We first go through the clothes that you bring with you and discuss the looks you want to achieve. We talk about the types of roles you audition for and then ones you would like to audition for. We then cross reference that with the projects that are filmed in Vancouver to determine how we can give you “castable” headshots, putting you in a position to succeed. I spent 5 years acting professionally and have another 10 years of experience as a photographer working with over 1000 actors. I have developed a skill in that time to be able to see where you can find success in this extremely challenging industry.
Oftentimes, if you have an agent, you will come in already knowing the looks that you want to achieve. If this is the case, we will look at the clothes that you bring with you and discuss the best route to achieve those looks. Sometimes our agents don’t know us as well as we would like them to, so this can also be our opportunity to show your agent the different sides of you that you know you can play.
Once you are ready for your first look I run a light test on your face and body. Everybody is different, and it only makes sense to light you in a way that makes you look your absolute best. If you follow my work, you will see that I do not have a cookie cutter lighting style. I am extremely specific about my lighting setups to match your face shape, skin tone, and the character look we are trying to achieve.
How to Look into the Lens
Before we start shooting, I spend time teaching you how to take a great headshot. From my experience, both in front and behind the lens, most people tend to feel uncomfortable having their photo taken. I am very specific in my approach to headshots. First I teach you how to look into the lens. If you look at all of my work, you will notice one thing that everyone has in common: they all have presence and relationship in their eyes. You will too once you understand my approach. The eyes are the most important part of any headshot I ever take because it is your eyes that tell your story.
Be an Actor
Next, I teach you how to use your acting training and experience to your advantage. I approach actor’s headshots from an actor’s point of view. I talk about the various things you can pull from your training so you will be doing what you do for a living, acting, in front of my camera. If you are a new actor, do not worry; I have worked with hundreds of new actors with no training and we get the same results. When I am asked how I work with people, I respond by saying that I find out how they work, then I adjust my method to work with their strengths. I am absolutely determined to produce headshots that you feel great about that look and feel like you.
Casting directors and acting agents in Vancouver want you to have several different headshots that show you can play different characters. We focus on getting your version of these characters. During our photoshoot together, you and I will make sure that we are getting specific about the different roles that we think you can go out for. I want to put you in a position to succeed. I then set up the light and backdrop to help tell that story, making it easier for casting directors and directors to imagine you cast in their commercial, tv show, or movie.
Shoot and Review
We now start shooting your headshots. It is important to me that we are working together in a relaxed and communicative atmosphere so you can feel at your best while we work. My approach is a little different to what you may be used to, both in the shooting of the photos and the review of them. Through this entire process as we shoot, I work tirelessly to understand you so I can help get you in a working pocket so we can knock out great headshots.
We take photos and then we review them together on the computer, usually 2-3 times per look we shoot. I do this for a number of reasons. First and foremost, I think reviewing the images on a 27″ screen is a great learning tool for you to see what you are doing and what you can do better. I work with you to figure out how we can take the photos to the next level. It also gives you an opportunity to know that your results are coming in. As an actor, I never liked leaving at the end of a photoshoot only seeing the odd photograph on the photographer’s camera, leaving my career in his/her hands. I think it is extremely beneficial to you that we review your images as we shoot. We only move onto the next look once you feel that we have achieved what you originally set out to do. This does extend the time it takes to shoot your headshots, but if it means that we get great results, it makes all the sense in the world.
Once you give me your final image numbers I get to work and retouch them. Retouching is a very important part of the process. My retouching style takes time because I want your photos to look perfect without them looking photoshopped. It is very important that you look like you, but the best version of you.