Get Started- Your First Actor Headshot
If you or your child are new to the business, we want to make getting a great headshot easy. Visit the Gallery page for more headshots. Have fun reading the newsletter archives.
SCROLL DOWN for more info and photo samples.
Any questions- email Dee.
Then and Now
Before we went digital- most headshots were black and white.
Where will we shoot?
I shoot mostly in NYC- your location or mine. I travel to these locations- NJ & the Jersey Shore - Westchester NY & The Hudson Valley - Bucks County & Philly, PA - Wash DC - and CT.
I find most New York agents/ managers prefer natural daylight shots like we did back in LA. I use daylight LED lights to supplement the natural daylight, and also for indoor studio sessions. I find that the kids are more relaxed and get a natural shot this way- the lights are much cooler and no flashing! And I like shooting so that every headshot can be unique. Indoor sessions are always available and even preferred for certain shoots- like some model portfolio shots, corporate headshots, family portraits, pet portraits, and shooting with small children and babies. Lighting is a choice. I am experienced in all types of lighting.
Legit or Commercial Headshot?
Another question for your agent or manager-
Ask them specifically what types of shots they need. I always try to shoot a variety of shots- Headshots (face shots), 3/4 (body shots), Legit (for TV and Movie auditions) and Commercial (for TV, comedy and commercial auditions).
Here are some Legit vs Commercial actor headshots.
How much will a Headshot cost?
Prices for the photo session vary depending on the client's needs- (age, types of shots and location) and also if it's a private, share or group session. A Stylist (make-up, hair or clothing) is available at an additional cost- fee paid directly to the stylist. Retouching and prints are also additional- paid directly to the retouching or printing lab.
Private shoots available at your location or mine. I offer Share-a-Shoot & Group-Day rates too. Adult Headshot sessions slightly higher, and may require make-up artist. Toddler/ Baby photo shoots offered at a special rate.
If you'd like to save money you can schedule your own Share-a-Shoot with a friend, or a Group-day for 3-4 actors. Let me know and we will discuss the discounts. A share or group day can be fun for the kids! Plus, you can also join a scheduled group-day. Please Email to discuss your session needs.
It's a great compliment when a casting director tells a client-
I like your headshot, and it looks like you.
Wear a hair style you can easily maintain. Get your hair trimmed, but not too much! As an actor- your hair needs to stay consistent. Ask your agent/ manager before you think to change your look.
Do Not Over-Pluck Eyebrows! Your eyebrows should be kept as natural as possible. They define your face. Look at photos of the top working kids, and you will see that most have natural eyebrows.
Moist, un-chapped lips are a must! Please wear Carmex (or your favorite lip balm) starting 3 days before your session. A pimple or two...will not ruin your photo day! Skin can be retouched. Some teens can benefit from a teen facial, or should visit a dermatologist.
If you want to be a working actor- All of this grooming needs to be done ahead of time, and as an ongoing routine if you are to be ready for an audition or job.
Make-up, Hair, Clothing
I'm always glad to do light make-up and hair for kids and teens. A Make-up artist may be required for older teen girls and adults. Clients should come with hair styled the way they wear it on auditions- then we can take it from there. Wardrobe styling is available- a NYC Stylist/ Personal Shopper for sessions like corporate headshots and model portfolios.
Discuss clothing with your child's manager/agent. Every rep has specific requests- what they do and do not like. Certain hair-dos, preferred poses...Some may prefer a simple look, others may require you to have several looks. Always ask before you shoot. You can also look at the choices my clients made.
One great shirt is better than bringing your whole wardrobe! Shoes are not needed. Yes, some parents do bring two suitcases full of pants and shoes! The clothes you choose will give a certain look to your headshot. I don't usually suggest clothes that are too specific to one type of role an actor might play- if you dress in a ballerina tutu, baseball uniform, or party dress- that's the look the casting director will see when they look at your photo. You may want that as a second option. Pick age-appropriate clothes that compliment you- and the roles you may play.
Keep it simple. Avoid busy patterns. Pick colors that compliment. The clothes should not take away from the face. It is very important that the clothes fit well, especially around the neck area- try them on and look in the mirror! Make sure they are comfortable and they move well when you do! Make sure they are steamed/ ironed and in good condition. I will help you choose when I see the clothes you bring. If you are doing modeling shots, you will need several full outfits, and those shoes.
The Week Before Your Shoot
Get your hair trimmed and take care of eyebrows, teeth cleaning, and clothes shopping- whatever you need to get done. Treat your headshot session just like you would an important audition or job. Please try to clear your schedule for one day! Don't try to squeeze your photoshoot into an already OVER-booked day. Remember to let your agent/ manager know you are shooting and need to book-out for that day. If you have an important audition or call-back, do not schedule your session on the same day. Weekend shoots are available to make scheduling easier.
Get sleep and eat a good breakfast before your shoot! Bring water, and a healthy snack. Perhaps a protein shake drink.
Do not wear perfume the day of your photo shoot. It is a professional courtesy for photo sessions, auditions, and on set when you work. Do not bring clothing that is saturated with perfume.
No cell phones ON-SET. If you need to take a break to go check your phone- that is fine. I find it very distracting for a client/ or parent to be on the phone while we are shooting. You will not be on your phone if you book a job.
Proofs, Retouching and Prints
After we shoot you will view your raw proofs online and you/ your representatives will choose your headshots- usually a legit (serious) shot, and a commercial (smile) shot. Then the raw files will be digitally retouched. After we approve files, they will be sent to the printer.
This can all be done via the Internet. If you can not go into NYC to view a test print and/ or pick up your headshots- they can be shipped to you.
Printing costs run about one dollar per headshot.
Most submissions are now done online -so most clients choose one Legit headshot, and print 25-100 (8x10) paper copies to hand out. Some also choose a 2nd commercial shot. It is up to you. If you have a great smile- showcase it. It is more cost effective to have several shots done for web-viewing only.
And remember kids change- so best not to print too many! Most of my clients use these 3 trusted headshot printers. Check out their websites for location, prices and if needed- shipping options too.
Prints and Web-viewing files available with or without borders.
Headshots are printed as (8x10) color prints with the actor's name on them. Digital files are color, but the finished product can also be saved as a B&W file to use for Playbill entries, publicity and press photos.
Use your headshot to make business cards, postcards, CD covers and other promotional tools.
Model Comp Cards and Composite Acting Prints
Actors that do commercial print work (modeling) can also print a (6x9) model comp/sed card with their print agent's logo on it. Sometimes you want to show more than one look. Some child actors group 2 or 3 photos on a (8x10) print.
Sometimes we snap a family portrait for framing and greeting cards.