THE HEADSHOT SESSION
All images © Lisa Hancock
Even if you’re nervous in the beginning, almost everyone leaves their headshot session saying, “That was so comfortable! And fun!” I swear to you! I consider helping you to relax to be my number one job as your headshot photographer.
If you're an actor, casting directors and agents want to see the "real you" in your headshot. One way to make sure we capture that is to take a lot of pictures. I mean A LOT. That’s why I insist on a minimum of one hour to photograph you. The longer we shoot, the more comfortable you become, and the more the “real you” begins to shine through in your headshot.
The actor headshot session begins with finding the best lighting for your face. Not all lighting works equally well on all faces, so I take care to customize the lighting for you.
We also spend time finding your best angles. I’ve been photographing actor headshots for more than 10 years and it still amazes me how different people appear whether they’re facing left or right, and whether I’m standing above them or below. During your headshot shoot, I’m careful to try every possible angle so we can discover not just your most attractive angle but which one looks the most like you!
The beauty of shooting digitally is we get to see your headshots during the shoot, so we can make sure we’re on the right track. We can make adjustments to your makeup, clothing, angles and lighting early on, and get the most out of your session. Even more importantly, it gives you feedback on how you're expressions are coming across on camera.
My actor headshot sessions are very collaborative. I want to hear what you’re looking for, what you like, what you don’t like, and any fun ideas you might have for getting a great shot. Let’s experiment! Please don’t hold back. Now’s the time to speak up because once the shoot is over, well, it’s over!
In summary, I repeat, if you’re uneasy about being photographed, please don’t worry! You’ve come to the right person! Working with beginners and people who feel uncomfortable or insecure in front of the camera is sort of my specialty. During the headshot session, I’ll guide you through the process every step of the way. Using proven techniques, I’ll help you to relax and shine through in your headshots... and look your absolute best doing it. The shyest people in the world end up posing like complete divas with me! It’s true! I love it.
Turnaround Time and Editing
To give you the highest quality image possible, I shoot in RAW format. If you don't know what that means, it doesn't matter. It's just a digital format that is the best quality you can get. RAW files need to be processed and converted to JPEG format so you can use them. So, after your shoot, I need a couple of days to edit and process all of your headshots and then upload them to Dropbox so you can view and download them.
You get to keep all of your headshots from the session, not just the ones you get retouched. They are all high resolution files that can be printed, with or without skin and hair retouching. However, depending on which package you choose, you do get 2-8 headshots retouched free of charge. You should take advantage of that. Not only do I take out pimples and dark circles under your eyes, but I fix the contrast in different parts of the picture and really give the image that extra polish.
Take your time deciding which ones you want retouched. We are rarely the best judge of our own photos so share your Dropbox gallery with your agent, teacher, and friends... You’ll have the gallery for 30 days. Or upload your favorites to Facebook and Instagram. (If you do post any images on social media, please just tag me or give me a photo credit). Get as much feedback from others as you can before making your selections. I’ll share my favorites with you too, if you want my help narrowing it down.
Remember, the beauty of it is you have all of the headshots in high resolution format so you can always change your mind later on and have a different headshot retouched or printed at any time!
Once you decide which headshots you want retouched, just send me an email with the image numbers and I'll email the retouched headshots back to you, usually within three business days. (If you place a large retouching order, it may take longer.)
My skin retouching style is pretty natural. All of us can benefit from a little retouching to remove blemishes, stray hairs, and brighten up under the eyes. But I'm a firm believer in keeping your headshot as natural as possible. Remember: it’s important to look like yourself in an actor headshot, wrinkles and all. I'm not a fan of erasing every line and removing all of your personality in the process. So try to go easy on yourself. Embrace your imperfections. Casting directors are not just looking for ingenues and leading ladies. There’s a much better chance of getting character parts, so show them what you’ve got!