HEADSHOT TIPS & FAQ'S
Welcome! My aim isn't just to capture a striking photograph, but a tangible representation of you - so let’s talk. What are your goals? What are you passionate about? What do you want your headshots to say? Let’s take a look at your outfits and create a game plan.
I’ll share my favorite tricks to guide your poses and expressions, while using lighting styles customized to you and your personality, highlighting your best features. Pick your favorite playlist (or one of mine), then it's lights - camera - action!
As you pack up, I’ll begin the upload process (you’re welcome to take a peek - if you’d like). Your online proofing gallery becomes available most times, the same day, so you can start making your retouching selections at your own pace.
HEADSHOT SESSION GUIDE
- I will shoot only from the chest up so there’s no need to wear nice pants and shoes. Jeans, leggings, sweat pants, with flip flops are perfectly okay!
- Try to avoid just black and white options, as well as patterns that can be distracting. Instead, choose colors that compliment your skin tone. Earthy tones, dark reds, blues and greens really pop. No bulky, faded, torn, raggedy, baggy tops, or puffy sleeves. No tops with high necks that will distract from what’s most important, your face! Ladies, no strapless tops. On close in shots you will just look like you are naked. If you are doing a shoot to expand your acting portfolio consider what your ideal character would wear and choose outfits that the type of character you want to be cast in would wear.
- Bring a leather jacket for an edgy look or a jean jacket, a nice hoodie or even a flannel to throw on over a top to change things up. It makes for a quick option that you can throw on over one of your existing tops.
- In the instance we’re shooting outdoors, if you bring multiple tops, please understand there may not be a place to go hide and change. You may have to get in your car to change. So wear an undershirt or a tank underneath and wear tops that you can get easily in and out of. If we’re shooting in my studio, I have a changing room that you can use to change in and out of your tops.
- Pet owners. Make sure you bring a lint roller! That stack of outfits you pulled off your bed before you arrived for your headshots probably has dog or cat hair all over them. The camera will capture those hairs in the images!
- Jewelry. The saying, “Less is more” applies here. I know some of you are partial to that nose ring or stud and those dangly earrings. Even necklaces. Let’s leave those at home please. Ladies, some conservative studs in your ears are fine. The focus for your headshot should be on you and your beautiful face, not on your jewelry.
- People get nervous at the thought of standing in front of a camera. These nerves sometimes also get the best of us the night before your shoot but getting enough sleep is essential. Try to have everything set out and ready to go the night before and get to bed a little earlier than you typically would. Not only does this ensure you have the energy to perform your best in front of the camera, it is also great for your skin. Lacking sleep will leave you with bags under your eyes and your skin looking puffy and irritated. So be sure to get plenty of sleep before your shoot.
3. Hydrate your skin
- Keeping your skin hydrated will also keep it looking its best for the day of your shoot. When you don’t drink enough water your skin will look dry, dull, red and puffy. Leading up to your shoot you want to drink at least six to eight glasses of water each day to ensure your skin is well hydrated.
- If you are planning on having your haircut or a facial, schedule these appointments a few days prior to your shoot. While you want your hair to look flawless you want to avoid the just freshly cut look. If you are getting a facial or having the eyebrows done, you want your skin to have time to recover and reduce the risk of your skin looking red or irritated. Men should shave early enough before the shoot to avoid any skin irritation that shaving can cause. One last note for the men, a few days before your shoot, make sure you start using a lip moisturizer. Nothing looks worse than chapped/peeling lips on a close-in headshot!
- HAIR STYLES - This is where a little prior planning can go a long way. Not only with the different tops do we get different looks, but with your hairstyle as well. What are some things you can do with your hair to get different looks? Guys and ladies can pull longer hair back into a pony tail. Some well placed bobby pins can change things up. If you have shorter hair, we can get it wet and add a little product and slick it back. Be creative with your hair to achieve different looks!
- BANGS - Ladies, I know there’s a temptation from time to time to give your bangs a self-trim right before the shoot. Please promise me you won’t do this? I’ve had ladies that came in for shoots, crooked bangs and all because they didn’t leave that to their hairdresser. Also, with the bangs, make sure they’re not so long that they cover your eyes. We want the person viewing your headshot to be able to see your beautiful eyes!
- FAKE EYELASHES - If you feel that they are necessary, that’s okay. But PLEASE, wear natural looking eyelashes. For these headshots, I need to be able to see your bright beautiful eyes. Overly large fake eyelashes will do nothing but hide your eyes.
5. Hire a professional
- For the ladies, while you can do your hair and makeup yourself to save some extra money it is always a good idea to leave these tasks to a professional. A professional hair and makeup artist will not only allow you to achieve the look you are going for they can also give you a confidence boost and assure you that you look your absolute best. For the day of the shoot, bring a friend, spouse or a parent that will have at the ready, hair product, lip stick, eye liner, etc. This way you have someone there that will be able to catch the little details of your appearance that need a quick fix. If possible, do a trial run of your hair and makeup before the shoot so you and your stylist know what to expect and accomplish.
8. Trust your photographer
- While there is plenty that you can do to prepare for your photoshoot the most important thing to remember is to trust your photographer. While you may have a clear idea about the poses and look you want to accomplish with your images, your photographer has the experience, knowledge, and professionalism to know what makes you look best. You will know how you should be positioned so you are perfectly lit and how to create the mood so your personality really shines through in the images as well as being able to perfectly capture the types of characters you want to portray. When it comes to your headshot, it is important to always keep in mind that these photos are everything. These are part of your first impressions at that casting table, and how people will likely see you for the first time. So you want to make sure that your photos are the best representation of you. Taking these important steps into consideration will most certainly help in rendering the best outcome.
How many photos do you shoot, how do you deliver them, and how long does it take?
Because each session is customized to the individual, every shoot is a little different. Some folks need a little longer to warm up, and some start nailing their shots right out of the gate. On average, we’ll end up with around 175-200 photos for smaller packages, and upwards of 600 for larger.
Most often, the same day of your session, I upload your images to a catalog and back them up. Typically within a few hours, I’ll have your low-resolution, web-sized proofs available for you via my viewing gallery in Pixieset. Generally, once you’ve made your selections, you can expect a 3-7 day turnaround or sooner. For larger batches of photos, more time may be necessary. Final images will be delivered digitally via my online gallery in Pixieset.
How many outfits should I bring?
I don’t set a limit on outfits. As soon as you arrive, we’ll take a look at your what you’ve brought, discuss your goals, and create a game plan. The length of session you book and how efficient we are will also dictate how many outfits make it on camera.
Can I shoot full-lengths during my headshot session?
I do not include full-lengths because I put very special care into lighting your headshots in my own signature style, and that studio lighting configuration simply doesn't translate well into full-length photos. Let's talk about what you need and figure out what option is best for you!
How much makeup should I wear?
If you decide to do your own makeup, you should keep it as natural as you would daily or at auditions. It’s absolutely critical to look like yourself and to be immediately recognizable by your photo. The camera also picks up far more detail than you may expect, so don’t layer on any heavy makeup.
What is included in your retouching?
When it comes to retouching, a little bit goes a long way. It’s important to keep things looking natural and real. In addition to color and exposure corrections and enhancements, my process includes removing major blemishes, softening lines and under-eyes, and cleaning up fly-aways. I only remove scars, freckles, and beauty marks by request.
Can I retouch my own photos?
The short answer: I'd prefer you didn't.
The long answer: An artists' work is theirs from start to finish, so this is something that can be discussed if the need arises. My retouching rates are incredibly fair to ensure the opportunity to give you finished work that I'm proud to have my name on.
Where are you located, and what if I’m running early or late?
I’m located in beautiful old town Moorpark. An exact address will be provided in your confirmation email. Shoot me a text if you expect an early or late arrival. If I'm not quite ready for you if you're early, there’s a Starbuck's fairly close by where you can cozy up to a latte and a snack.
Do you offer combo headshot/dance/lifestyle/fashion shoots?
I certainly do! I want you to get as much out of your session as possible. If you want to show off your dance moves, your fitness strengths, or lifestyle & personal branding, then let’s do it! Let me know what you have in mind, and we’ll create a custom package to get exactly what you need!
I need a photo for my company website/LinkedIn/Tinder/Etc - Can you help?
If you need a photo of your face for whatever purpose - your next book, your next job, or your next date - I’ve got you. Don’t be afraid to share your unique requests with me.
Can I change up my facial hair during the session?
Maybe. Are you shaving off a ZZ Top beard or just a shave with an electric razor? Let me know what you're thinking and we can see if I can accomodate.
I hate being photographed, but I need new photos. What do you do for people like me?
I feel you. There’s a reason I stay on my side of the camera. Because I empathize, I’m pretty good at making people feel at-ease and relaxed. It’s important to keep the conversation flowing, and I take a genuine interest in who you are. You’ve got this!
Can I bring a friend/colleague/relative?
This is an important question. I have no problem with you bringing anyone of benefit to your session. That being said, sometimes we have a hard time loosening up or getting into character around people who know us best. Your comfort is my absolute priority, but so is the quality of your session.
How should I share on social media?
Since most of my clients come from referrals, I love it when you share your photos on your various pages. I respectfully ask for proper credit/tags, and a link to my website when possible. If you’re not sure, just ask!
Can you bring the session to me?
Absolutely! While I generally prefer to shoot in my own space for consistency’s sake, I do try to be pretty mobile. I’m happy to discuss your needs, so reach out!
Do you offer group rates?
You bet! They're a structured a little differently than my usual packages, so contact me and I’ll explain how it all works.