Photo-shoot & Session Questions

Answers to the most common questions about the photo-shoot

I’ve been looking at alot og actor’s headshots before I have my first set done. I see some with hands in them but mostly without. I was wondering if you think that having my head resting on my hand would help me to be taken as a serious actor?

In my opinion every actor is a serious actor or should be serious about their career. However I assume that you mean ‘will casting directors see you as performer of serious drama as opposed to l ight entertaiment or comedy”I have to say an unequivocal no, in my opinion you should never have your hands in your actors headshot because of it’s very nature it is a headshot – not a head and hand shot. I think hands can be a complete distraction to the viewer and ccould also appear to be covering something up on your face. Maybe a scar or a mole etc.Remember the golden rule of a headshot is clean and simple, make sure your face is the focus and there are no distractions.

Hi Nick, I was wondering what the best things are to wear for my session with you, and should I bring with me several different colours and patterns?

I always suggest that everyone brings several tops with them, at least 2 or 3. It’s best to stay away from strong patterns and bold stripes as these can easily overpower the shot and take the focus away from your face and down towards what you are wearing. You can usually get away with subtle patterns but to be on the safe side I’d like to look at it first and than make a judgement. It’s also a good idea to stay away from big bold jewellery too as these can sometimes draw the eye away. If in doubt, bring it along and we’ll decide on the day.

What should an actor look for in a headshot photographer?

There are three elements to a great headshot; First of all a true likeness, there is no point in using a headshot that doesn’t look like you or a headshot from several years ago. We are starting to see some photographers over-retouching, such as removing skin texture or eye contours, adding hair etc. This almost never looks natural. With some actors there can also be an tendency to use a headshot from several years ago – remember the casting director wants to see the person in the photograph not their younger sibling. Secondly, the actor must have a connection with the viewer of the photo, by this I mean the eyes of the actor should be focused in the right place so that when viewed, it feels as though the actor is looking at you. Many actors’ headshots have dead-fish or flat eyes staring off into an unknown point. Thirdly and crucially, if you want your headshot to have the ‘wow factor’ you need personality. This is often the most difficult aspect to catch, but it is the thing that makes the difference.

Is there anything I should do to prepare for the session?

When preparing for your headshot session be professional about it. Get plenty of sleep to help look your best, drink lots of water to hydrate the skin, allow plenty of time to find the studio and take a few minutes to plan what you are going to wear.

Colour or Black & White?

Colour headshots are a must these days, although occasionally I’ll be asked for a black & white headshot – which is no problem. I shoot in colour but I can convert a digital colour headshot to back & white on the computer should an actor require one for a specific casting or programme.

Make-up or no make-up?

My advice to women is use your general everyday make-up, don’t employ a make-up artist or a hair stylist – you need to look yourself. If only because your agent might send you a last minute casting call, with no time to apply professional hair & make-up. This goes back to point number one, your headshot must look like you. and for guys I generally say no to make-up but there are occasions when a little powder can reduce the shine on a man’s skin. It’s my job to remove blemishes and stray hairs etc.

What are the pros and cons of sharing a session with another actor?

Sharing a session can be quite tricky and generally don’t advise it as it can put undue pressure on each actor to ‘get the shot’ in limited time. It takes time to build a relationship between the actor and the photographer: my headshot are not mechanical but interactive – this is how we capture ‘the wow factor’ .

What should I wear (men and women)?

The focus of your headshot should always be your face. Plain tops are best and you can’t go wrong with either black or white as they create good contrast to the overall image. The idea is not to wear anything that takes the eye of the viewer away from your face. Going completely against all of my previous advice I take what I call my ‘Hollywood Shot’ where I encourage actors to wear their favourite top whatever the colour or pattern. This allows the actors personality to jump out and these images go down really well with casting directors.

Any other tips?

Chat with your photographer over the phone before your session. This helps break the ice, gives you the chance to ask any questions you might have, gives you both a chance to voice any opinions about the direction or specific needs of the session.

How do I know if it’s a really good photo?

A great headshot is defined by a combination of factors some from the actor and other from the photographer. Personality, character, emotion and posture from the actor, while technical aspects such as lighting, composition, and positioning from the photographer. Most important it is the connection between the actor and photographer.

Ready to have Nick take your photo?

Technical & Sales Questions

Answers to the most common technical, pre and post sales questions

Must I make an appointment?

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Who exactly takes the photos?

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Do you give advice on what to do?

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What are the payment options?

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Do you have a studio near me?

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Do you provide placements, recommendations or marketing?

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Reasons to work with Nick

✓ Nick has over 25 years of experience

✓ 1000s of happy clients can’t be wrong

✓ You WILL get great value for your money

✓ Your satisfaction is guaranteed

Nick has been providing actor headshot photography in London for over 25 years now, and has taken upwards of 20,000 headshots for actors, presenters, performers and business people. If you’re looking for a headshot photographer that can produce a great photo that brings out the best in you, whilst providing a service that is both enjoyable and relaxed, then Nick is the man for the job.

To speak to someone right now, call the number below:

0800 0029 087

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