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FAQ: Preparing For Your Session
Have a Goal
These are some questions to consider (and discuss with your representation, if you’re an actor) prior to your shoot:
- How many looks do you need? We must know this in advance so we can plan the timing of your session.
- If you’ve taken headshots before, what worked well in the past and what did not?
- Do you want studio light or natural light?
- For actors: If you have representation, we need to know their needs first and foremost. We cannot stress this enough: you must get as much input as possible from your representation prior to the shoot. A theatrical agent generally wants a VERY different headshot than a commercial agent, for example. Make sure you have discussed specific goals with each agent or manager, and be doubly sure to share them with us prior to your shoot date for best results.
- Example photos are very helpful if you can get them — please email these in advance (or bring to your session, if you can’t email them.) Again, we need to know exactly what your representation needs so we can make everyone happy.
How We Work
Depending on the number of looks you need, an actor’s headshot session generally lasts from 1 – 2 hours. Most business and professional sessions which include one look, take 30 - 45 minutes. That said, I never rush the process, and shoots are never scheduled one on top of the other.
Accordingly, set aside time in your day to devote full attention to your session. Book your appointment on a day when you can be 100% focused on the job at hand, if possible. Ideally you’ll avoid days when you have auditions or other important engagements so you can be “present” and focused on your headshots alone.
Get a full night of sleep beforehand and drink lots of water. It’s important to arrive well-rested, hydrated, and energized; I promise your session will be a fun way to spend your morning or afternoon!
What to Wear
Unless going for a very specific “look,” try to choose simple, comfortable clothing that will let you – and not your wardrobe – shine. If you’re uncertain about what to wear, bring a few options and we’ll help you choose what will read best on camera.
Steer clear of distracting patterns or prints and avoid logos if at all possible. A pop of color can be effective, however — choose the tones that best complement your hair color and eyes. If your clothing is sheer, make sure to bring proper undergarments (undershirts, camisoles, etc.) so you’re not flashing more skin than you expect. Also, if a garment needs to be ironed, please try to do that beforehand.
Actors: If we’re going for multiple looks, please bring a few wardrobe basics as well for backup options, like a simple T-shirt in blue, black, brown, grey or white.
For men, a classic crew-neck or V-neck T-shirt are strong choices, but make absolutely sure it fits properly or it won’t “read” very well on-camera. Ideally it should be neither skin-tight nor too baggy to show your frame; not stained or overly stretched out.
Women might want to bring a simple but flattering V-neck, jewel-neck or boat-neck sleeved top that shows your shape but isn’t too clingy. And be careful with plunging necklines unless you are going for an overtly sexy look! When in doubt, purchase a few simple tees just for your headshot session and save the receipt in case you don’t need them after all.
Comfortable shoes are a must, because we often walk to nearby locations. On the other hand, if you have specific shoes that will help you achieve a desired look, bring them too. They might not appear on camera, but they may help you get into character.
Makeup & Hair
We work with a few highly-trained and experienced makeup artists, and we’re glad to book one at your request for any session of 3 looks or more. In addition to makeup application, our MUA also provides some light hair and wardrobe styling. Hiring a makeup artist (MUA) is optional, but strongly encouraged for best results for women. Even some men may benefit from a MUA’s assistance if you have very specific styling needs.
If you feel very confident about applying your own makeup, you may come camera-ready. Just keep in mind that casting directors want to see you—not your makeup. Any makeup you apply should highlight your best features and camouflage imperfections while keeping your face fresh. When in doubt, be conservative: heavy undereye liner isn’t ideal, for example, as it makes eyes look smaller on camera, although you might want to bring the eyeliner to apply on the final look if you want to go out for very specific (dark/edgy/troubled) character types.
Many women start with the more commercial/natural/minimal looks and gradually build up to the more theatrical/sexy/dark looks, so bring favorite makeup and hair products to match the wardrobe you’ve chosen. (You’ll have space to lay out your items in the restroom.)
Still Have Questions?
We’re happy to answer them!