By Stephanie Ciccarelli
April 23, 2009
Have you ever considered having a professional photograph taken to help you promote your career?
Last night I had my first session with London, ON photographer, David Raposo, and I'd like to share a bit about my experience with you.
As a voice actor, you might think that head shots aren't a priority or good for business, however, you may change your mind after you read this.
Whether you like it or not, nearly everyone in the entertainment industry needs to have a quality head shot or portrait taken that will represent them as professionals.
Before now, I had never sat for a true business photo session, mainly because I felt that it could wait or that I didn't need a head shot. Perhaps you feel like this too and are just waiting for a kick in the butt to get yours done.
My butt kicking came after I realized that when people ask me to speak somewhere, I need to have a photo that they can use online or in agendas to help sell what I'm talking about to complement a thoughtfully worded bio. If I were to publish a book, be quoted in a newspaper or even show up at an industry event, having a photo already prepared is not only convenient but mandatory.
Boy, do I wish I had done this earlier!
I was photographed by London, Ontario photographer, David Raposo. David also photographed David Ciccarelli, my husband and Voices.com co-founder, a couple of months ago. Raposo has experience working with fashion models, business people, does wedding photography and enjoys taking photos of families, too. I'm already looking forward to booking my next session and also family portraits to capture more of the people I love in pictures.
5 Characteristics You'll Find in a Good Photographer:
1. They are interested in getting to know you as a person
2. They have mastered the art of lighting
3. The photographer has been referred to you and gets a lot of business through referrals
4. Their work has been featured in newspapers, magazines, online, etc.
5. They know how to direct a session, put you at ease, and can inspire ideas
Great Photo Session = Being Comfortable
The key to a great photo session is confidence and feeling comfortable with your photographer.
The first part of the session may be spent getting to know each other. If you are at ease, the images are more authentic, believable and are also less grating to look at when you review them following the session.
When I took a look at the first round we did shortly after I arrived (I had only met David in person that night but knew of him through referrals, networking, email and Facebook), I admit that I wasn't as relaxed as I was once we really got rolling 20 minutes later. By picture 35 or so, I was in tune with what was being asked of me and I was even making suggestions at that point which was truly progress for me.
There were in the neighbourhood of 70 pictures taken during the 1 hour session. One of the great things about digital photography is that you can keep shooting and you don't have to worry about running out of film.
5 Tips on How To Prepare for a Head Shot Session
1. If you're a woman, wear your hair down, perhaps flat iron it if you like
2. Choose neutral, safe colours to wear that won't look dated years later
3. Solid colours are best - patterns or lines are too distracting
4. Have pro makeup done. Men: basic foundation/powder is a must... yes, you heard me!
5. Envision your goals and think of some poses you'd like to try
Word of caution: If you are considering cutting your hair or doing anything drastic to your appearance, hold off until you have had your photos taken. I wanted to cut my hair shorter but am glad that I chose not to do so before these pictures were taken. Thank you to the many people who urged otherwise and helped to persuade me!
Miscellaneous Photography Session Tips
à¹ Come prepared with a few outfits or shirts that you can change into
à¹ Bring a hair brush with you as well as any items you might wish to keep on hand
à¹ Invite a friend to come with you to the session to make you more comfortable
à¹ Get adequate sleep the night before
à¹ Drink lots of water and even bring some to the session
à¹ Treat yourself to a relatively stress-free day if you can manage it
à¹ Try to schedule your hair (first) and makeup (second) appointments close together
à¹ Let your makeup artist know that you need professional makeup applied for photos
à¹ Book your session at a time of day when you are at your best, hopefully following shortly after your hair and makeup appointments
à¹ Reapply lipstick if necessary - men, bring a moisturizer or lip balm to avoid chapped lips
à¹ Don't wear ridiculous footwear or tight fitting clothes - resist torturing yourself! It's just a from the chest up sort of photo, not your whole body
à¹ Be willing to try different poses or facial expressions, even suggest some of your own
à¹ Bring clippings from magazines of images you like / would like to recreate in your shoot
So, that's what is really going on with head shots.
They are a great boon to you as a professional, but make sure that you're also in it for the journey and appreciate the warmer, more personal side.
I hope my experience has helped you in some way to prepare for an enjoyable photo shoot!
Looking forward to hearing from you,