woman calls me asking if I do headshots for casting. she told me that she was looking for a photographer for an upcoming audition. one of the questions she asked me was how long I had been doing headshots. clients check a few photographers and at the time they contact you, they still they have lingering doubts. to dispel any fears, I talk to them with confidence about how I take great shots that people happy. I cite positive reviews of my business, take some examples of my blog posts or specific photographs to illustrate my point.
I needed to check availability for the studio in the following week and get back to her. we then agreed to do the shoot on tuesday at 3pm. she thought that I was still in takoma park’. I realized that she might have looked up ‘photography studio near me‘ or something like that and sharpfocus photography showed up in the results. she added that if I was gonna take great photographs then it would be worth it. I assured her that I was gonna deliver the very best headshots that money could buy.
when I have a photo appointment, I try to be there at least 15 minutes prior to call time. when I arrived, I saw a lady and a young man in late teens standing outside waiting. the studio was not open. I checked the clock and picked up the phone. by now the studio owner should’ve been there and had opened the door. after a short, tense discussion he said that he was on his way. he promised to be there within 15 minutes but actually it took him nearly 35 minutes. I apologized to the client and she was understanding enough.
when the guy finally arrived and opened the damn spot, I got them seated while I was setting up the lights. main light, fill and back lighting. I vary sometimes but this is my basic setup and is used by most portrait photographers. now it was time to do a test shot. he picked a stool, got seated, and light camera, click. wait for a few seconds… the minute I saw the image form on the monitor, I knew this boy got what it takes to be an actor. I showed him first the shot then to his mom and they instantly liked it.
this boy wasted no time to get in the flow. after some minor lighting adjustments, we were ready to roll. he would change from a playful to serious expression almost naturally. it was just like that. click. head swing, a little smile here. serious mood. a hilarious laughter… after a while, a few dozen snapshots later, we then paused. change of clothes and another set. he wore a dark blue jacket, a white shirt and a tie. the knot was not well tied so I played the occasional stylist and made him a knot italian style. adjusted it and we continued.
his mom requested we do a few full body shots as well as half body shots. I moved the main light to provide a more dramatic contrast. I grabbed a stool which we used as a prop. he leant on it with ease and comfort. we rounded up the session with him wearing a bright yellow shirt. I switched to a more high-key lighting and resumed shooting until we were almost running overtime. I asked them if they thought we had enough good shots. they chimed in yes! a few more snapshots and time to take care of business. they made a payment and I promised to send them the link to the image files later that evening. they were satisfied beyond their imagination and I was very happy for a fun shoot.
the next day, I couldn’t wait to post a pic on facebook to gauge people’s reactions. I instantly got a comment from a lady who said she wanted the boy’s contact for a possible role in a drama.