The Creative Process
First and foremost, our goal is to create a headshot that gets results. Clear and simple.
As an actor, your headshot might be your most important investment -- whether you are a newcomer or a seasoned pro. If you expect to stand out and get the attention of casting directors and agents, you simply must present a professional image. Without question, it is in your best interest to make the most of your opportunity to make a first impression, because you might only get one chance.
To achieve the results you are looking for, your headshot must faithfully represent you in your true likeness and present you as a unique individual, while also convincing casting directors that you could walk right on to the set.
There's no getting around the fact that your headshot experience will be reflected in your final images. Therefore, as your creative team, we will work closely with you to produce the most flattering image that conveys your personality, in an environment that is fun and relaxing. In the end, when an agent or casting director looks at your headshot, he or she should want to meet you -- and that generally only happens when you come across as relaxed and confident.
Before the Shoot
Let's face it -- your headshot will have a lot to do with your success as an actor. In view of this, it is in your interest to look your best for the shoot.
Whether you have little or no experience in front of the camera, or are a seasoned pro, you can confidently rely on our skills, experience and abilities to create the kind of environment required to provide you with a pleasurable experience.
That said, there are a number of things you can do prior to the shoot that will contribute immensely to the success of the session.
For instance, your hair should be exactly how you would want it styled for an audition, depending on which look you are presenting. In addition, make sure that you make an extra effort to take care of yourself in the days before the session, which means drinking lots of water, avoiding alcohol, getting plenty of sleep, exercising, and maintaining proper nutrition. Also, allow plenty of time to get to the studio so you arrive on time and relaxed.
Together, the steps you take to prepare for your shoot will be paid back to you many times over. But don't worry about having to take on the preparation all by yourself -- Michael will always consult with you prior to the shoot and our makeup artist will contact you personally to discuss details pertaining to you and your makeup application.
What to Wear
If you are already in the business, or are in acting school, it often helps to discuss your shoot with your agent or your acting instructors. More than anyone else, they can tell you how you fit into the film, TV or theatre world and what types of characters you are best suited for. This will dictate the kind of wardrobe to bring to the studio.
Depending upon the number and type of looks you want to achieve, there are some basic guidelines to be aware of.
While your creative team at Michael Ford Photography will discuss wardrobe further with you during our phone consultation, keep in mind your clothing choices should fit well, be simple and enhance the portrait. For example, simple, solid tops in medium to darker tones, without distracting prints or logos, work best.
The most important thing is to wear clothes that make you feel both attractive and comfortable -- in other words, clothes you like. The best shots are always captured when you feel confident about how you look.
Last, but certainly not least, please make sure your clothes are stain-free and freshly ironed. We have an iron in the studio, but it will save time if everything is ready to go.
Wardrobe is something to take seriously. Prior to your shoot, you will receive a more detailed document covering clothing choice, among other things, in much more detail.
At the Studio
When you arrive, we will begin your session by sitting down with you to look at our headshot portfolio, discuss your career and personal objectives, your makeup, your clothing choices, your looks and anything else that might help achieve your goals at the studio.
In our experience, the rapport between you, the photographer and the makeup artist will have a major impact on your ability to feel comfortable, confident, and successful in your session. With that in mind, we never rush the process and always take the time to allow you to become relaxed prior to shooting.
Once we have a clear plan, our professional makeup artist will work with you to achieve your best look. Because headshots represent a specialized genre of photography, your makeup must create a natural look. To achieve this goal, we work only with professional artists who are experienced in this style and who understand the purpose of a headshot in today's competitive market. Because we work both outside and in the studio, and under various lighting and weather conditions, our makeup artists stay throughout the session for touchups and adjustments for different looks.
To help create an environment in which you feel yourself, feel free to bring along your own CDs or iPod as the studio is equipped with an iPod station to help create an environment in which you feel yourself.
The Shooting Environment
Base on our experience, we are well aware that coming in for a headshot and having a camera pointed at you can be a stressful situation for even the most seasoned professional. With that said, the most frequent comment we get from clients is that they had fun -- much to their surprise!
We believe the reason we hear that from clients is because we simply hang out, spending the morning or afternoon together getting to know each other in casual conversation. We never rush the process, put you in uncomfortable situations, or make you be someone you are not. The camera becomes just a tool in the process. To make the most of your session, we work in the most relaxed way possible.
As for locations, our fully-equipped and centrally-located studio allows for photography both outdoors in natural light and inside under studio lights. Although we prefer to shoot in natural light whenever possible, our clients often point out the value of having both options.
After the Shoot
About three business days after the shoot, you will receive an email containing a private link to your gallery of proofs, which our clients love because they can view their images anywhere and at any time. Additionally, the link can easily be sent to your agent or anyone who might be able to provide input. All images are numbered, making the process of selecting your headshot and communicating with us and the lab extremely smooth.
After spending time, money and energy getting your headshots, it will come time to get prints made. To complete the process and provide you with the best prints possible, each of your selections is retouched and printed at a professional lab that specializes in headshots. To get the absolute best results possible, our retouching includes eliminating blemishes and stray hairs, doing minor color alterations, slightly brightening up the eyes and teeth and evening out skin tones, which all helps to create a headshot that looks like you on your very best day. It's important to note though that retouching is only performed to the degree that it enhances the image so that the final print looks like you.
Because we shoot digitally, any of your images are available in either colour or black and white.
Following your shoot, the last thing you want is to be hit with is a large print bill. That's why we never mark-up Rocket Repro print prices and are up front with print prices that range from just over a dollar to $4 per print, depending on the number of prints ordered. At no extra charge, you will be given the opportunity of choosing your headshot layout, which comprises a wide variety of borders and fonts, so that you end up with prints customized to your wishes, or those of your agent.