Headshot sessions have been off the hook lately…back to doing my favorite kind of work. Some are actors, some models, some business portraits and I love all these sessions.
If you are planning to update your headshots, be sure to think about what types of roles you are most likely to book. It’s important to get a simple, polished photo that just shows YOU, but you also should think about varying your other looks to better represent your “type.”
When it comes to wardrobe, I can’t stress this enough…bring choices! That doesn’t mean three or four t-shirts in different colors. Think layers, colors, different necklines keeping in mind the different looks you want to portray.
These are from a recent headshot session and I thought she did a fantastic job choosing her types and had plenty of clothing to suit each look.
There are a lot of reasons one photographer might charge more than another….
TIME: I don’t have time limits to my sessions…I hate feeling rushed and I certainly don’t want my subject to feel rushed. So be careful of that cheap “one hour” session price some people may offer. I am also happy to spend the time needed before your shoot to send you suggestions for wardrobe, show you sample shots to help you prepare and answer any & all questions you may have.
EXPERIENCE: I have been shooting for most casting agencies and managers in the Baltimore/Washington/PA area for over 20 years. I am on the suggested photographers list provided by AFTRA/SAG. This experience has taught me that the best acting headshots are not necessarily the prettiest picture of you. They are a tool to show your personality and should represent the real you. Not the “Instagram filters, overly retouched…let’s make my eyes bigger and my nose smaller with these apps version of you.” Embrace what makes you different and show your quirks.
Why hire an experienced professional? Because the cheapest photographer is probably just starting out, putting together a portfolio, or is doing photography part time to supplement another income. WHILE THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT– all of us started somewhere — his or her rookie status probably means the $75.00 photographer hasn’t a clue about industry standards for headshots, won’t know proper lighting or retouching and contrary to popular belief, you can’t learn all that by watching a few YouTube videos.
On the other hand, just because a photographer is the most expensive, doesn’t mean they are the best either.
For a brief period, I stopped shooting and became a director for a casting/modeling agency. It was short lived, but I learned a lot about why some casting people choose one person over another. Since the headshot is the first step in getting that coveted role, some people thought if they traveled to New York and hired a photographer, they would get a significantly better headshot than if they used someone locally. So the logic was “if I pay more, it must be better…right?!” “If I pay to have someone in NY do my headshots, I am more likely to get that audition…right?!”
Let me explain why this is flawed thinking on so many levels. First, just because someone lives in New York or LA, that doesn’t make them a better photographer…it just means they pay way more studio rent than I do. Photographers in larger markets have to charge more to survive. Paying more doesn’t always get you a better product. Do I believe you should pay for a great product…absolutely! There are some really talented photographers in the Baltimore area, each with a slightly different style and personality.
“SO YET ANOTHER REASON to invest in your headshots– because it means you’re invested in your craft, which in turn means you’ll be taken more seriously.”
APPARENTLY, IF YOUR HEADSHOT DOESN’T LOOK PROFESSIONAL, the experience from the casting side is that if they call you in, you’ll likely be green (inexperienced), thus deterring them from calling you in at all.
This is a quote by one of LA’s top headshot photographers, Vanie Poyey, and I couldn’t agree more. Even if you are just getting started, if you want to present yourself as an actor worth hiring, you should approach all aspects of the business as a professional.
This shoot for Jadyn Mikay was particularly fun since her manager requested character headshots along with a traditional headshot. I loved creating her “prep school” look and her “edgy, tough girl” headshot! Thank you to Jill from No Filter Glam for the lovely makeup.
The rest of the photos are from recent shoots as well.
Almost everyone needs a good photo these day. I shoot for corporations, small businesses and individuals to give them high quality images to use in marketing materials, on social media or business websites. These can be done at my studio or on location. Email me and we can discuss a custom session for you or your business.
It’s been a busy few months with actors returning for their 2nd or 3rd session with me over the years. The greatest compliment is when they are happy enough to come back for more.
I was lucky enough to work with the beautiful Lexi. She is planning on starting her modeling career this Summer and I photographed her first set of images to send to the agencies. We kept it simple and fun. Makeup and hair by Lisa Jones- Butz.
With a long lens and my mask on, I recently had a studio headshot session for actor John Wontrop. He tends to do a lot of “bad guy” roles and wanted a few shots that were more serious and expressive. So we set about to give him a mix of friendly commercial images as well as a character “tough guy.”
“I am letting you know that I have received all five sets of photos you sent. They look absolutely fantastic. I am 110% satisfied with the final results. Thank you for all of your work and providing an easy and hassle free process (global pandemics aside…). You will definitely be getting an email from me the next time I need headshots.” John Wontrop
Commercial photography for website and personal branding use.
A lot of my shoots are done for commercial use, creating images that help sell a client’s service or product through their websites and social media marketing platforms. Whether you are building your own site or working with a PR firm/advertising agency, it’s important to have unique, high quality images and if at all possible, avoid using bland stock photos. Contact me if you need marketing images for your product or service. Studio or location.
Since everyone needs a headshot these days for websites and social media marketing I have been doing a lot more personal branding images. Some clients want a clean, simple image done in the studio and others want to shoot at their place of business. Either way works! These sessions can be as small and simple as you would like, or they can include lots of clothing/location options for a full shoot with lots of choices.