F.A.Q.

WHERE DO YOU SHOOT?
I shoot my headshots exclusively with natural light, to achieve a very specific aesthetic. Everything is done in a natural light "studio" setting to control the light as best as possible. If you look at my photos and see different backgrounds, almost all of them have been done without going "on location." I have a unique way in which I create different looks and settings, which give the illusion of having traveled to various places, when in fact, everything was shot in one general location.

In L.A, there is a trend to drive around and shoot all over town, with the actor hoping in and out the car, changing clothes,makeup, etc. in the car, or even on the street. I am not a fan of working this way as the quality of the shots becomes compromised by all the variables and stresses put on the actor to be relaxed in front of the camera in a situation that is anything but relaxing. Just as it would greatly compromise the quality of say, a film, to shoot on an unsecured location, so would your headshots suffer if we were to shoot that way.
DO WE TALK BEFORE THE SHOOT STARTS?
Yes. I like to know as much as possible about what types of roles you play, what you would like to play, your age range, agent requests, etc... This helps me to get to know what is going to be right for you, to give you the shots that will best represent all of those details.
WHAT CLOTHES SHOULD I BRING?
Colors: Stick to colors that look good on you in LIFE. Things that are flattering for your skin tone/hair, and that bring out your eyes. I don't have colors/patterns that I refuse to shoot, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

Black and White are trickier to shoot, BUT, if you wear them a lot, or have favorite things that are those colors, definitely bring them with you. Whether they will work or not will depend on the light that day, the article of clothing on you-- I will know when I see it, so don't rule it out.

Patterns: I happen to love patterns, and some photograph better than others. If something is YOU, then bring it.

Pastels: Pastels are perhaps the only color that usually doesn't work. Since it's already light, it tends to look washed out once on camera in the natural light.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure to have other options if you are bringing lots of "trickier" colors/patterns.

Most of the time you are only going to be seeing the top you're wearing(unless we are shooting more body), so feel free to have on whatever pants/shoes that are the most comfortable for you to be in.

Although the clothes are not the most important part of the shot, they do play a big role in communicating type/tone/etc. Feel to to bring as much wardrobe to the shoot as you'd like. It's better to have too much, rather than, too little to choose from. Be conscious if everything you bring looks the same. For example, if you only bring crew neck cotton t-shirts in various colors, we will have a hard time getting you the variety of looks that you may need.

I am involved in every detail of the shoot, especially helping to select wardrobe. After discussing what you want from your shots, I will go through your clothes with you to help select the best options for what you are wanting to represent, as well as discussing what will photograph best for camera.
WHEN DO I GET TO LOOK AT THE IMAGES?
Right away. After we shoot the first "look" we can go through the images on the computer to make sure that you are seeing shots that you like, to let me know if there is anything you would like more or less of, etc. At the end of the shoot, once we've gone through and edited any unusable shots(closed eyes, funny faces) we will have the disc(DVD of high-res print ready jpegs) ready for you that day. And we are happy to go through all the images once we've finished shooting to make sure that you are seeing lots of great options before you leave. We also will have your session uploaded into online proof-sheets within 2 Business Days with Argentum Photo Lab.
HOW MANY IMAGES DO I GET TO KEEP?
All of them. When you leave, your disc will have ALL of the pictures from the session on it.
SHOULD I HIRE THE MAKEUP ARTIST?
YES! This is another huge part of the overall result. Many people have had bad experiences with makeup artists and headshots, where it didn't look like them, and that part really ruined the whole shoot. This is another area in which my sessions are conducted very differently.

The makeup, like everything else, is tailored to your specifications and level of comfort. Whether you are someone who barely wears any makeup, or if you are at the other end of the spectrum, all of the artists I work with, have been trained to work in natural light(very different from Studio light) and they have all been working with me for long periods of time.

Before they start, they will do a makeup "consultation" with you, where they will be asking you in depth questions about how you wear your makeup, what colors you use, what you would never use, how you go to auditions,etc.. they will make sure that the makeup looks amazing for camera, but looks like YOU, and not some other version of you that some makeup artist thought was a good idea that day. Headshots are not the time to be experimenting with a new look you've never tried before. Also, before we begin shooting, I show you a test shot on the camera where you can inspect all the details and make any adjustments that way.

My artists stay for your entire shoot to do changes, touch ups, etc. They also do hair, but since they are there for makeup, the hair is more light styling, i.e, smoothing, curling, straightening.

We ask that you come to the shoot with a clean face, but with your hair done how you would wear it if you were going to an audition, and the stylist will make changes from there.

People often want to save money so they will try and do it themselves, or have a friend do it; Headshots are an important investment, and I can say that I have never seen someone, who wasn't also a makeup artist, do their makeup as well as one of my artists would have. For the best results, don't skimp when it comes to this piece, it is simply too important.
I'M A GUY--SHOULD I STILL USE A MAKEUP ARTIST?
Yes. Although we don't want you to look as if you have makeup on, it is just as important for men since the makeup artist preps the skin for camera. When the light hits bare skin, it has a different look, and can tend to show more redness, uneven skin tone, shadows, shine, etc. which ultimately distracts from you, and the eyes, in the end. Just as you would not shoot a film, or commercial without them applying some amount of makeup, the same goes for your headshots. Also, if you are planning to shave part way thru the session(which many guys do) your skin will definitely need to be evened out afterwards or it will appear very red on camera.
DO YOU RECOMMEND RETOUCHING?
Retouching is a great tool for "cleaning up" the image. Eliminating things like stray hairs, blemishes, dark shadows, whitening the eyes, etc. can all help the picture to look it's best. I retouch ALL needed details for a flat fee of $35/image and have the new version back to you with 1-2 days.
HOW DO I BOOK?
We take a non-refundable deposit with a credit card, to confirm your appointment which goes towards the balance of the shoot. We can take credit card, check or cash for the balance of the session which is due on your shoot date.
CAN I BRING A FRIEND/RELATIVE/ROOMMATE, ETC.
Yes, you are welcome to bring someone to the shoot with you. However, when we are actually shooting, it will just be you, the makeup artist, and myself, since any more people could block the light where I will be shooting you. Also, one of the most important things I have found, is that the relationship between myself and the actor I'm shooting, is the priority. That connection between us is what creates the connection with the camera, which is the goal. If you have too many people with you, it can tend to make you focus your energy on them, instead of connecting with me, and it always shows in the shots when this is the case.
WHERE DO I PRINT MY 8X10'S
Since you will own a copy of all your images, you are free to print with any lab you like. At the shoot, we will go into a detail about how to make sure you get the best prints possible. The most important part of that, is the lab you print with. Color printing, is just as much of an art, as is, color photography. You don't want to spend money to get gorgeous shots, and then have the prints be sub par. For this reason, we exclusively recommend Argentum Photo Lab. They win "Best Of L.A" every year for their amazing work, and I've yet to see any lab do work as good as theirs. They also give our clients a 20% discount off of their already very competitive rates, and can ship your prints to you anywhere if you don't happen to live in L.A. And no, I am not in business with them, nor do get any "kick-backs." They are simply the best, and I want your shots to look as fantastic as possible!
DO YOU DO RE-SHOOTS?
There is a very strict re-shoot policy since I am shooting digital, and we are able to view your shots as we go, as well as before you leave to ensure you are happy and getting what you want from the session. It is important for you to do your homework beforehand to make sure your representation has any specific requests, or do's and don'ts. I always create an environment that allows for you to feel more than comfortable to speak up about what is working and what isn't. Everyone that works with me from the makeup artist, to the assistants, is of the same mind set: YOU are the focus of the day and so your preferences are what's most important to us. Since we are all there to give you what you want, it is important that you are very candid with us so we can best do our jobs.

*We would only re-shoot for technical reasons, and industry standard tends to be if more than 20% of the images are unusable due to technical problems that cannot be corrected in post. All re-shoot requests must be made within 7 days of the shoot, and we would charge a re-shoot fee, less than the original rate, dependent on how many looks you would want. This does not include makeup costs.
DO YOU DO IN PERSON CONSULTATIONS?
Yes. I am based in L.A, so it is very easy to set up an in person consult at my L.A studio. For other cities, often a phone consult is the easiest as when I'm shooting out of town, often my days are booked solid with shooting, leaving little time to meet people in person. But as far as selecting a photographer goes, contrary to popular advice, I don't believe that you should meet with as many photogs as possible. The best way to get the shots you want, is to select the photographer whose PICTURES you love the most, respond the most to. Obviously if you have a photographer who is mean and makes you uncomfortable, that is not good! But typically what you see on their website, is a pretty good representation of what they are going to give you. You don't want to select your photographer just because he/she is the person you'd most like to become best friends with, but because they are the one who has the shots that you most want yours to look like!