Q & A
1 WHAT'S A HEADSHOT ALL ABOUT?
Headshots are a special kind of portrait, which should capture your personality, show your confidence and it should engage the viewer in a positive way.
They can be used for casting or branding and most of the times influence the very first impression casting directors or potential clients have of you, hence it is so important to get it right!
"You never get a second chance to make a first impression!" - Andrew Grant
Research shows the importance of online profile pictures and the fact that first impressions based on someone’s image carries over into the offline world!
Casting directors sift through hundreds of images, so I will help you to make an impact in the few moments you get. A successful headshot is not just a passport photo to show how you look like, it conveys your personality and confidence, or even different characters, depending on what you are going for.
A headshot should portrait you in a professional, confident and friendly way. I am sure you have all these qualities, but I will help you to show it in your headshot too, which you can use to promote your personal brand online on your business website, on business cards and brochures and of course on social media (Linkedin, Facebook etc.) where you connect with so many people.
How does a typical session look like?
Our headshot or portrait session will take about one, two or three hours, depending on which package you have booked. First I will setup the camera and lights at a good spot at your location. I usually bring a white and black background, but we can also use any interesting available interior as background (e.g. walls, windows etc.). The shooting times are very generous for each package, so you can ease into the shoot. I will give you posing tips, direct you and together we can work on your expressions. Every now and again we can have a look through the images and see the progress we are making and if we are going in the right direction.
Depending on what you need your headshots for we can create different looks by changing clothes and/or changing hair or shaving in between. I will make sure that we will create some great images together, so you can relax and enjoy the session!
Why do you prefer shooting at the client’s location and not your own studio?
As an editorial portrait photographer I am used to shooting and lighting on location; that can be somebody’s home or office, an event location like a hotel, it can be indoors or outdoors and so on. So I have experience in working in different spaces, often even very small spaces and for headshots you generally don’t need that much space. So I realised that I could offer personal headshot and portrait sessions at your home or office.
There are a lot of advantages for the client:
- We can shoot in your home where you feel comfortable.
- No travel time and cost for you.
- No risk that rain or wind is ruining your hair on the way to the photographer’s studio.
- No need to bring just a selected wardrobe, having to pack and carry a suitcase and greasing your clothes on the way. You have access to your whole wardrobe at home!
- No need to bring your makeup with you. You can get ready in you own time before the session, and if you want to change makeup, or for the guys who want to shave in between, you can do so as always in the comfort of your home.
Furthermore I don’t have to cover the cost of my own or a rental studio and therefore can offer my headshot and portrait packages at a lower price to you!
Do you shoot indoors or outdoors?
A good headshot should be about you, with little or no distractions in the background that could get the viewers attention. That's why I am mainly using a very simple white or grey background, which I bring to every location. If possible, I can also incorporate the interior of the location, especially with more classical or environmental portraits, where the background can actually support to tell a story about you.
Though the most important reason to shoot indoors is that it is mostly a much better and more relaxed environment, where we can work together on your headshot or portrait. Furthermore we are not dependent on weather or light conditions, so no matter what the conditions we can go ahead with your session.
Obviously the more space you have available the better, however I am able to work in very small spaces too! So if you think your home or office is not suitable, maybe think again. You just need one room with a minimum length of 3.5m, so that I get your head and shoulder into the frame. Don’t worry about windows or artificial light either, as I will bring my own lights and won’t have to necessarily use any available light there. I might even setup a small studio in your hallway!
Can I listen to music during the shoot?
Of course! Please put on your favourite music during the shoot, just not too loud, so that we can still communicate and you can hear my directions :)
Do you also shoot in Black & White?
I just shoot in colour, as this is the standard for actors and business headshots now. However, if you do need a Black & White version, let me know and I can make a Black & White conversion for you.
How can I book a session?
Just contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org to book any of my standard packages or let me know any special requirements or projects you have in mind, so I can prepare a custom quote for you. Once we agreed on date, time and package I’ll send you a photography contract with all the details for you to sign to confirm the booking.
Can I electronically sign the contract?
Yes, to save time, paper and ink you can also electronically sign the pdf contract on your PC, Mac, iPad or even iPhone and Android. How-To Geek shows you how to quickly add your signature to any pdf document.
What about clothing?
Most important for your choice is that you love wearing them, believe me it will make a difference in the images if you actually feel comfortable. Anything can work, t-shirts, sweaters, light jackets etc., just be careful with crazy patterns or letters, anything that could be too much of a distraction in the image. If you are up for it, you could even buy some new clothes you like, keep the tags on and return them after the shoot.
Please have the clothes you want to wear ready, and if possible ironed or steamed.
What about Hair and Makeup?
Please have your hair and make up ready before the session. In general a more natural look is best to start with, it’s easier to add some make up throughout the session than to take it off.
(Don’t worry too much about temporary spots or skin blemishes, that’s easily taken care of while editing the images) You can also change your hair during the session (e.g. by putting it up or pulling it back) so we can produce a range of different looks.
Do you provide a MUA?
No, I expect you to come in ready to shoot, or as mentioned above you can of course touch up or change your make up during the session.
However if you really feel you would benefit from a Make Up Artist, feel free to book one for our session. I would recommend booking them at least from 1 hour before to the end of our session. That way, the Make Up Artist can touch up and adjust the Make Up as we go along.
Men: to shave or not to shave?
If you feel you might want some shots with some facial hair, you can start with some growth and shave at some point during your session.
What about jewellery and/or piercings?
Less is more in headshots and portraits and shiny jewellery and piercings can be especially distracting. If you feel you would still like to use them in your shots, we can take photos with and without them.
5 IMAGE DELIVERY
How can I choose my final image(s)?
We are already short listing images together throughout our shoot. After the shoot I will sort out the best images and provide an online contact sheet within 48h, but usually the day after our shoot. There you can login, rate images and if you like share images with friends, colleagues or your agent to help you make a decision on which images to choose.
How and when will I get my final image(s)?
Once you’ve chosen your images I will retouch and deliver them online within 5 working days. My approach to retouching is to just enhance the image overall in a very natural and realistic way. I use lighting and directing during the shoot to get the best possible image already in camera.
How many photos will I get on my contact sheet?
As we are already short listing images throughout our shoot I will usually provide about 30-50 images in your contact sheet. Depending on how many different looks we are creating it will be more or less. That way you already get the best images in your contact sheet and don’t have to look through a large number of images. For actors I will provide most of the images from the shoot, so you and/or your agent can choose the best looks and expressions for casting preferences.
Can I send the contact sheet link and password to other people?
Of course! It can be a great help to get different opinions. Your friends, family, colleagues or agent can also “like” images, so you can easily see what their favourites are.
How long will my contact sheet be available online?
One year, but if you need access to it after one year just contact me and I will put in online again for you.
Why are my images looking weird on FB, Twitter etc.?
Most websites are resizing the images you upload. That’s why I deliver your headshots in different sizes to minimize the risk of quality loss. Make sure you use the correct files to publish on the web. If for some reason there is still a problem on some website, let me know and I’ll make sure to resize it specifically for that.
How should I credit the photos?
Wherever possible images should be credited ©Wilfried Haubenberger. Thanks!
Are my images copyrighted?
When you pay or commission a photographer for a shoot, the photographer still owns the images, and that also means the copyright. Photographers make their living by licensing the use of their work and not by selling it outright. Like musicians, who control who can reproduce their work, photographers control who can reproduce their images. Copyright is a legal right regulated in the UK in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, which allows creators to control and manage their own work.
You can find more information about copyright and licensing on AOP-Copyright4Clients.
Where and how can I use my images with the Standard License?
My headshot and portrait packages come with a license included in the price that allows personal and self-promotional use of the images. That includes your personal and business websites, your agent’s website, websites like Spotlight, and of course Social Media Sites like Linkedin, Facebook etc. Basically everywhere, where you are promoting yourself. However commercial use of the images is not permitted, i.e. promoting something else than yourself or your own business. For example endorsements of products, or for instance a theatre using your headshot to promote their show, are not permitted. On the other hand the theatre can use your headshot to promote you in the credits, as that is about you and not the show.
Also for any editorial placement, for example in newspapers or magazines, the publisher needs to get their own license to use the images.
Can I edit my images?
Copyright also includes any editing of or changes to the images, including cropping and converting them to Black & White (as mentioned above I am happy to convert any images to Black & White for you). Remember, that if images are used out of context, poorly cropped or retouched and so on, that can reflect badly on the photographer and their reputation for producing good work.