Headshot Frequently Asked Questions
Literally everyone. In today’s digital, online world, your headshot or profile photo represents you on Social Media, in your Email, on your Website, with job applications, in the Online Dating World… and as great as we all are at taking selfies, if you want to be taken seriously, you should have a professional headshot.
When your look has changed or your role or career has progressed you’ll need a new headshot. Or - once a year to stay current. Is one of your recognizable features your eyeglass frames? Did you lose or gain a significant amount of weight since your last photo? Have you changed your signature hairdo or hair colour? Have you visibly aged? Time for an update! Your headshot is your introduction and often your clients first impression. If you look substantially different from your headshot, you may immediately be off putting to an important decision maker. In the Online Dating world, when someone walks through the door looking vastly different from their profile picture, they call this “Catfishing.” Even though your direct appearance has little to do with the service you provide or your company, people view folks with a “catfish” headshot as untrustworthy. 60% of employers will check out your social media profile before calling you for an interview and may even print off your current avatar. Do you want to start off on the wrong foot before you even meet face to face? Maybe your branding or marketing style has changed or is in the process of being revamped. You’re going to want updated headshots to match your brand. If a significant period of time has passed since your last headshot and you have noticeably aged, you should have your headshot replaced. If your appearance has changed due to weight loss or gain, you should update your headshot.
The best place to start is solid, somewhat neutral colours. A little bit of trendiness can be good, but anything that makes too bold a statement will most likely be dated soon. Whites, greys, and blacks tend to photograph well. Consider your brand and audience before making a decision. It is generally better to be a bit overdressed than underdressed. We will be working with at least a few different looks, so bring 3-5 different tops. Make sure you are comfortable wearing them. If it is one you aren't crazy about, leave it home. Generally we will start with more casual looks and move towards the formal. If something is not coming across as well as we'd hoped, at least we'll have options to switch it up!
If your coworkers and clients are most familiar with you in glasses, yes. If you only sometimes wear glasses, we can shoot both ways and give you the option to choose.
I would love it if everyone came to me, but I know that styles and needs vary. You'll want to find someone whose work appeals to you the most while achieving your primary goal and that you feel comfortable working with. If my work fits your vision then I'd love to hear from you. At the end of the day I want you to be thrilled with your headshot regardless.
I think people are really interesting. Every one of us has our own story; our own journey; our own 'look.' We humans are expressive creatures. And most communication with us happens visually. I am interested in your expressions. All of what we say with our faces happens with our eyes and our mouths. If you don't have a compelling expression, no outdoor scene with flowers and a sunset, perfect makeup or unique clothing is going to make the shot. You aren't investing in a headshot so your clients can look at landscapes. The focus is always on expression. I will direct and guide you. Most of us walk around all day not giving a thought to what our faces are doing. The only times we really think about what our faces are up to is when we look in the mirror and when we stand in front of a camera. At least in the mirror you know what you are doing. In front of the camera, I am your mirror... because believe me - you may THINK you know what your face is doing, but you really don't have a clue. With my guidance, we will take command of your face. I believe in collaboration. The success of our shoot hinges on our collaboration. I mean, sure, I could have you come in, not really talk to you, pose you quickly and say "SMILE!" and get you out the door in ten minutes. But that will limit us to every other bad photo ever taken of you with that phony "cheese" smile. We're going to have a two way dialogue throughout the shoot that will open the door to the genuine you.
Yes. The camera is tethered to a computer throughout the session so you will be able to see what I see. Together we can make adjustments that compliment your friendly, competent, confident look.
Make sure to drink lots of water the day before and have a good night sleep to ensure you look refreshed. Men: Please do not get a haircut on the day of your shoot. Fresh haircuts are painfully obvious in photographs. Try to get your haircut up to five days ahead of your shoot to let the new do settle in a little bit. If you have facial hair, keep it tidy; if you are clean shaven, shave a few hours ahead of your shoot to allow your irritated skin time to heal. Do not wear any makeup or concealer. Temporary blemishes can be cleaned up in post production. Ladies: Style your hair or have it styled before your shoot. Bring extra product for your hair as flyaways tend to show up more under the studio lights. If you colour your hair, have it retouched as close to your shoot date as possible. Wear a bit more makeup than you usually would and make sure to bring your makeup with you.
Sessions are always booked in 90 minute slots to leave plenty of time if needed - so the short answer is - as much or as little time as it takes to get the shot you want. One of the biggest mistakes other photographers make is not letting people warm up in front of the camera or giving appropriate direction on how to look. That can, and most likely will, end you up with an apprehensive looking, phony smiling, generic yearbook style photo. And that's not what you're paying for. I will take as much time as you want, guide you with expressions and angles to get you at your most compelling, work through different outfits, hair issues, whatever. Long story short, I would prefer to give you a noteworthy headshot over one that looks rushed and cheap.
That's entirely up to you. If you're a man - no. I find men who wear makeup for a shoot just look like men wearing makeup - unless that's your thing and something you're known for. A high quality camera and lighting setup will expose every detail and imperfection, so even if you do your own makeup you most likely will not know how to complement this setup. The goal is to give a light and barely noticeable makeup look but with all the coverage needed to reduce spots and blemishes.
Yes. If your organization is looking to get the executive staff or even the entire company set with headshots, I have rates to accommodate. Please use the contact form for inquiries and include lots of details and I will reach out to you as quick as I can.
So long as you have the necessary space, I can definitely shoot at your site, whether for individual or larger groups. As it takes time to setup and breakdown my equipment, there is a small travel and setup fee associated.
Part of providing a great product for my clients includes a comfortable and welcoming environment in which we can get consistently good results no matter the date or time. Shooting out on some street or in a park offers very little of either. Then there is having to contend with weather and lighting that is constantly changing. All of those things take away from our focus on your appearance in front of the camera. Nearly all of my work is shot inside with studio lighting so that I can give you a consistent quality shoot any day, any time, rain, shine, or snow.
The best headshots have very little or nothing to do with the colour or type of background and everything to do with your face and the energy you're giving. White, grey, and black are very complementary to your face and do very little to distract from it.
Little to none is the short answer. It is best to keep jewelry to a minimum or have none at all. Earrings, if you must wear them, should be studs. Dangling earrings or hoops distract too much from any expressions, and we'll have worked hard for those expressions!