Christian Webb Photo NY

Professional Photographer - Assisting? by Christian Webb

Hey, I made it to Broadway! On the Hamilton stage!  Side note: The Editor-in-Chief of Arrive magazine thought I was a dead ringer for the actor who plays George Washington in the play.  This was co-signed on by the art director, Lin's assistant and ......Lin himself!  "Dead ringer!"  When asked if I could sing I shamefully had to answer "not at all!  But I'm a hell of an actor!"  lol.  Not sure that's enough for a musical! 

If you're an aspiring photographer with or without any formal training,  one of the best ways to gain experience and learn the craft as well as business of photography is to assist an already established and professional photographer.  For students coming out of photography school (do people still go to school for photography?)  seeking an internship or assisting gigs with pro photographers is a good way to put their classroom training to practical use as well as get their foot in the door of the industry.  But what if you're already an established professional photographer,  do you ever actually assist another professional?  Is that taking a step down?  For me, the answer is no, that's not taking a step down and yes, you should most definitely assist if you have the opportunity and the situation makes sense to you.  

Last year, I had the pleasure of connecting on social media with editorial photographer Brad Trent who's work I very much admired and have been following for quite some time. If you don't already know who who I'm talking about, I suggest you go see for yourself and discover the dude behind Damn Ugly Photography.  While I do follow a bunch of other notable photographers, most aren't following me back.  So, imagine my surprise to get an Instagram notification that read: Brad Trent is now following you.   Cool.  I kind of figured for a minute that perhaps he just had a bunch folks running his social media and by some random chance,  they added/Followed me.  To my surprise, that wasn't the case.  I contacted Brad via messenger and he actually confirmed that yes, he followed me and the reason was because he admired my work. Well I'll be damn!  Cool!   We corresponded a bit more and I insisted that I shoot a headshot for him.  While he sort of agreed,  it still hasn't happened but it's an on going campaign that I assure him will eventually take place.  More important,  I made the offer to assist him if he ever needed anyone.  Wasn't too long before  I received a message from Mr. Ugly himself asking if I was available for a shoot!   Heck yeah! 

Meeting Brad and team was quite an experience to say the least.   I tried to explain to my wife what it's like by telling her "Imagine being a decent guitar player, relatively successful and you're asked by John Meyer or Jack White or Paul McCartney to do some gigs with them?!"  Yes, for me, it was like that.  What can I say,  I'm not so egocentric or too proud to admit being a fan. You should find photographers, mentors or whomever in whatever industry you're in and admire them, study them, learn from them and respect them.  On that note,  let me move this conversation beyond Brad Trent being a rock star and focus on the real message behind this posting.  (sorry man!) 

Annual Barron's Roundtable shoot. 1 day just to set up 3 different lighting set ups.  Only a few hours to shoot 10 people in each of those three set ups a day later.  An assitant's dream! lol.  You can read more on Brad's blog here: Damn Ugly Photography

As I expected would happen,  a few friends and such asked about me "assisting" and wondered "why?"  Their take on it was that I was pretty damn decent of a photographer and knew a whole lotta stuff about shooting, lighting and most things photography related.  I didn't need a job and I have assistants working with me sometimes.  I'm the one teaching. lol.  Why on earth would I go and spend time assisting a photographer as if I were some photography freshman?   Well, here's my answer - Because I'm still a photography freshman!  Regardless of how much I know or THINK I know and regardless of any tiny amount of success I have managed to achieve so far, I'm still just a guy learning, staying on my grind and eager to get to the next level!  That is something that will never end and it shouldn't.  If you talk to any real worth while photographers, successful photographers, the ones cool enough to keep it real,  you'll find that most are always in a state of learning and continuing to grow.  Old saying - You can never know enough!  As artist, we'd be dead if we knew it all anyway.  

Whole lotta lights!  Setting up to shoot 140+ people.  I think Brad brought me on board for my height and sheer brute strength! 

Another major reason for me wanting to assist has to do with a philosophy I live by which is to always try and surround yourself with greatness and the people in your field who are much, much more advanced than you. MUCH MORE!  I say it all the time to people - If you're a a tennis player, you don't keep playing tennis with people who are as good as you or who you can beat regularly.  You find tennis players much better than you with much more experience and much more skill who can whoop your ass with ease.  THAT'S how you achieve greatness with  your work eventually. So it is for ANY sport or whatever, so it goes for photography. Now, anyone reading this now may be thinking "but wait, Christian Webb shoots headshots, not editorial stuff like Brad."  Yes, true, however,  there's still much to be learned and the experience flows the same way regardless of the genre.   And, truth be told, outside of headshot photography,  one of the only other types of photography I'd ever be interested in would be editorial.  So, with no question,  I'm in incredible company.  Brad's been in the game for over 30 years. His experience as a photographer and the work he's done serves not only as an inspiration but as an educational resource unavailable to most. 

Richard Rodgers Theater.  Setting up for the shoot with  Lin-Manuel Miranda. 

Since first assisting with the Damn Uglies,  I've been privileged to work with some incredible people and be part of some amazing work.  The highlight of which I'd have to say would be the day we were in the Richard Rodgers Theater to shoot Lin-Manuel Miranda for Amtrak's Arrive Magazine.  Need I say more?  Hamilton!  Every bit as cool and personable as one could imagine.   An absolutely bad ass day and a true privilege to be amongst such company and part of an incredible shoot. 

 

Color check!  Broadway's brightest star (not me)...the other guy...the one and only Lin-Manuel Miranda.   Photo:  Brad Trent / Damn Ugly Photography

Color check!  Broadway's brightest star (not me)...the other guy...the one and only Lin-Manuel Miranda.  Photo: Brad Trent / Damn Ugly Photography

Let me add one more story about assisting before closing.  The Friday before the latest snow storm, Jonas here in NY, I got a call from Brad asking me if I wanted to assist.  Not him, but some other photographer.  It would be a favor sort of as there was no budget and obviously, they weren't paying an assistant.  Okay, no problem,  I'd be in the city anyway and fortunately was available.  I made it to Go Studios early where I met some of the team. It was a fashion shoot for Ubikwist Magazine.  Soon, the photographer, Patrick Ibanez arrived and we immediately got to talking.  Took seconds to realize what a great guy I'd be working with and how incredibly cool he is.  We worked a good 8-10 hours that day and it was a great experience. Funny thing was, the studio put together a Nikon D810 kit for Patrick to shoot with.  He wasn't familiar with it at all and immediately told me his concerns and shared some of his anxiety.  Being an experienced Nikon shooter myself, D800/D810....I ended up being just the person he needed to work with that day.   Best part, I met some great people and connected with a fellow photographer who's really solid with his work and has an awesome eye. You can check Patrick's website here: Patrick Ibanez 

  Go Studios, NY.  Was a pretty simple set up for the most part. 

Overall, for me, it's about passion and loving photography.  Doesn't matter if it's me shooting or helping someone else out.  The experience, the immersion into the world and commitment to stay learning even the smallest things far outweighs ego or whether I'm being compensated.  So long as the opportunities arise and so long as I have the availability and the photographer is someone I deem to be a true professional and whose work I admire, I'll always be open to lending my time, skills and experience.   If you're a photographer, successful, semi successful, experienced, just starting out, finding the right photographers to align with and to learn from is one of the absolute best ways to enhance your own skills as well as build solid relationships within the industry.  

   

Headshot Mastery - Pick Your Set up & Stick with It! by Christian Webb

                                      Go to gear,

                                      Go to gear,

I belong to a few online, social media photography groups, mostly headshot oriented.  It's interesting to see the numerous set ups and variety of gear used by a lot of headshot photographers just starting out.  I see people wanting to pull off one particular style of headshot but going way overboard with their attempts.  Then, inevitably,  they struggle with why they're not nailing their shots and or....their work is not consistent.  Why?  Simply because they're over thinking it sometimes and getting too caught up in trying to get fancy with their work.  Now obviously, there's no one size fits all set up or formula for every photographer but, I should think that within the realm of shooting headshots, even with different styles of lighting, the overall look isn't going to vary too much.   

Shooting fashion for example can involve one light or twenty lights, a plethora of modifiers,  tons of gels, reflectors and flagged off sections of studio or location space.  The actual job itself and/or the photographer's vision/client's vision dictates the lighting and overall look. There's a heck of a lot more room for creativity and you're not always shooting the same thing.  Not to mention the post processing, color grading and all sorts of stuff used to create the final images.  That said, if you're shooting fashion on the regular, chances are you've got a variety of gear that's used based on need and what look you're going for. 

                              And that right there is the set up again and again.  Location may change here and there but the set up remains consistent. 

                              And that right there is the set up again and again.  Location may change here and there but the set up remains consistent. 

With a headshot on the other hand,  you're shooting one thing - A tight shot of someone's face/head.  It's a shot to represent the person and their personality and to get an actor work.  While there are different opinions on landscape vs portrait and studio vs location,  either way you're pretty much going to have a basic set up each time and it's not about clothing or shoes or jewelry, hair or styling. It's about that one person in front of your camera.  Give or take a few personal preferences, it's a  pretty basic set up - Your key light to light the subject, some fill and possibly some type of kicker/accent light. That should really be it for the most part. (In studio, if doing the high key, white background thing, you'll have lights to light the background.)  The type of lights you're using, which modifiers and how you set it all up is of course, up to you.  Even if you're strictly a natural light headshot photographer, you've got one consistent source of light (the sun) and chances are you'll have some sort of fill via a reflector.   All of that said, the main thing I want to get at in this post is that you truly need a consistent, go to set up for your work when shooting headshots.  There really shouldn't be the same experimental, freestyle, artistic license thing going on as there may be for fashion, editorial or a random portrait.  

                                      The basics. (speedlights and accessories in bag 

                                      The basics. (speedlights and accessories in bag 

 While you can always play around and have 6 to 10 lights , 3 oversized, octagon shaped reflectors and miscellaneous contraptions and set ups to light one person for a headshot, it may not be the best idea and probably overkill.   You should keep it simple and not go overboard with trying to do anything fancy other than lighting your subject the best possible way.  You need to consider what style of headshot you want to shoot, learn how to do it, what you need and then...stick with THAT set up on a regular basis.  THIS is how you nail consistency.  And consistency is what ultimately will serve to make your brand.  You can always make a few adjustments/changes here and there and possibly experiment once in awhile, there's nothing wrong with that.  But,  you should commit to your main set up, know your gear, master that set up and repeat it over and over and over!  

The Crazy Eye Lights- Catch Lights Gone Wild! by Christian Webb

Christian Webb Photo

Christian Webb Photo

Just a quick post regarding catch lights in headshots.  I've seen some headshots where the catch lights become the most dominant thing in the photo.  Using multiple lights, a variety of shapes and different sizes to get all sorts of funky things going on in the eyes. I'm pretty partial to natural looking or classic catchlights whether round or square.  However,  I know that there are some lighting set ups that have become pretty regular where a rectangular lighting set up in one way or the other produces that same rectangular or square catch light in the eyes.  Cool.  I think it's gotten to be a pretty specific, contemporary look and for the most part, it looks great when done right.  But what happens when it goes overboard?  I'll tell you what happens: You end up drawing way too much attention to the eyes for all the wrong reasons and the catch lights take on a creepy effect making your subjects look like androids.  First and foremost,  any use of lighting and the arrangement of such lighting needs to be specifically for ONE thing - To effectively light your subject according to the goal in mind.  Specifically, I'm  referring to headshots more than anything.  With a headshot, you light and photograph with the intent of capturing your subject and conveying their look and character in a shot.  Trying to purposefully design "cool" catch lights with a superfluous amount of lighting or elaborate placement of those lights serves as nothing more than a distraction.  I guess if you're shooting an artistic portrait of some kind then anything goes yeah?  But for a headshot, try and let the catch lights just be as they are without obvious manipulation of the process.  

Actors - Your Headshot should reflect YOU! by Christian Webb

The mad cool Nicolette from Aligned Stars Talent agency Atlanta.   Christian Webb Photo

The mad cool Nicolette from Aligned Stars Talent agency Atlanta.   Christian Webb Photo

 Okay, so you're an  actor about to get new headshots.  You tell your photographer that you want your "new" headshot to be completely different so you can get other roles. Sounds okay yeah?  I mean, no one wants to be type cast right?  WRONG!  Let me explain.

During my Mastering The Headshot workshop, we were fortunate enough to get a few actors from a local talent agency in NY.  One of the actresses stood at about 5'1" (if that) and had a tiny frame and  could play 15 years young even though she was 25.  She had huge doe eyes and a perpetual look of pure innocence on her face no matter what she was doing.  Of course though, she came in and wanted the students to shoot her to make her look "BAD ASS!"   Now, let me just say that yes, I think some versatility in an actor's headshot is fine.  You may want to reflect a maximum of 2 looks. Those looks usually being the more dramatic vs friendlier, more commercial.  Dramatic however doesn't mean going the distance to look total opposite to your normal look.  You might now be asking "well, why not? I'm an actor yeah? Shouldn't I show range?"  No. Not really.  The best headshots are ones that reflect how an actor looks in real life and captures some of their character.  Shooting the girl mentioned above for example to look like Lara Croft wouldn't serve her any good when she shows up to casting looking like Mini-Mouse. (both gorgeous ladies of course!)  I want my actor's to walk into a casting and be the same person as in the headshot that got them into the room  in the first place.  

There are some actors who can play on that line between both bad ass and more subdued innocent.  But if you naturally look like the super bad ass looking, rough, tough character type in person and then try to make yourself look like a soft, sweet, boy or girl next door type, this is NOT a good idea.   Some may ask "well, how does someone get different roles?"  The answer: THEY DON'T Just kidding.  Look, as an actor you need to truthfully analyze yourself and KNOW your type.  You have to know how you're going to be perceived in castings and do your best to own your type.  That's YOUR brand.  That's how you will market yourself.   It doesn't mean that you can never get cast as a complete opposite to your  "normal" look.  It happens.  There are many factors that go into that.  Early on in your career, you may not have the option to play against your type as many A listers do later in their careers.  Also, if you just simply get great shots that reflect who you are,  later, if you're talented enough you can  audition and campaign for roles that you normally wouldn't get.   

So, keep it simple.  KNOW WHO YOU ARE!  KNOW YOUR TYPE and BE YOU. Make sure your photographer knows WHO YOU ARE prior to your shoot. This is essential in getting great headshots and will ensure that you're getting shots that will ultimately get you called in again and again and again!  

Mastering The Headshot - Teaching a Workshop by Christian Webb

   Setting up for the day.

   Setting up for the day.

When Chris Smith of Global Photo Adventures sent me an email asking if I'd like to host a workshop on Mastering The Headshot,  I thought "Me? You sure you've got the right guy?"  While I'm pretty confident in my work, I never thought to put on a workshop of my own and never suspected anyone would actually invite me to do so.  It seems that everyone with a camera these days is hosting a workshop.  I really didn't want to be in that crowd as again, I figured "who am I?" and just figured I was happy doing what I was doing.   Chris assured me that I was the right guy.  He had been following my work and belongs to some of the same photography groups I belong to and apparently,  noticed people following and liking my work as well.  So,  all of that out of the way and with Chris taking the helm as far as setting it all up,  I whole heartedly agreed and when the time came,  I found myself in Atlanta all set to teach people what I do when it comes to headshots. 

After arriving in ATL and dropping off most of my gear at the hotel,  Chris and I headed over to the location where the workshop would take place,  Photoplex Studios.  There we me the studio owner Mike Noa who gave us a tour and spent some time discussing the studio and some of his experiences in business as well as photography related matters in Atlanta.  Photoplex is an amazing and pretty large space with multiple studios for shooting and every amenity imaginable.  While we loved the studio,  much of what I would be teaching would be location shooting.  So, Chris and I headed outside and scouted a few locations that would serve as great backgrounds. (this in itself was one of the main lessons to be taught in the days to come.)  

DAY 1:

12047178_10153664900449631_2108446206938556204_n.jpg

Finally got to meet the folks who actually signed up and committed to spending 3 days with me.   All incredibly cool, gifted and really passionate people which made my job that much easier.  We started with basic introductions and I bored them with my brief bio and a random Power Point slideshow I had put together. ( just figured, hey, I need something like that for a workshop yeah?).  Before long we got down to business and we all headed outside where everyone worked on finding their backgrounds and setting up gear.  We were fortunate to have an actress, Nicolette Goetz,  sent over from local talent agency, Aligned Stars. After some instruction on gear set up and getting things dialed in with set ups,  I spent time coaching a bit more on technical adjustments and then, most important....working with the talent and coaching.  Within a short amount of time and after discussing some random tricks here and there,  everyone seemed to be well on their way and it ended up being a great first day.

DAY 2:

   A student working my camera for a few shots. (Gotta choke up on that lens!) 

   A student working my camera for a few shots. (Gotta choke up on that lens!) 

We spent some time discussing some business aspects of headshot photography and were even joined by Aligned Stars agents Patrick and Andrea who discussed headshots from an agency perspective.  Again, we were fortunate to have two of their actors join us as models for the day - Brandon Tewalt and Cashmere Bonton.  Both were great to work with and had natural presence in front of the camera.  After shooting both in studio and outdoors,  we spent some time going over some of the headshots the students shot.  After some critique and a feedback session,  I did a live edit for everyone to go over the retouching work I do for headshots.   The rest of the day was spent shooting and by this time,  everyone was truly on their game. 

  John working with Brandon in studio. 

  John working with Brandon in studio. 

                                            Brent working with Brandon on location. 

                                            Brent working with Brandon on location. 

  Studio set up. 

  Studio set up. 

DAY 3:

   Pointing out something there on the tethered capture. 

   Pointing out something there on the tethered capture. 

   Cashmere working the smiles and expressions. 

   Cashmere working the smiles and expressions. 

Our final day together started out going over the students "homework" assignment which was having them retouch/ edit their own shots.   After, I spent some time discussing some more business related aspects and marketing approaches.   Finally, we finished out the workshop with everyone shooting and having fun.  Again, we were provided with some great actors from Aligned Stars - Marcus and Erin. 

                                            

                                            

All in all, after my initial bit of anxiety on how this workshop would play out,  I left feeling incredibly good about the three days and extremely satisfied to know that I was able to help in bringing my students, fellow photographers and new friends to a new point with their work and helped to up their game.  It was an honor and a privilege for me to be there in the first place and I'm truly grateful for the trust given to me to pull this off.  

   With Nicolette. 

   With Nicolette. 

Thanks again to Chris Smith of Global Photo Adventures for making all of this happen.  Many thanks to Mike Noa, Photoplex Studios,  Aligned Stars Talent and their actors as well as special shout out and thanks to  the incredible make up artist we had on hand for the three days Samantha Gunn.  A true talent and simply badazz cool!  

And of course,  a really special shout out and "THANK YOU" to the photographers who gave me the opportunity to work with them:

The Best Headshots? Best Headshot Photographer. by Christian Webb

Ava Raiin, NYC 

Ava Raiin, NYC 

As an actor,  you need a headshot.   So you have to find a photographer.  Naturally, you'll tell yourself that you need to get the "best headshot" you can get. (hopefully you're saying that!)  So with so many photographers out there shooting headshots, how do you actually find "the best?"  What is the the best?  Who is the "best?"  I've had this discussion a few times with a fellow photographers/friends where we talked about the very subject of "best headshot photographer!"  What does that mean exactly and how do you know who the "best" is?  Well, I think I've figured it out and the answer is....

Well, it's not that simple really.  But let's see what we can come up with.

Here's how I see it - There's no such thing as "the best headshot photographer" or the "best headshots!"  There are headshot photographers that shoot headshots and then there's "the BEST headshot photographer for YOU!"   What that means simply is that out of the many choices of photographers an actor can choose, some of them may not be right for any number of reasons.  Pricing may be one factor.  A young actor studying theater and waiting tables at night, barely making rent and bills may not have the budget for "the most expensive" headshots.  For them, the best headshots will be headshots they can afford.   However,  this doesn't mean going out to specifically find a bargain basement headshot photographer.  The first consideration should always be QUALITY and professional level work!  Without out a doubt,  you should treat your headshots as a necessary investment.   A truly professional, dedicated actor knows the importance of a great headshot and how it will serve their career.  They are not looking for the best price, they're looking for the best headshot.  So what to do? 

Jeff Morgan, Atlanta.  Landscape orientation, 2 light cinematic set up with my usual,  "blue" theme going on. 

Jeff Morgan, Atlanta.  Landscape orientation, 2 light cinematic set up with my usual,  "blue" theme going on. 

Start by finding the go to professional photographers in the business and work your way from there.  You'll soon find that even with the variety of styles offered by the top headshot photographers,  there are a few things that are consistent when it comes to their work.  For example,  they'll shoot PROFESSIONAL level images.....meaning - clean, clear, well focused, well composed, sharp images.  The retouching will always be PROFESSIONAL level and look clean and natural.  ALL of these things matter!  Let me repeat: ALL OF THESE THINGS MATTER!  I can't stress this enough to you!  If you spend $1,000 on a headshot or spend $99 for the "all inclusive bargain" headshot...the photography has got to be ON POINT!  Out of focus images - NO GOOD! The eyes aren't sharp, clear, in focus - NO GOOD!  The retouching has you look like your face is melting and is way over smoothed - NO GOOD!!!  You will simply have to get new shots all over again!  

Kara G., NY

Kara G., NY

Let's discuss pricing more.   For the most part, you'll find that there is a pretty general price range when you get to the top industry leaders.  The price fluctuations won't be that extreme so you should expect to pay what the "average" standard amount is in your particular region.  Most markets will range somewhere between $300-$800 depending on the packages and such.   Truth told,  if you find a bargain headshot photographer offering "value meal" plans....and they're $200 cheaper than a truly professional, solid photographer with a real reputation in the business, you're better off just taking your time to save up the extra $200!  You should NOT be thinking of your headshot as some random thing you need to just get out of the way and do.  You shouldn't be thinking that any decent shot will be okay.  You shouldn't be lured by cheap pricing gimmicks.  The reason why you're probably going to get better work, better quality at the higher price ranges is simple:  Those photographers have experience and you're paying for that experience. They have the technical skills to deliver solid, high end shots and they know what they're doing.  They're not just talking a good game.  They've been in the game for some time and have proven track records.  Even more,  they are consistent and their work speaks for itself!   Often times, a photographer who is just starting out and looking to build their business and compete will come in the game and offer the "super special" all inclusive deal simply because they haven't reached professional level status yet.  They don't have the technical skills or experience and they are just learning.  That's fine. Everyone has to start somewhere.  But that's NOT who you want to shoot with.  That's like hiring a dentist or doctor still in med school.  Maybe they know a little something something but is that the risk you want to take?  Even if they're decent or okay at what they do,  their overall level of professional work won't measure up upon examination. 

Allen Redmond,Atlanta

Allen Redmond,Atlanta

Now let's talk style.  While there are some basic similarities to a headshot,  there are many photographers with different styles of lighting and set ups.  Some shoot exclusively in studio while many shoot exclusively on location.  Some do both.  Some use natural light only while others may use strobes/speedlights or a combination of both.  The BEST headshot is going to be the headshot that fits the style that YOU like and want.  Or, perhaps your agent/manager recommends a particular style for you.  It's also true that certain markets can have or favor different styles.  Regardless,  a great headshot is a great headshot whether it favors the particular trend of one region/market.  (L.A., NY, ATL) or not.  Something you absolutely MUST understand and keep in mind is this:  There's a difference between a good headshot and a GREAT headshot!!! You have to know the difference and you have to be committed to enough to your career to know that it does matter! 

And this is Jeff shot in natural light, portrait orientation.  A completely different look than my normal look.  But....still, clean, clear, focused and a natural retouch. 

And this is Jeff shot in natural light, portrait orientation.  A completely different look than my normal look.  But....still, clean, clear, focused and a natural retouch. 

Another consideration and perhaps an overlooked one,  is making sure that the photographer is actually BEST for you regarding comfortability.  When searching for someone to shoot your headshots, it's important to get a sense of the photographer's personality and their way of working.  Checking referrals, reading their info on their website,  asking around from others who have shot with them before can help in making the decision as to whether a particular photographer is BEST for YOU to work with.  It's not uncommon to find a photographer who has decent work yet, they don't work well or "play nice" with people.  Or perhaps they're personality is too zany, over the top  or just the opposite, too drab and boring.  Making sure you find someone you're comfortable working with is a critical part of getting the BEST headshot that will serve you well. 

My shots, my style...the way I light, compose my subjects and all may not in fact be right for you if you prefer a different style.   But as far as photography goes, all of the elements you should be looking for are present in my work - clean, sharp, well lit,  professionally retouched, contrasty images that "pop" and stand out. 

My shots, my style...the way I light, compose my subjects and all may not in fact be right for you if you prefer a different style.   But as far as photography goes, all of the elements you should be looking for are present in my work - clean, sharp, well lit,  professionally retouched, contrasty images that "pop" and stand out. 

Above all in conclusion, the quality of photography should really be of highest consideration.  A headshot photographer's work should most certainly live up to the industry standard as far as lighting, composition and overall professional look. Take a look at their website.  Look through all the portfolios.  Are ALL of the images great or just a few here or there?  Often times, that's a sign of an amateur just starting out and building.  They knock a few shots out of the park every so often but their level of consistency just isn't there.  Look at their retouch and their final images.  Are they professional level or sloppily retouched?  Do the faces look too smooth?  Again, is EVERY image professionally done or just maybe a few?  Just keep in mind that spending the most, doesn't guarantee the BEST either,  but spending very little more than likely won't be good.  Most times there's a reason why you'll pay a premium for a particular person's work and most likely, that photographer's work is probably solid.   And yes, often times, you get what you pay for. 

YOU HAVE TO EDUCATE YOURSELF ON HEADSHOTS AND STUDY THAT PART OF YOUR BUSINESS!  

Bottom line is...please....for the sake of your career....DO NOT RUSH the process!  Take your time! Do not just jump at some random cheap deal to save money.  At the same time, don't think spending a ton of money is going to get you the shots that you want.  Inspect the work of ANY photographer, get feedback, examine everything, ask around and then start to narrow down your options to make a choice.  In the business of headshot photography, with so many photographers to choose from,  a bit of research, shopping around and really taking your time will turn up plenty of options and plenty of great photographers.  Any of which may in fact just be....the BEST for YOU! 

Let me know your thoughts, experiences and feel free to LIKE or SHARE if you found this post helpful! 

 

Mark of a professional by Christian Webb

Christian Webb Photo NYC, Headshots
Christian Webb Photo NYC, Headshots

Andrew has been in the business for 30 years.  It was no surprise then that when he got in front of my camera for his new headshots,  he was dead on with his posing and quite comfortable.  A few pre shoot directions and some coaching regarding my emphasis on head / chin positioning was all that was needed and he got it right away!  When he showed up,  he looked as if he just finished running a marathon.   He was scruffy, hair a mess and even had nicked himself shaving and was bleeding a bit here and there.   Now, all of that sounds like a mess yeah? However,  Andrew's look, his casting range tends to be the rough, older, everyday type of guy.  He brought along a few t-shirts, a jacket and it all worked.  I think if I had shot him with a fresh haircut and shave, it would have been great but with less character.   This is what it's all about - Knowing your client.  Knowing their type and how to best represent that in their photos.  Had a great time and because of Andrew's comfort level and experience in front of the camera,  it was a breeze of a shoot.