Headshot Basics

What’s a headshot?

In a headshot we’re looking to capture the ideal version of the current you. 

This may sound weird, but, a headshot isn’t exactly about “looking pretty” it’s about looking like you on your best day. We’re still going to hide that tooth that you’re self conscious of, and retouch your skin to look its absolute best; we’re just not going to make anything look misleading.  

How is this different than a portrait?

In a portrait we’re creating a stylized look. More of a character than the “blank slate” that a headshot should be. 


If you have an agent talk to them about your outfit and hair styling choices. You are a team and represent each other. 


I don’t charge by “looks” but changing outfits takes time, so factor that in to your goals for the session. As a rule of thumb: 3 looks in 1 hour is comfortable, 4 looks can get tight on time. 


Pick what you feel you look best in. I would recommend against patterns though, houndstooth, I’m looking at you, buddy. 


If you have long hair and want to do photos with it both up & down, we should start with it down. Ideally it should be done how you would wear it for an audition.

Haircuts should be done several days before a shoot (I know my hair goes a little crazy just after it’s cut). And if you color your hair it should be done at least 7 days beforehand. 


I know, if you’re in theater, you may do your own makeup for stage every day, but this is a bit different. Stage vs headshot (or stills) vs film… they’re all different and some require heavier or lighter applications of makeup. I recommend letting another pro do what they’re best at for this.

Don’t try any new skin regimens before your session. Stick with what you know works for you. 

Dude, I’m nervous in front of the camera

I totally get that. You’re an actor, you’re used to conveying emotion via motion and voice. I’ll help you along this new journey. The main thing to remember is: its all about the eyes.

Here are some things that we’re gonna channel during your session: imagine your ideal role, the pinnacle of your career. What’s that look like? How does that make you feel? Who’s more excited: you to be working with Robert Denero or him to be working with you?

Film, now, is free, so we’re gonna shoot a whole lot of frames. The idea is to be ruthless in culling this down to the best few images. 

Most importantly, have fun, and you be you. I’ll give you directions and manage the camera.