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Why do I need a professional headshot?


The professional headshot is the cornerstone of your personal brand. It is often your only chance to make a first impression on potential clients, partners, employers or employees. The power that this single image holds over people is immense. Think about your own thought process as you come across someone’s LinkedIN profile, or business card. If they look sincere, confident and approachable, you will likely respond to that with a positive thought – even if subconsciously. When they look posed, scared or awkward, the photo can have the opposite effect – a negative subconscious thought. Whether we want to admit it or not, the subtle nuance of someone’s photograph on our initial judgment regarding a person’s demeanor or personality is far reaching. For this reason, I recommend that a true professional skilled in the art of the headshot be selected to capture this critical image for you.


How do I select a headshot photographer?


Headshot photography is not the same as portrait photography. They certainly have similarities, but the critically important differences are often overlooked by the portrait photographer. Everything from the appropriate composition or crop, lighting and how a person is posed are subtly but vitally different in headshots. In a portrait, the environment (as small as it may be) is often included in the shot in order to convey a sense of location, action, or posture. This is not the case with the headshot. The headshot is meant to convey personality through facial expression alone. Everything else that is often included in a portrait can be a distraction from this process.

The headshot photographer must be a master at connecting with his subject and capturing true personality and expression. This requires a skill set not possessed by some other photographers and is the most difficult part of the job. Many clients leave my headshot session with a sense that it was actually a lot more fun than they thought it would be. This is a positive side effect of the interactive workflow for your session that I have carefully developed.


How should I prepare for my headshot session?


Carefully review the preparatory information that I provide to you, and be sure to ask any questions you may have about it.

Upon arrival for your session, you should be rested and mentally prepared to take my direction and engage proactively. Most importantly – have some fun!


Do I need a makeup artist or hair stylist?


For women, I have an in-house makeup artist that you can hire to assist with your session. Pricing for this service is listed on my pricing page and is always payable directly to the makeup artist at the beginning of the session. I don’t recommend makeup for men – I sometimes have some anti-glare paste onsite that can be used for minor sweating or shininess. Otherwise, a quick dab with a paper towel usually handles any minor sweat or shine.

If you’ve opted to hire my makeup artist, I will coordinate scheduling between you and the makeup artist as necessary. You can count on at least 30 minute extra lead time before our session for makeup prep. If you do not hire my makeup artist then you should arrive with makeup ready to go.

Hair should be neat and styled prior to arrival, as I do not currently have a dedicated stylist available. However, if you’ve hired my makeup artist, she will provide basic assistance with hair. This usually only includes final prep (not complete styling) and managing fly-aways on my behalf during the shoot.


What should I wear to my headshot session?


You should select clothing that you feel confident and comfortable wearing. Now is not the time to try out a brand new outfit that you’ve never worn – it might work great, or it may cause you undo distraction and stress if something isn’t right with it once we’re underway. A better selection would be something you’ve already worn once or twice and know exactly how you fit and feel in it.

For colors and patterns, less is usually more. Solid colors are great. Medium and dark solid colors often work best, but white or light colors can work fine too depending on your skin tone. I usually recommend and use an all white backdrop (unless otherwise requested and arranged), so keep this in mind when selecting your wardrobe. Busy patterns are distracting and should generally be avoided.

Jewelry should be kept to simple, elegant pieces or skipped entirely. Commercial headshots are NOT meant to draw attention to items like jewelry. Earrings (if worn – I often prefer none) should not dangle from the ear at all. Studs of some type are best. Large, busy, or otherwise distracting necklaces should be avoided. Sometimes, a thin, simple gold or silver chain necklace can work. However, be prepared for me to ask you to remove all or most jewelry, as it’s my job to make you shine and reduce distractions in your commercial headshot.


Should I bring a friend or family member to my headshot session?


I don’t have any rules about bringing along a friend or family member, and we generally have a place for them to sit. However, I may request that they not be present during some or all of your shoot. My sessions should be considered private and I reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone except my client, makeup artist or other required assistants that I may have hired.


What is your deposit and cancellation policy?


I require 50% of your full session fee including any options that you’ve selected to be paid at the time of scheduling to secure your appointment. This can be paid online through my Square.com account using credit card. Alternately, cash or check (if given enough time before the appointment to clear) can be used. This deposit is fully refundable up to 3 days prior to your appointment. After that, the deposit is no longer refundable, but will remain on file for use in a future session in the event that you need to cancel or reschedule. In the (rare) event that I need to cancel or reschedule your appointment, you will be given the option of a full refund of deposit, or first priority for picking a new session date and time.