F A Q
Smithshot aka Chris is an Atlanta based headshot photographer. Specializing in headshot photography for actors, actresses, models and anyone that needs a headshot.
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Why do I need a headshot?
If you are an actress or actor and haven't had a recent headshot in the past year or two you are definitely due for a current headshot. A headshot to an actress or actor is your business card. This is how you make a living. As a photographer, I wouldn't promote myself without current photos and a website. Why would an actress or actor market themselves without a current headshot? If you are not an actress or actor but have an online presence then yes, you also need a headshot. You may have a web page for your business, and a headshot would be a great addition to your "about me" section. Or, you might be looking for a match on a dating website and we all know that we are judged first by our looks. That picture from your cousin's wedding with everyone else cropped out but you is just so....you know what I mean. So yes, you should invest in a headshot.
How often do I need a headshot?
For adults, I recommend updating your headshot every year and a half to two years at minimum. Children and teenagers should update their headshot more frequently as they grow and change so much, and at times so quickly. Children lose teeth, their skin changes, and young men even grow mustaches. So plan on updating these once a year at minimum.
Should I do my hair before my session?
A headshot is supposed to represent you at your best, and your hair is part of that look. You and your personal stylist know your hair better than anyone, so I would suggest going to your regular stylist, not someone new, beforehand. Sometimes men ask if they should get a fresh cut. I say it depends on the type of image you are trying to portray. If you are a clean cut kind of guy, by all means, get a hair cut and shave. If you like the 5 o'clock shadow look and you wear it well, show up as is. If you have a full beard and that is the look that you want to portray, keep it!
Why do you shoot horizontal and not vertical like other headshot photographers?
I have personal and practical reasons for shooting your headshot horizontally. Personally, shooting horizontally is a style that I just happen to prefer. However, practically, it just works. When we view any media from television, a computer monitor, a movie, or a live theater show, we view it horizontal. It's just the natural way we look at things. Also, when a casting director is viewing your headshot, a horizontal image when enlarged looks far better than a vertical image on a horizontal computer screen.
What should I wear to my session?
For the ladies, you can wear anything from a spaghetti strap top, a nice blouse, sweater, or business suit, just be confident in what you choose and don't wear anything too bulky. For the gents, you can wear anything from a t-shirt to a suit depending in the vibe you wish to exude. The only suggestion I emphasize, for both men and women is to wear what you are comfortable in, and to keep the colors basic and/or solid.
What should I bring and what should I do prior to the shoot?
Besides yourself and an outfit or two to change into you can also bring a CD with your favorite fast paced music. Maybe your gym workout playlist? Just nothing too mellow. As for what to do before the shoot, I recommend being as stress free and well rested as possible. Your stress and exhaustion will come through in your photos and you want to look and feel your best. Most importantly, practice your facial expressions. You can move your eyes, mouth, and eyebrows to convey hundreds of different expressions. You know "that" look you make when someone says something stupid? Practice that. You know "that" face you make when someone confuses you? Practice that. Practice as many different faces and emotions as you can a few days prior to the shoot. It will make your photo shoot easier, more enjoyable, and your photos will look ten times better and genuine.
What makes you better than the the other photographers?
I wouldn't call myself better than any other photographer. My style is different, my approach is different, and the overall experience you will have with me as your photographer will be different.
What about makeup?
Ladies, you can do your makeup before the shoot, but keep the colors light and neutral and don't try any new looks that you don't feel yourself in. Gents, please do come makeup free. Simply wash and moisturize your face prior to the shoot.
Should I be there during my child's session?
It depends. Some children are more comfortable with someone that they know being present. While others are a little shy or embarrassed to do new things around their parents or guardians. So,speak to your child ahead of time and we'll do whatever makes the child most comfortable.
In your packages section, you talked about "one look", What is one look?
A one look session is a one expression, one outfit, one hair style for the ladies, and for the gents, one facial hair style. During a multiple look session we may start off shooting theatrical, then switch to commercial looks. You are able to change your top and / or hair style to convey different looks to whoever will be judging you based on your headshots. Some men would come in with a beard for a gritty tough guy look, and midway through the session they will shave for a cleaner nice guy second look.
Do you retouch your images?
Yes, all images are lightly retouched. My retouching philosophy is simple: if you have a blemish on your face that will be gone in a few days or few weeks, my retoucher will remove it. However, if you have a permanent scar or a mole on your face, then you have a permanent scar and mole on your face. You don't want to mislead or present a false image to a casting director. However, you can specify if you prefer more retouching.
What is your process?
We will sit down before the session and discuss your purpose of the shoot. Then sort out clothing and lighting to best accentuate your features and your "type". After we start shooting we will take brief breaks to review your images to make sure that we are on the right track. We will then shoot some more, try different "looks" and angles until you are 100% satisfied.
Do you shoot outdoors with the blurry back Ground?
My headshot sessions are done indoors. Outdoor shoots have too many variables, the weather being the biggest one. We can schedule a shoot for two weeks from now, but we really can't unschedule rain. Then the shoot is canceled. What about wind? For people with short to no hair, this isn't an issue. However, if you have neck length or longer hair, the wind can ruin a potentially good session. Even the heat can ruin a woman's hair and makeup. The heat will make anyone feel uncomfortable, and that will show up in your photos. Cold weather is just as bad, it's uncomfortable and we tend to get stiff when it is cold out. Another issue of shooting outdoors is changing looks. Some people want multiple looks and that requires multiple clothing options. If you are comfortable changing clothes in your car, enjoy your self. What about when you want a hair style change, or you need to add some makeup? What about men that want to shave mid session?