Here you can find the answers to many of the questions I am frequently asked. I'm hopeful that you will find this information helpful.
What exactly is a headshot?
Simply put, a headshot is a photograph of your head and face and not much else. Headshots are typically framed from the top of the shoulders up, although this can vary slightly for various reasons.
The purpose of a headshot is to provide a face to tie in to other information, such as when used on a business card. The information listed on the card says who you are and what you do, and your headshot photo puts a face to this information. Another example would be for an actor or model. Here the headshot is essential as it's nearly impossible to get any work without one, since all the casting director would then have would be your name and bio. Chances of getting called without a headshot - not good.
A headshot typically doesn't display much information about your personality. I say typically because under the right circumstances it can. Most headshots, at least those done for business purposes, feature a more somber tone in expression. If you really want to smile big and show a little more personality, then you might want to think about getting a business portrait, instead of a headshot.
As a general rule you will want two different headshot photos, with one of them having a white or neutral gray background. This is important since a white or neutral background is usually the best photo for use on your business cards or social media sites.
So, take me through a typical headshot session...
I arrive about 30 minutes before your scheduled session start time. I use this time to setup my equipment and tune in the various camera and light settings. When your session time starts I'll ask you to sit or stand in front of a background, typically white or grey unless you request a different color. I'll take a few test shots just to hone things in a little bit more to be sure we get the look we want. Then I'll take a few shots. This will be your headshot on a neutral background photo. Getting this photo takes about 50% of the total time for the session, or about 15 minutes.
Next I'll remove the background and ask you to sit or stand in front of some other area of the room or possibly outdoors. Indoors this could be an ornate wall, a doorway, at a table, in front of a window, or just about anywhere to give a different look for this photo. Outdoors a brick or stucco wall or a wood fence make great backgrounds. Like before I will take a number of photos of you in this area. This will be your second headshot photo.
The entire shooting part of the session lasts approximately 30 minutes. To get the two good photos that will be delivered to you I may very well take from 20 to 100 photos, possibly more, during the session!
After the second photo I will pack up my equipment, which takes another 30 minutes or so, and then leave. So the total time you need to allow for is approximately 90 minutes. 30 minutes to set up, 30 minutes for the actual shoot, and 30 minutes to take down.
After that the processing of the photos will take anywhere from 3 to 7 days depending on my shoot schedule. Once the photos are processed you will receive an email where you can login and look at your proofs. When you are satisfied with your proofs, you make your final payment through the website and you can instantly download your finalized headshot photos.
If you would like prints of your photos in addition to the digital files you can download right away just contact me.
Basic or Business Portrait
A business portrait is very much like a headshot with two main differences. The first of these differences is that portraits are typically taken with you in a standing position, while a headshot can be sitting or standing. The second difference is that a portrait photo includes the majority of your body, often your entire body, so keep that in mind when choosing your wardrobe for a portrait shoot.
Roughly speaking, almost any photo of a person, with the exception of a deliberate headshot photo, can be considered a portrait. A portrait can be composed of your head and upper torso or from head to toe. A portrait photo can be happy or sad, angry or joyful. A portrait can be of you standing alone in the grass, or it could be of you enjoying your favorite sport or hobby. In short a portrait photo can be made to tell a story. And it is up to you to decide what it is you want to say in that story.
A typical business portrait is shot much the same way as a headshot. The first photo is taken in front of a neutral background and the second in front of some sort of a stylized background. This type of portrait is common for use on websites of all types - everything from real estate agents to bakers, lawyers to mechanics.
Actor and model portraits tend to be a little more exuberant and dramatic, as do the location settings for these types of photos. For this reason I highly suggest that if you are an actor or model you choose the Deluxe Portrait package, as that package will provide the necessary time needed for various wardrobe changes and even location changes so that you can be sure to get the shots you want.
The Basic Business Portrait session lasts for 30 minutes, with 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after needed for setup and takedown of the equipment. So plan for me to be onsite roughly 90 minutes total.
Once the shoot is complete you will receive an email in 3 to 7 days with a link to login and check your proofs. Upon your approval of the proofs you simply pay any balance due and you can immediately download your finished images.
If you would like printed images in addition to the digital images you can immediately download, just contact me.