.  

Peter Hurley's picture

Hey guys! Thanks for chiming in on all of this. I appreciate the feedback and am so glad I teamed up with Lee and Patrick to produce the dvd. My thought process when pricing everything out is based on what I believe the information could do for your business. If you aren't charging $300 for one of your sessions yet, then it might not be for you. That said if you want to get up to charging $300 per session then you shouldn't think twice about buying it.

I have no idea what stage of your photography career you are in, but if one of the best headshot photographers in the country put out a dvd when I started shooting I would've figured out how to come up with the cash to buy it in a heartbeat. At that time I was hungry and I was going to create a photography career for myself no matter what. There was no way I was going to go back into the bar and bartend until 4am in NYC like I had been doing for years. I was crashing in my brother's apt because I didn't have a job, had just picked up a camera and decided I had no choice but to make this work. I put my first set of lights on my credit card(Lumedynes) and began shooting in his 12 x 12 living room.

At the time the top headshot photographers in NY were charging $1000 for a headshot and I thought if I start really cheap I could raise my rates as I go. I began charging $25 per roll of film just to start shooting. No idea how to equate that to digital today, but it was a start. I remember how clueless I was and my headshots had plenty of issues in the beginning. If I had someone in front of my camera who was comfortable I could get a decent shot, but when someone was freaked out I had no idea what to tell them and my shots suffered for it. Unfortunately, about 8 out of 10 people I'd shoot would be horrible in front of the camera. This was probably the best training ground I could've had and since I was struggling I wracked my brain to figure out what to say to my clients to chill them out. I'd say 90% of them were just friends who wanted shots and they weren't paying much at all and they were still freaked out! I'm sure you deal with this on a daily basis and for me figuring this out went hand in hand with learning the technical side of it. I could go on and on, but the truth of it is that I was lucky enough to pick up a camera and ambitious enough to run with it. I look back now and at times am shocked that I pulled it off, but I know I'm not done and am continually honing my skill on a daily basis. I hope you are too.

For those that think this is utter crap, I know you are out there! Email me your best 10 headshots and we'll see where you are at in your career. I'll send you some tips to up your game and help you begin charging the proper rate for your work. The studio email is info@peterhurley.com.

I know you guys don't have a sense of what's on the dvd just yet. As you know Lee, Patrick and myself don't ever disappoint, so believe me I'm not putting something out there and backing it up with my reputation if I didn't believe this info can greatly advance your career. So if you think changing your career is worth $300 then pre-order this thing and send me your best 10 headshots. I'm fired up to get my PH2 team going and am looking for talent worldwide and am launching my revamped site soon. Would love to help take your career to the next level.

Best of luck to all of you with your shooting. My advice, just keep the shutter button firing as much as you can. I learned the most from having a human in front of my camera on a daily basis whether I was being paid or not. Just my 2¢. @peter_hurley:twitter

Richard Grebby's picture

what kind of option will there be for people not in the US who wouldnt be able to take advantage of the $300 off the workshop?

Lee Morris's picture

Peter plans to do workshops for years to come and he hopes to one day do them in other countries. If you are serious about spending the $1500 to go to one of his workshops, I'm sure one day you could put the credit to use.

If going to one of Peter's workshops is not a priority for you, then the preorder may not be worth it for you.

Lee Morris's picture

I've I am not going to respond to every troll individually but I will simply say this; If you think we are simply trying to sell at "DVD" for $300 then of course it isn't worth it to you, hell Avatar is only $20 on Bluray, go buy that instead.

This "DVD" is the medium that we can share the priceless information that Peter has learned over the last 10 years. If you think $300 is a lot to learn all of the secrets of the most successful headshot photographer ever, then guess what... this DVD isn't for you.

If you do shoot headshots for money and this DVD helps you book 1 extra job in the rest of your career then you have more than paid for it. This DVD was created 100% with professional photographers (not just headshot photographers) who want to step up their game (and profits). If you shoot for fun, of course this is not worth $300.

B Ford's picture

$300. Man thats steep...but you know what? I'm gettin this DVD!!

William Jason Wallis's picture

Sorry WHO is Peter Hurley?

Patrick Hall's picture

 He's the most successful and desired headshot photographer in New York City.  Most of his clients are aspiring or established actors and Broadway performers. 

The irony is that you guys yourself called Mark Wallace's DVD's price steep and yet you refer to people complaining about this DVD's price as trolls.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think either of the DVD's prices are steep, it's just that I find it laughable that you guys defend your own stuff so aggressively while
you do the same "trolling" on other people's work.

Nothing against Peter, I will get this for sure to gain insight on his techniques.

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