The Creative Process
First and foremost, our goal is to create a headshot that gets results. Clear and simple!
Whether your aspiring child actor has experience in film and TV or in school or community theatre groups, or is just starting out, his or her headshot is her calling card. If your child expects to stand out and get the attention of casting directors and agents, he or she simply must present a professional image.
To achieve the results you are looking for, your child's headshot must faithfully represent his or her true likeness and must present your child as a unique individual, while also convincing casting directors that he or she could walk right on to the set.
Without question, your child's headshot experience will be reflected in the final images. Therefore, as your child's creative team, we will work closely with you, the parent, and your child to produce the most flattering image that conveys his or her personality in an environment that is fun and relaxing.
Most importantly, we do everything to meet your greatest need as a parent: a safe environment for your child.
Before the Shoot
Let's face it -- your child's headshot will have a lot to do with his or her success as an actor. In view of this, it makes a significant difference if you, the parent, take the time to prepare your child for the shoot.
Whether your child has little or no experience in front of the camera, or is a seasoned pro, you can confidently rely on our skills, experience and abilities to create the kind of environment required to provide you and your child with a pleasurable experience. Together with my assistant, we do our best to build a rapport with your child so that he or she feels comfortable, safe and relaxed.
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 child's hair should be exactly how you would want it styled for an audition. In addition, make sure that your son or daughter gets plenty of sleep the night before the shoot. 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 child's shoot will be paid back to you many times over. But don't worry about having to take on the preparation all by yourself -- we will always consult with you prior to the shoot to discuss details.
What to Wear
If your child is already in the business, it often helps to discuss your shoot with your child's agent or acting teacher to get input on the kind of wardrobe to bring to the studio.
While your creative team at Michael Ford Photography will discuss wardrobe further with you during our phone consultation, keep in mind clothing choices should fit well, be simple and enhance the portrait. For example, simple, solid colours, without distracting prints or logos, work best.
The most important thing is to bring clothes that make your child feel comfortable -- in other words, clothes he or she likes.
Last, but certainly not least, please make sure 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.
Prior to your son or daughter's shoot, you will receive a more detailed document covering clothing choice, among other things, in much more detail.
At the Studio
When you and your child arrive at the studio, we will begin the session by sitting down together and talking casually to help your child relax. We'll look at our headshot portfolio, discuss your child's acting work, make some final clothing choices, and anything else that might help achieve your goals at the studio.
In our experience, the rapport between our creative team -- the photographer and the assistant -- and your child will have a major impact on your child's ability to feel comfortable and confident during the session. With that in mind, we never rush the process and take the time to allow everyone to become relaxed prior to shooting.
To help create an environment in which you and your child feel yourselves, feel free to bring along his or her favourite CDs or iPod, as the studio is equipped with a plug-and-play iPod dock.
The Shooting Environment
Base on experience, we are well aware that getting a headshot done and having a camera pointed at your child can be a stressful situation for even the most seasoned professional. With that said, at the end of the day, the most frequent comment we get from kids is that they had fun.
To create a fun environment, we never rush the process, put your child in uncomfortable situations, or make him or her be someone they are not. To make the most of your son or daughter's 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, our clients often point out the value of having both options.
After the Shoot
About three days after the shoot, you will receive an email containing a private link to your child's gallery of proofs, which our clients love because they can view the images anywhere and at any time. Additionally, the link can easily be sent to your child's agent or anyone who might be able to provide input. All images are numbered, making the process of selecting a headshot and communicating with us and the lab extremely smooth.
After spending time, money and energy getting your child's 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. While kids headshots rarely need much retouching, to get the absolute best results possible, our retouching includes eliminating stray hairs, doing minor color alterations, slightly brightening up the eyes and teeth and evening out skin tones. 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 your child.
Because we shoot digitally, any of the images are available in either colour or black and white.
Following the 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 child's 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 child's agent.