Getting Ready for your headshot session
Before heading in to the studio think about all of the things that make up your personal brand and what you want others to take away from a glance at your profile page. Jot down some key words and phrases and bring them to your shoot. Think about what exemplifies your personal brand to you. Are you a chef? An educator? A writer? Are there props that could help tell your story? Bring them along!
We can take a couple different shots—in different outfits—so you’ll have a series to choose from. You may want to tailor your profile picture based on the social media platform you’re using. Remember to have fun! A relaxed, comfortable subject naturally exudes confidence.
Where does the shoot take place?
The majority of our sessions take place in our studio located in Phoenixville, PA. If your needs require something different, we are available to go on location for a small fee.
What do I wear for my session?
It’s important that your look matches the image you’re trying to convey. What you wear on a daily basis is a great place to start. Solid colors are always a good choice, as are tops with strong collars and necklines. Even though you’ll only be shot from the shoulders up, it’s important you’re pulled together from head to toe—you may want a shot or two that are pulled back a bit. Aim for clothes that complement your skin and eye tones and, overall, steer clear of very bold colors.
You should bring plenty of options to the shoot, we will go over it before hand but here are some pointers for you:
Always bring clothes that match your style and personality.
Avoid black clothes or white clothes, they tend to lose detail in some photographs.
Stay away from clothes with busy patterns. Solid colors are best.
Any color is great for tops, but remember that bright colors can draw away from your face so pick something muted that matches your eye color and skin tone.
Make sure any clothes that you bring are clean and neatly pressed. This goes double for collared shirts and suits. The camera picks up a lot more detail than you think.
Blue Jeans always look great on camera, unless they are dingy and torn. For headshots your lower half won’t make it in to most of the pictures, but don’t neglect to pick out some good pants for the shoot.
Make sure to dress comfortable but classy, v-neck and u-neck sweaters and shirts are great. For women tank-tops are always good, stay away from clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable, as well as baggy or loose-fitting clothes. Clothes that fit you well are best.
Collared button-down shirts are great, a solid color with a crisp-clean white shirt underneath for the men and a stylish solid color for women. All shirts need to be clean and pressed.
Be rested and drink plenty of water the day before your shoot, it is amazing for your skin.
Don’t drink alcohol the day before your shoot, as alcohol will dehydrate you.
What about hair and makeup?
Hair and makeup is not included in the session fee. Most of the time men can get by without using professional hair and makeup, but we recommend a powder or foundation to help even out skin tones and to keep the face from looking shiny. You can pick up a powder in your color at any department store, or a beauty supply store, such as Ulta, where you can get professional help picking the right color.
If you plan on getting your hair cut before your headshot, we suggest getting it cut at least a week prior to your session. That gives your hair a few days to settle in to its new length.
For women we always recommend professional makeup. A professional makeup artist knows how to make you look your best for the camera.
You can bring your own makeup artist to the shoot, or we can provide you with a list of local Hair and Makeup Artists.
Our studio is open for you to have your hair and makeup done before your session, just make sure to let us know when you schedule your appointment.
How long does it take to get my images?
Your gallery will be ready for viewing typically within three (3) business days. Once you make your selections, it is typically another two or three business days before your final, edited images are delivered to you. However, if you need your images faster or are on a deadline, please let us know when you schedule your shoot and we will do our best to accommodate your request.
How much retouching do you do?
Straight out of the camera your images will be almost ready to go. We use the right lighting and posing techniques to make you look your best. Before we deliver the images to you, we will, of course, delete any blurry images, or images where you may have blinked, etc. We will then color-correct and crop them.
You can order images to be digitally retouched as an add-on to your session. Each image you order is then given the highest level of attention to reduce and remove wrinkles and blemishes as well as stray hairs and dark circles. The key is to enhance the image without making you look fake.
Getting a facial several days to a week before the shoot can ensure that your skin will look its best. It is important for you to look natural, and too much retouching can make you look fake.
It’s my first time, what kind of acting headshots do I need?
As an actor, the type of shots you need is going to be determined by a few factors including your market (where you live and work), your type (what you look and act like), what you want to audition for and more. Here are a couple of things to consider.
- You should always consult your agent on what you need. They have experience in the industry and more importantly, they know what you need to book more jobs.
- If you don’t have an agent yet then by default you want to get a clean, simple, commercial headshot. Basically, a smiling, looking-at-the-camera head and shoulders image with minimal retouching to show potential agents and casting directors what you look like.
- Remember that the majority of casting for film and television, at least in the early stages, is done online. Casting directors look at an array of small thumbnails to determine the initial round of auditions so it’s important that your headshot is impactful and close up. A small thumbnail of your whole body from head to toe will make your face a lot less visible at that size.
- Don’t worry too much about specific character shots unless directed by your agent. Your two basic looks will be commercial (upbeat and happy) and theatrical (more dramatic).