How long does the shoot last?
Generally, you should allow 2-3 hours for your shoot, including makeup application. It's important that you feel relaxed during your shoot, and for that reason, we won't rush your session and will book no more than two clients a day. During your shoot, the studio is all yours. Kids shoots usually last about an hour.
Do you shoot digital or film?
Michael Ford Photography is a 100% digital studio, using the latest photography and computer equipment to ensure that you receive an image of the highest quality and greatest versatility. People had every right to question the quality of digital photography a few years ago, but not any more. With professional digital cameras and lenses, we are able to capture extremely high quality images, every bit as good as film. By using a professional lab that specializes in headshots, you can book with confidence knowing that your digitally-captured prints will match the quality of any film-based headshot. If you have any concerns, feel free to view our sample digital prints at the stuido.
Unlike film, digital photography provides us with many creative possibilities, such as the ability to shoot and view unlimited shots for instant feedback. Equally important is the ability to convert colour images to black and white at no additional cost to you. Gone are the days when you had to pay for extra film if you wanted black and white instead of colour, or schedule another shoot if your agent asked for colour and your images were in black and white. If you are a member of Casting Workbook, we are able to provide web-ready files that can be easily uploaded directly to your account.
For our corporate clients, having digital files saves times and extra expense as we can provide you, your webmaster or your graphic designer with files ready to be included in a brochure or loaded to your website.
Is a professional makeup artist necessary?
Although the final decision is yours, in our experience, using the services of our professional makeup artist is well worth the investment. For men, it is recommended if you have any sort of acne or other skin blemishes. For women, it is strongly recommended regardless of your skin type and/or condition. For both acting and corporate headshots, the value that makeup contributes to your final images is enhanced by the fact that we only use professional makeup artists who specialize in headshots and know what is required by the industry. And the makeup artist will work with you. Prior to your shoot, you will receive a personal call from our makeup artist to discuss any details pertaining to your unique needs.
How many looks do I get and what clothing options should I bring?
For adult actors, we allow time for up to three contrasting looks, which is, in 90% of the cases, more than adequate, based on input from agents. For kids, we allow time for one to two looks. It is strongly recommended that you discuss this with your agent prior to the shoot. Those without agents should discuss this with us during your consultation prior to your shoot.
For businesspeople, it helps to consider the situations you generally find yourself in while conducting business, and prepare yourself to achieve these respective looks during your shoot.
As for clothing options, please refer to the photoshoot elsewhere on this website.
When do I get my proofs and in what format will I receive them?
Generally, within 1-2 business days following your session, you will receive an email with a link to a your private, password-protected online proof gallery. If a proof CD has been selected instead of the online gallery, your CD will be mailed to you within 3-5 business days. Most clients prefer the online galleries because they can simply email the gallery to an agent or acting instructor for input, or a webmaster or graphic designer in the case of a corporate headshot. No need to go to the lab to pick up your 4x6 prints, deliver them to your agent, pick them up, take them to the lab for printing, and find a safe place to keep them.
To ease your mind that your original digital files will be secure for the long-term, we always store two copies -- one at the studio and one at an off-site location. In today's digital world, we believe we have developed a system that is seamless, secure and user-friendly.
How do I get prints made and what do they cost?
If you are an actor who needs prints, you will receive detailed instructions when you receive your online proof gallery. Because we work with Rocket Repro in Vancouver, a professional lab that specializes in headshots, you can book with confidence that you will receive prints of the highest quality in the industry. Because agents and casting directors expect to see well-printed images, it's clearly in our interest to do everything possible to give you a final product that meets that standard.
Prior to printing, your headshot will be fully retouched to eliminate blemishes and stray hairs, ensure correct color or black and white tones, slightly brighten up the eyes and teeth and even out skin tones.
Costs for 8x10 prints range from just over a dollar to $4, depending upon quantity ordered.
Do I get a copy of my digital files?
As mentioned above, you will receive an online proof gallery or a proof CD at no extra cost. Images selected as part of your package are retouched and sent to the lab for printing in the case of actors and directly to the client or graphic designer in the case of corporate clients. Web versions of your retouched selections, not suitable for printing, will be emailed to you for Casting Workbook, Facebook and other Web or emailing purposes. Your full-size retouched files will be kept on file at Rocket Repro for several years should you need addtional prints.
For further information on ordering addtional images, and pricing information, please refer toThe Fees section of this website.
Will my final headshot be retouched?
Yes, your headshot will be fully retouched to eliminate blemishes and stray hairs, ensure correct color or black and white tones, slightly brighten up the eyes and teeth and even out skin tones so that it meets the industry standards expected by agents and casting directors, and by web designers and graphic designers in the case of corporate clients.
Will my headshots be available in either colour or black and white?
Yes, at any time, your headshots will be available to you in either colour or black and white, at no extra cost. Since we shoot digitally, needing to change your headshot from one format to the other doesn't require another photoshoot, which would have been required in the days of film.
Will I be photographed inside or outside?
We prefer the quality of natural light, as represented in our portfolio. While we operate a fully-equipped studio, which affords the opportunity to photograph either outside in natural light or inside under studio lights, our specialty is natural light. As a result, we will re-schedule shoots based on weather, although this is rare. Either way, we are able to provide fresh, vibrant images with a multitude of backgrounds.
What does the price include?
Our price is all-inclusive, which means we include everything you need to walk away with a professional headshot for your acting career or business. Please refer to the fees section of this website for further details.
Can I bring my own music?
Yes, we encourage you to bring your own music, either CDs or your iPod. The studio is equipped with an iPod station allowing you to simply plug-and-play. In our experience, the more relaxed and comfortable you are at the shoot, the better the results will be. For most people, music, more than almost anything else, helps create the kind of environment conducive to naturally-photographed headshots.
Can I bring a friend or parent to my shoot?
Generally, we discourage the practice of bringing friends, since we have found it can be distracting. Our experience indicates that people usually feel awkward, embarrassed and are not relaxed enough when being photographed in front of someone they know.
The exception, of course, is a parent accompanying a child or young adult, which we fully encourage.
How many photos do you take during my session?
As many as it takes! Although we never limit the number of images we capture, the final number usually ends up being well over 100 images. Our primary objective is to provide you with enough variety to meet your needs, based on the information obtained from our initial consultation.
Where is the studio located?
The studio is centrally-located on Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver, directly under the bridge. There is plenty of parking nearby and a nice variety of outdoor shooting locations in the surrounding area. Once your session is scheduled, you will receive an email with a map and directions to the studio.
What are the studio hours?
Studio hours are generally Tuesday - Friday, 8:30am - 5:30pm. Because it is difficult for many clients to get to the studio during weekdays, we make Saturdays available should it be required.
How far in advance do I need to book?
Generally, it is best to schedule your session at least two weeks in advance, although we may be able to accommodate you sooner, depending on the season.
When is payment due and what form of payment do you accept?
The full photography fee is due at the time of the photoshoot, and is payable by cash, cheque, or Visa/Mastercard. The makeup fee is payable by cash or cheque.
Do you consult with clients before the shoot?
Yes, both Michael and the makeup artist will consult with you via phone prior to your session, at which time we will discuss your unique needs, clothing choices, makeup requirements, among other things. If required, an in-studio consultation is available to all clients. It is important that you know what to expect at the shoot and how to prepare yourself, which will impact the quality of your experience at the studio. In addition to our phone consultation, we will also review your needs at the studio at the time of the shoot.
Do you offer assistance with the selection of my final headshot?
Yes, we certainly offer the benefit of our experience by helping you select your final headshot, should you request it. While it is always best to get the input of agents and casting directors, if possible, or your graphic designer or marketing expert in the case of corporate headshots, we are always available to offer assistance.
How can I contact you?
Simply call the studio at 604-839-3673 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer any further questions and schedule your photoshoot.
Why is there such a wide range in the prices of different photographers?
Aside from expertise and personal style of the photographer, you are paying primarily for the photographer's time. The two approaches taken by photographers in the marketplace comprise scheduling many sessions a day at a low price or less sessions at a higher price. Since we believe, from our experience, that your best interests are served by taking our time, building a rapport, not rushing the process and creating a relaxed atmosphere, we have chosen to let others compete on price, while we compete on quality, service and uncompromised standards for our clients.
Do you guarantee your work?
Absolutely. We believe you should be completely satisfied with your headshot. If, for some reason, that is not the case, we will happily re-shoot your headshots at no cost, and if you still don't find an image that will work, we will refund your fee 100%, no questions asked. Although we have never had to do this, we want you to book with confidence.