how to prepare for your session

What to expect ::

*Please eat a light meal before your shoot! You will need the energy, and no one wants to shoot with a case of the hungry grumpies.

When we meet, I will offer you coffee, tea, or any other beverages I may have and we will sit down so you can tell me a little about yourself. I will ask you about your headshot goals, ideal casting, and what looks you have prepared. Once we both have a clear idea of exactly what you are expecting from your looks, we will plot a course for our shoot, choose your final outfits and complimentary backgrounds and then get shooting.

I view my sessions very much as collaboration. I bring my 9 years of experience to help you with being comfortable in front of the camera, how to work with angles and lighting, and colors and compositions that stand out. And I expect you to come prepared with a clear idea of what you want out of your headshots and having done your own personal work to get there.

How to Prepare ::

Your headshot is not just about looking good, it’s about conveying something about who you are. Know your type, know who you are, know what you are marketing.

It really helps to come with a clear idea of what you are going for and how you aim to use these headshots.

Think critically about your casting and what roles are out there for you to audition for.

Talk to your agents and management team about where you fit and what is showing up in the breakdowns for you.

When you can communicate a clear vision of what you want then we can really work together to nail it.  If you aren’t quite sure, I can interpret what you are bringing and we can shoot a standard Theatrical/Commercial/Essence session, but if you come prepared with a clear idea of what you want we can really focus and you can be more confident in front of the camera.

Watch TV. See what roles are currently out there and where you might fit in. Look at the clothing those characters are wearing and allow that to guide your wardrobe. Make sure your wardrobe is current and once you have an idea of your looks, go shopping specifically for them.

Mirror Work! If you are one of those people who aren’t quite sure how to “be” in front of the camera yet, then take some time and do some mirror work, it is the trick of the trade in the modeling world. Spend 5 minutes a day in front of the mirror working on different expressions and “feeling” how your face feels making this expression. You are doing this to build muscle memory and discover where your face holds tension and what is feels like when you release it.  Discover how your face looks when you are conveying different emotions. 

Work on concentrating emotion and saying really something through your eyes. Your eyes should be the ones telling the story in your headshots and telling the viewer something about yourself.

Consider preparing different phrases to think to yourself that can help you convey a story.

Have a few secrets for each look that you intend to keep from the camera. Think about these things often and how they make you feel. When the camera gets in your face, remind yourself of these secrets.

When you are putting together ideas for your looks, always add descriptive words to help you create a character. If you are doing a professional look, are you a pushover professional or a cutthroat professional.  Are you a helpful soccer mom or a manipulative soccer mom? Make sure to have a descriptor to convey through your character.

Clothing guidelines ::

Make sure your clothing is well fitted and camera ready.

Look for interesting and different necklines for each option (don’t just bring 3 different crew neck tee-shirts). Also look for fabrics and cuts with great texture (again, don’t just bring cotton tee’s). Layers look especially nice on camera.

Stick with tones that look great on you, but stay away from super bold primary colors that steal all the attention (like fire engine red).  Stay away from graphic tees or tops with lettering unless it is an intentional calculated choice

You should bring at least one outfit that you feel most YOU in. We can cater certain looks for casting, but we want to make sure we get at least one that is truly and honestly you.

VERY IMPORTANT: If you don’t LOVE it don’t bring it. Wear what you love and feel amazing in. If you have to go out and buy something that makes you feel amazing, then do it, consider it an investment. The confidence you gain from wearing something you love reads tons on the camera

Keep the tags on your clothes! You’ll want to bring at least two options for each look and you can return what ever you don’t use.

Men: When considering a business or professional look, make sure your suit is well fitted and modern. Ill-fitting suits tend to put on excess weight.

Ladies: Drapey shirts (despite being in style) don’t photograph well. Choose well fitted options that don’t add bulk to your figure. Also make sure to bring light and dark options for bras as well as a light and dark camisole if we need to do some layering.

If going for a younger look, make sure your clothing is young and fashionable, casting wants to know that you can fit into what they are selling. For ideas on this, reference the current tv shows.

Your shoes do not matter unless they help you feel a certain way. If wearing stilettos helps you get into character, then by all means bring them. (That goes for you gentlemen too)

If you are not using a makeup artist, come with hair and makeup done.  You will have time in between looks to change up so bring any supplies you may need.

Leading up to your session ::

Take extra special care of your skin in the weeks leading up to our shoot. Drink a ton of water and get a really good night sleep the night before.

If your teeth are yellow then consider investing in Crest White Strips. They are inexpensive and work really well, and you’ll have nice white teeth for all of your auditions.

Prepare your clothing, making sure all of your options are camera ready – clean and free of wrinkles. Bring a lint roller if you have cats or dogs to remove hair.

Get as much rest as you can the week of your shoot, and especially the night before. This is not the night to go out drinking, instead do something nice for yourself, take a bath, watch a favorite movie, catch up on your novel reading – Whatever keeps your spirit light.

Not only will all of your decisions from the nights leading up to this shoot show on your face, but you want to have all the energy you can to bring into this session. You should only have to take headshots every 1-3 years, so make this count.