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Rachel Harris : Actor
Yasemain Delakin 4_AS SHOT_Danann Breath

BEFORE THE SHOOT

  • Try to get a few decent nights sleep before your shoot. If you’re well rested, not only will you look better, you’ll feel emotionally better and you’ll come to the session in a positive mood. It can only get better from there.

  • Don’t just grab a few tops before heading out the door on the day of the shoot. Have a think of what you are comfortable wearing, but also think what works for characters you're interested in playing, what emotional states you want to bring to your pictures and how your choice of tops can reflect that.

  • Have your tops ready in advance - washed and ironed! If you don’t have an iron, I do and you’re welcome to use it, but remember this is going to eat into the shooting time that you have paid for.

  • The most important aspect of choosing your tops is that your face is always the most prominent thing in the picture! All in all, I find simpler tops work best - darker, block colours, pastels and necklines with a defined structure.

  • In general, avoid busy patterns, sometimes you get lucky, but often they are distracting. Thankfully, casting agents won't be judging you on your fashion sense, but on the physical & emotional resonance of your face in your pictures. 

  • We want to spend most of our time shooting pictures and getting great results, so if you want different hair styles, do think about what you want in advance and practice them if necessary! But the old adage ‘keep it simple’ always works!

  • Other things to think about are -  not getting a hair cut the day before a shoot because often people get frustrated when their hair isn’t doing what it would normally do! If you need a haircut, try to get it a few days in advance, so the new weight in your hair settles.

  • The same applies for washing your hair - be realistic about what your hair does when you wash it. If gets too frizzy or becomes too flat after you’ve just washed it, wash it earlier in the week. 

  • These points are all about removing frustrations so you feel relaxed on the day - then all our time is spent getting great shots, with the purpose of getting you auditions.

  • Try to avoid heavy make-up to cover spots. Often, people attempt to cover blemishes with heavy make-up, but that can lead to visible make up lines, different shades, bad blending and build up in areas and this can often actually make it more difficult in post to make your skin look well.

  • If you are represented, get some advice from your agent about what types of shots they think would work for you or what extra type looks you should be adding to your portfolio.

  • Please do turn up on time. Plan your route in advance and try to get here at least 5 minutes before your slot. This is for you, I don’t want you feeling rushed and sweaty in a mad dash to get here!

  • Often I will go over the allotted time, but that’ll be because the shoot is progressing well and we’re having fun. I won’t go over the allotted time to make up for you being late. You’ve invested money in these shots so you should, rightly so, be trying to get full value for your buck.

Melissa Dean : Actor
Jasmine Clark : Actor / Model
Stuart Wolfe-Murray : Actor / Musician
Rouven Blessing : Actor
Cathy Naden : Actor
Matthew Jure : Actor

DURING THE SHOOT

Ronan Le Fur : Actor
Elizabeth Pick : Actor
  • When you arrive for your shoot you will meet my little, friendly dog Tippi at the door! Once you’ve stopped petting her, we’ll have a cup of tea / coffee / water & have a chat. We’ll hang your choices of tops on a clothes rail, shake out any creases and find out what kind of looks your going for.  

  • No one, no matter who they are, arrives to a 2 hour photo shoot of their face saying “I totally love doing 2 hour photo shoots of my face!” We all get nervous and we all get self conscious. But what I understand of you - is that pursuing this career path, at whatever stage you are at, means you are brave. I’ve been an actor & TV presenter myself for many years and currently regularly direct actors, so I know the focus it takes someone to give it their all - down the lens - for 2 to 3 hours. But, if you arrive ready we’ll have a great time.

  • What we’re doing isn’t simply taking loads of pictures of you, we’re taking loads of pictures of characters you can portray, emotional states you can project, the variety of looks, expressions and types of energies you can depict. So, essentially, it should feel like a few hours of character playing (in many ways an extension of drama school or being on a film set or the stage.)

  • A few hours getting your picture taking can be draining, but we will be listening to whatever music you like on the music system (you can put together a Spotify playlist in advance if you want), we’ll take breaks & have chats and we’ll constantly be reviewing the pictures so you feel like you’re on track. I’ll be there to guide you through these hours to help you focus and keep your energy up. 

  • I want you to be great and you will be.

Rachel Harris : Actor
Leaya Anika : Actor
Irena Kis : Actor / Model

AFTER THE SHOOT

  • Once the shoot is finished I’ll go through the shots and remove anything unsuitable - shots where you blinked, a flash misfire - that kind of thing. Then I’ll upload all the good shots to a site where you can start making your choices. 

  • I give you everything. I don’t pare it down to a smaller amount than what we shot because I believe you paid for everything, so you should see everything.

  • What I suggest is that you allow yourself a couple of days and then pare it down to 50 or so shots. Put those in your own 'Favourites Folder' on the site. Then share those with me and also anyone you’d like feedback from - asking for our Top 10 from the 50 you chose. Then you’ll be getting feedback from different perspectives and using this feedback you can then chose your final images. That gives you complete control and the satisfaction that you’ve decided on the best shots, of everything, to promote yourself.

  • As a performer you should be continually curating your headshots. Having a large portfolio of different looks is a very sensible idea - be that in the different clothes you’re wearing or the different expressive moods you’re portraying. It means you can promote yourself in the broadest possible way, because whatever role comes up you can say “I have a ‘look’ for that.”

  • So, you should have an extensive portfolio, but you can be systematically selective. For example, if you see a role for a period drama that you like the look of - you or your agent could remove your more ‘street / urban’ pictures and upload the headshots in your portfolio that have a more natural, grown up or dramatic feel to them & visa versa. 

  • It’s good to get a wide variety of looks and, over time, put them up as you require them. That means you're always in control of how the casting industry sees you. 

  • It’s generally accepted that an adult should change their head shots every 2 years (kids - every year), unless you get a dramatic haircut - then sooner - I also do 'Top-Up' sessions. You get an included number of re-touched, high-res shots with each of my packages. You can add to those if you wish, for an additional cost, or you can come back to me later - as your shots are guaranteed archived for a full year after your shoot.  

Jerome Quilles : Actor
Manpreet Bachu : Actor
Jan Hoffman : Actor
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