As an actor, your headshots are one of your most important marketing tools. This is true whether you are submitting your 8×10, a digital headshot, for your personal website, and even for making sure you social media branding is firing at 100%. You are your brand. Whatever images you choose to show casting directors, or to represent your personal/digital branding is important. During our session, I will coach you the entire time to draw out honest reactions from you. We will work together to make images that grab people’s attention at a glance.
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Plan on your acting headshot session to be up to 2 hours. This includes clothing changes, makeup, or any other grooming time needed throughout the session. When you get to the studio we will take some time to look at the clothing that you bring. We will pull together a couple looks, normally 2 to 4, and put together a plan for what order we will shoot. If you have specific requests, now is the time to let us know. If you are working with my makeup artist, you will head over to the makeup chair and get ready.
Once we start shooting, I will be working with you the entire time to make captivating images that showcase your range and will be usable for the type of roles that you are working for. I do shoot with my camera connected to my computer. This enables us to see the images as we go. We will take time during the shoot to look at the images so that we know what is working and what is not during the session. This allows us to fine-tune your images. It is your responsibility to let me know, during these reviews, if there is anything you feel needs improvement. It is normally fairly easy to make adjustments, but once the session is over it is your responsibility to work with the images that we have created. I shoot my headshot sessions horizontally. If you need a vertical shot, please let me know and I will be happy to frame a couple up for you. My headshot sessions are shot on a solid white, gray, or black background.
Because we take the time to review your images during your session, I do have a no re-shoot policy. I do feel that I have a good eye and my work is well known in this region. However, I cannot control how others (agents, spouses, friends, etc) will react to your images once you leave my studio. If after the session, you have doubts about your images, you may book a new session with the returning client discount (described below). Hair and Makeup artist rates will still be at normal session price.
For you acting headshot session, I want you to bring 7 to 10 outfit choices with you. Most likely, we will shoot 2 to 4 of them, but it’s good to have options here. Make sure you love the clothes you bring. If you don’t love it or are not comfortable in it, don’t bring it. That also does not mean bring 7 of the same style shirt in different colors. Think about range in your outfits and how you carry yourself in different clothing. For example, I know I feel very different when I wear jeans and a t-shirt and when I wear a suit. Both looks are very much me, but they have a different effect on my “vibe”. I crop in very close to head and shoulders, so you don’t really need to worry about lower body changes unless it affects your attitude (sometimes a great pair of shoes changes everything).
You will want to avoid busy patterns and logos, or anything that has a poofy front or sleeves. These things can be distracting in a headshot. Don’t worry about being seasonal. T-shirts and tank tops can be great. I do love layers and textures, so light jackets and sweaters can be great. While we don’t need to be in costume, do think about the roles that you may want. We probably want to get girl/guy next door, something you might wear to a job interview, and something with attitude.
There is not really a good or bad color. If you love it, bring it. I would rather us have too many options here and not need them, than not have enough, or have you go “Oh man, I wish I brought that one jacket.”
If you are worried that your wardrobe is a little lacking for your headshots, have some fun, go shopping. If you don’t think you want to keep the pieces after the session, we don’t have to take the tags off so you can return them (of the store allows it. Always check the return policy first).
We will not want any jewelry in your headshots. Things like earrings and necklaces tend to pull the eye away from your face which is the last thing we want.
Women, I do not require you to work with my makeup artist, but I do highly encourage it. We work together on a regular basis, and the makeup is applied to work with the lighting that I use. She is there with us the entire session and knows what works well for camera. She is able to help us make small adjustments as we go to help add a little more versatility to your session.
If you have any makeup allergies, please let us know before your session. If you have makeup sensitivities, we may also request that you bring any makeup that you already have that you know will be safe for you.
Please come to your session with a clean face and no makeup. If you have a skincare routine with creams and oils it is still perfectly okay to follow exactly as you do daily.
Pro tip: Sometimes it’s extremely hard to get that excess mascara off, especially if it is a long wearing formula. Take a q tip, any tissue, or even your fingers and use coconut oil across your lashes. Wipe away gently while the oil dissolves the solution in the mascara. A little bit goes a long way with this method.
We like to start with a very clean/natural look, then add a little makeup about midway through the session if you’d like (maybe a little eyeliner, a touch darker lip, normally in the pinks, and maybe a light eye shadow if needed). If you’d like to start a little more than natural, that is fine too, just let us know. Ultimately, we want to keep your look simple so that casting directors can envision you in multiple rolls, and so you can easily recreate the look when you go on auditions.
If there is a specific foundation, mascara, hairspray, or any other product you have an absolute love for please bring that item. The makeup artist no problem with using a favorite product or shade that you have come to know was made for you.
If you have sensitive skin and require a special foundation please bring that with you the day of the shoot.
You should come to the studio with your hair styled as you would on a good hair day. Hairstyles are extremely personal, and you will know how you like to wear it, and how to most easily replicate the look when you are going on auditions. If you want a style change through the session, for example, your hair is curly and you want it straight, one of my makeup artists can help you with that. Please let us know before your session if this will be the case so we can plan accordingly. If you have long hair, I do encourage you to bring a ponytail holder. That can be a good look for your portfolio.
99.8% of the time, I do not want makeup on men. You may want to use a little dab of moisturizer (if your skin is not oily) and a little clear lip balm, and that is it.
If you have or can grow facial hair, feel free to come in with what you have. If you then want a clean shaven look, bring your shaving supplies and you can shave at some point during the session.
After your session, I often go through the entire session one more time, with a fresh set of eyes, to make sure that I didn’t miss a great image that you should look at, or that any that maybe shouldn’t be in the final mix didn’t slip past us in our excitement. After I know your gallery is full of the best options, I will upload them to a password protected proofing gallery. You are welcome to share that link and password with friends, family, agents etc. I do ask that you do not screen grab and post unedited images on social media.
You can take your time choosing which images you would like retouched and digitally delivered. Each image you choose is $35 per image. I do not release unedited images.
I do not go crazy on retouching. I want the image of you to look like you when you go into auditions or to meet with casting professionals. My retouching consists of minor blemish removal, color correction, exposure correction. If advanced retouching is required, additional fees may apply.
About a week before your session, start drinking lots of water, and try to avoid anything that can dehydrate you. Well hydrated skin looks great on camera. It has a nice, healthy glow.
The night before, get a good night’s sleep.
Eat something before you come in.
Remember that you and I are a team in this process. We are going to work to get the best images we can of you. I will guide you the entire time, but you also have to be willing to let go and have some fun. Let me assure you, it is always strange to step in front of a camera, at first. That is true for most people. However, We will have a lot of fun in here, and get great images.
My headshot sessions for individuals is $300. This is due, in full before the session and acts as a non-refundable deposit to hold your date and time. I will send you an invoice that will be paid via PayPal for this session fee/deposit.
Makeup artist rate is $150 for the session and is paid directly to them via cash or check.
Basic retouching of selected images is $35 per image and normally takes between 2 and 3 weeks for digital delivery. If an image is needed more quickly, a rush fee of $35 per rushed image will apply.
You should update your headshots at a minimum of every 2 years. If you make any drastic change in your appearance, you may need to update sooner. I do offer a returning client discount for your session fee. Returning client rate is currently $250 (a $50 savings). If my prices change, the returning client rate will adjust. Please be sure to ask about current rates. The retouching and makeup artist fees are not discounted.
If after your session, you would like my opinion as to which images are most marketable, I will be happy to book an hour session with you to go through each shot with you. My post-session consultation is $100.
If you have any other questions, all of my email addresses and phone numbers can be found on my CONTACT PAGE.