frequently asked questions
1) Location, location, location...
We will shoot outside under a tunnel in a Fitzrovia (just behind the BBC building), which will shield us from any rain. If the weather gets really bad and it is impossible to shoot, we will postpone the session at no cost to you and at the earliest convenient date.
There is an office I use that's a 5 minute walk from the location, where we can have a cup of tea and warm up when it gets cold, use the facilities to change make-up or hairstyles and clothes. It's a quiet area as well, so we won't be disturbed. Please be advised that if you bring a large bag or suitcase with the clothes, we will need to take it with us to the shooting location.
2) Shooting days
I normally shoot on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you are not able to attend a session on a weekday, we can discuss a possible shoot on Saturday, but please be advised this is only in special circumstances.
3) Deposit / Cancellation
There is a £30 deposit to book the session. If you need to postpone the session, please let me know as soon as you can. However, if the cancellation comes in less than 24hrs before the shoot, the deposit becomes non-refundable and a new session needs to be arranged.
4) Editing / retouching
Once you let me know your final choices, I will begin the retouching process. This includes cropping the photo to a 8x10 format (which is the official standard size for professional headshots), and will adjust the colours / white balance / contrast etc. I will remove any wispy hairs and - if the wind is particularly crazy on the day of the shoot - will adjust the background flyaway hairs to "calm it down". Any blemishes or spots / scars will be removed, but please be advised no adjustments to change the shape of your face will be applied - the headshot needs to showcase the natural you. Any additional retouches can be ordered for £15 per image.
5) The session
The session usually takes around 2 hours, which gives us plenty of time to experiment with your looks, play around with your hair, shave your beard etc. This is an estimated time, so if we run over, that's okay - the session is to accommodate you to get the kind of images you want.
Have a think about what kind of casting type you think you have, take into consideration what roles do you normally get cast in, and - if you have an agent - check with them what roles they usually submit you for. If you're just starting out, we can have a chat about your casting type before we start shooting, and get images that would enhance it. Think about what kind of actor you want to be in this industry, and what types of roles you'd like to get in the future.
I'll be directing you throughout our session so as to get a variety of different looks, but always trying to capture the natural "you". In terms of clothing choices, I would advise bringing plain t-shirts / blouses / jumpers, ideally in darker, more earthy tones, and avoid anything too bright or with any logos or patterns - they tend to distract from your face. Natural, dark colours allow for the face to be the main point of focus in the headshots. Don't worry about trousers or jeans, they're not in the shot so it doesn't matter what you're wearing. If you can't decide between the tops, bring them all and I'll happily help you decide what works best. And make sure to bring a good variety - we don't have to use everything, but it's good to have a choice! Have a think about what you can do with the hair as well - it's great to have few different options in mind.
Once we're off shooting, I'll be showing you the images as we go along on my camera. Feel free to tell me if what we're getting is what you were hoping for, or better yet - bring examples of headshots you like of other actors so that I know exactly what you're looking for.
I understand how nervous you can feel coming in for a shoot where all the focus is on your face - I've been there myself, and I'm not a fan of having my picture taken. But I will make sure that from the get go you're relaxed, and that you enjoy the session. I have many actors thanking me that I helped them feel less self-conscious and that it made them more at ease, all the while being happy with the results.
I believe this session is about making you think about the kind of career you'd like to have as an actor, the kind of roles and possibilities you can create for yourself. It's about making you feel empowered!
6) After the session
I will upload all the images in a contact sheet file to your own, personal Dropbox folder - no-one has access to it apart from you. You can take as long as you like to choose up to 5 images for editing. I will then do the edit within 5 to 7 business days. If you need them sooner, I could do a 48 hours turn-around for an additional £20 charge. The images (original and edited) are kept on my hard drive for up to 1 year, so if you lose the headshots or would like to order more, you can do so within that time.
7) What about the pandemic? Will we be safe?
Following the unfortunate Covid-19 pandemic, things have to change to make sure we're all keeping each other safe. Because my sessions take place outdoors, we're going to be much more safer than in a studio, with fresh air around us. The distance between me and you is always around 2 metres, and that's because the lens I use requires me to take a few steps back - so we're not going to be very close to each other. I am closely following the government guidelines regarding how to work with clients, so you can rest assured we're going to be safe.
For more tips on how to get ready for the session, please visit The Actors Corner - there's lots of useful advice for actors, relating to auditions and staying productive during down times.