what clothing should I bring/wear for the photoshoot?
Bring 5-6 different tops/outfits with different necklines to give you some range in terms of mood/character e.g. a casual t-shirt, a v-neck jumper and a suit jacket all set different visual tones. Solid, block colours are usually best – the focus of a headshot should always be on your face so you don’t want any busy patterns or logos distracting the viewer. Most importantly, bring clothes that you love wearing! You won’t look relaxed and comfortable if you feel awkward in what you’re wearing – it will show in the headshot.
what should I do with my hair and makeup?
You should arrive wearing the kind of make-up you would normally wear to a casting. Generally I would recommend that you keep it clean and simple – natural is usually best! Remember to bring a hairbrush and your make-up with you in case you want to touch it up during the shoot. Although I sometimes do work with professional make-up artists, their services are not something I would recommend for headshots mainly because the photographs should mirror you as you will attend an audition. Most people wouldn’t pay for professional make-up each time they have a casting call!
I’m getting my hair cut/styled/dyed. How soon afterwards can I get new headshots?
I would normally suggest that any hair treatments are done at least a week before you have booked a session with me. Everyone’s hair reacts differently so it’s always best to let it settle properly before taking any headshots.
I don’t like having my photograph taken. What can you do?
Any photographer is going to struggle to take a good photograph of you if you don’t want to be in front of the camera, so try to take a little time before the session to relax and get yourself in the right frame of mind. Try not to worry – if you tell yourself that you might enjoy it, you probably will. If it’s any consolation, I don’t like having my photo taken either, so I’m very sympathetic and will always do my best to ensure the session is as relaxed and painless as possible!
should I bring my existing headshots to show you?
Sure, that can be a good idea, especially if you have photos which you think aren’t helping to get you work, or you’re not happy with them. We can review them before we start to ensure that we get more of the kind of images that you want.
can I bring a friend or partner to the headshot session?
Of course! Please ask them to bring a good book, as they will need to be able to sit quietly and not distract you while we’re working.
During the photoshoot
how long does the photoshoot take?
This varies depending on the package you book and ranges from 2 – 4 hours. I don’t usually book people back to back after each other – I think it’s important you don’t feel pressured by time.
can I see the photos as you take them?
Sure! I shoot everything digitally so you will be able to review the photos as we go along. I think it’s the best way to work – it means you can be sure that you’re getting exactly the kind of images that you want.
do you take the photos in colour or black and white?
Thanks to the latest digital technology I can photograph you in both formats and switch between the two during the session, although I will ultimately convert colour photos into black and white by hand as this generally produces better quality headshots.
do you shoot in daylight or in a studio?
I normally recommend we take photographs inside and outside to give you a mixture of both. Many agents prefer natural daylight shots so I try to provide that choice as long as there is enough natural light.
when do I pay you?
You can either pay the full amount at the time of your booking, or pay a £50 deposit and the rest at the end of the photoshoot. Please note that images from the session will not be released until the full payment has been received. If, for any reason, you are unable to pay the balance at the end of the photoshoot this may cause a delay in the delivery of your photos.
how do I pay you?
I can accept bank transfers, credit cards via PayPal as well as cheques and good old fashioned cash. Please see the booking information page for more details.
I can’t afford to pay your prices. Can you do me a cheap headshot or can I pay you in shirt buttons/chocolate/alcohol?
Although charity is a lovely idea, I still need to pay the rent and my landlord won’t accept any of the above – trust me, I’ve tried! If you are serious about your career as an actor or a performer, then I’d recommend you take up a paper round, babysit your sister’s kids, or do anything that will help you raise the cash. A good actors headshot costs money, and in a competitive industry, people are more likely to invest in someone who they can see is already investing in themselves. If you still want to find a “cheap” headshot photographer, I would recommend reading the Spotlight photograph guidelines first, as they give you more information about cheap, low quality images and how this can affect your chances of getting work.
After the photoshoot
when will I get my photos?
First, I will provide you with access to an online contact sheet within 24 hours of the session. You review the headshots and tell me which ones you would like me to retouch. A link to download the retouched headshots will then be emailed to you within 7 working days*. If you have chosen a package that includes prints, you also let me know which two you would like to receive and I will upload them to Visualeyes who will send the prints out to you directly.
*please note that the retouched images will not be released until full payment has been received. If your final payment is delayed for any reason or made by cheque which takes a few days to clear, delivery of your images will be delayed until your payment is cleared. If you need your headshots processed quickly, I recommend making your payment in cash or by immediate bank transfer so there are no delays.
do you give out unretouched images?
My goal when I work with you is to maintain the highest level of quality, so only you and I (and your agent) will see the unedited shots as they come directly out of the camera. Everyone else’s first impression will be based solely on a professionally retouched image. This approach ensures that your profile as an actor and my work as a photographer are both represented in the best way and that each image has as much impact as possible.
do you provide headshot prints?
Yes, depending on the package you choose, two 10×8 prints are included in either black and white or colour. I personally use Visualeyes for printing as they specialise in print runs of headshots for actors and performers. I will upload your two retouched images to them and they will post them to you directly.
can you make my skin look flawless, change the size of my ears, or give me a facelift?
Yes, in a word, but that won’t help you get an audition. On the computer I can do all kinds of whizzy and amazing things, but the single most important thing about an actors headshot is that it must look like you. The retouching work I do subtly enhances your features to create a more striking portrait, while ensuring that the characteristics which make up your visual identity aren’t compromised. This results in a great headshot which looks like you at your best and compares favourably to how you will look walking in the door at an audition or casting.