New Year Headshot Advice
Firstly Happy Happy New Year!!
‘Free your inner James Dean!!!’
With a new year, the 1st January brings a new slate or so we are made to think. The truth is any day can be a new slate. Getting new headshots feels too like a new start. I remember when I was an actress, getting new headshots was exciting, scary, a lot of thought went into which photographer to invest with, what I was going to wear etc. but I remember not a lot of thought went into what I wanted to portray.
‘My personal experience losing my headshot V plates wasn’t a positive one’
These images are from a headshot session with the Lovely Callum Chowdhury in December. It was his first professional headshot session. As always I feel super lucky to photograph someone for the first time. My personal experience losing my headshot V plates wasn’t a positive one. It’s a story I tell lots of my clients. Circa 2006, I was a second year drama school student. I remember going through the previous years showcase books, actors that had went before me; their headshots were predominately taken by one photographer. The majority of my year-followed suit, me like a sheep followed too and I regret that. The photographer at the time was still shooting on film, refusing to cross over to Digital, which was just emerging. I got the photographers time and one round of film, 36 shots. It can’t compare to the 300-1000 images most headshot photographers now take. Somewhere between shot 16-20 I was told that my mouth didn’t close properly. I continued, blowing my lips out between shutter clicks. Shot 24 I was informed my jaw held serious tension. I went on to try to shake loose my stubborn chin and blowfish my lips. Needless to say I hated my headshots, all 36 of them.
Looking back, I remember that I didn’t really bring anything to the session other than my own fears, insecurities and as a result (with a little help from the photographer) turned into a bit of a mess.
I then took these new found photographic issues with my face to every headshot session that followed, It’s really important for me, that nobody I shoot leaves feeling the way I did, I wish I knew back then what I know now.
‘Let them out, be confident, let go of any previous hang-ups from photographers, teachers, directors, parents and just be you.’
The lovely Callum Chowdhury inspired me to write a little blog, maybe it might inspire you. He arrived, as mentioned for his first ever-professional headshot session. Graduating from a foundation at Guildford the previous year, his excitement about the industry was visible. What was really amazing is that he brought along an idea of what he wanted to channel, his inner James Dean.
Something I think we all have inside of us, whomever you admire, they are there, you just need to be open and confident enough to let them out. It was such a fun shoot and as a result I think Callum got images that work as a headshot and so much more.
If this new year you are planning on getting new headshots, make sure you think about who is your inner James Dean, ask them what do they want from their headshots. Let them out, be confident, let go of any previous hang-ups from photographers, teachers, directors, parents and just be you. Here’s to 2018, Here’s to Acting, to your career and of course Callum Chowdhury and his inner James Dean!!