Sunday, January 27, 2013

Atlanta Photographers and Headshots

I decided to write this blog in hopes of helping some of you actors out there with providing some steps to achieving a great headshot. First, let's consider the process of choosing your photographer. Look at his work! Study his style. Can he and his makeup artist create what you envision as your goal? Speak to him...don't just email him. You need to get a feel for his personality. If a meeting is necessary, request a free consultation so you can feel what the synergy is like, if you feel comfortable with him. Sometimes you can't tell from a phone call, and most often, not from an email either. I strongly believe in the connection you have with your photographer. The psychological component is extremely important for a successful headshot session!


A great headshot photographer will have the talent to make you feel at ease by his easygoing demeanor that relaxes his actors allowing for their true personality and character to come through on film and this is essential for a successful session. A photographer may be the most talend, technically proficient artist in Atlanta but if he fails to establish trust and make his client feel at ease, the shoot will flop!


Other considerations include: Does he have an engaging personality? Does he provide a positive and energy-driven creative session? Does he have good ethics? (review his testimonials and inquire with past clients)


A skilled photographer proves his proficiency as a visual artist not only by employing the psychological component of establishing trust. His choices of lighting, angle, depth of field selection, equipment, and makeup artist are essential ingredients that will determine the success of the shoot.


After you select your photographer, your work has just begun as preparation continues throughout the week prior to your shoot and includes wardrobe selection (which the photographer can help you with in your consultation if you so desire). Prepping your skin by moisturizing each night is helpful to ensure a good makeup application on the day of the shoot. Also, sometimes increasing your water intake can help you if you are having water retention/bloating issues. If you have puffy eyes, a trick I can share with you is to use Preparation H (on your eyes..not in them...or anywhere else, unless needed :)) a few days prior to your shoot each night before sleeping and continue up to the day of your shoot. Another helpful pointer is especially valuable to the light-sensitive folks. Since your session will most likely be in natural light and be outside, I find it helpful for my clients to tune up their eyes in prepartion for the session. I have had good success with this suggestion. A few days prior to your session, as well as on the ride over to your session, don't wear your sunglasses. This is helpful to condition your eyes for your outside session and will help you control squinting. Bringing your own Visine is also another helpful tip to help brighten your eyes.


On the day of your shoot, this is where your acting comes in. As my old Improv teacher used to instruct me, "Come in with a want". What this means is to decide on your "want", your desired end-result, and commit to it 110%! It is so essential to be outside your head, not inside your head judging yourself but completely outside, observing yourself from outside yourself. Practricing in front of a mirror is a good way to see what you are really projecting to the world. Over time, you'll be able to do this without a mirror and will able to see yourself from "out there", rather than just from the confines of being inside your head. Coming in with your want, and commitment to it, you now need to utilize the "act as if" technique where you create your vision of how you want the session to develop. For example, for a basic commercial look, you will "act as if" you are happy, at peace, energetic, positive, confident, etc...even if you feel none of these feelings on that particular day. An actor who can "act as if" all is perfect, with practice, can convince others they are actually doing great, and can create this image as an end-result for their headshots.


I hope this has been helpful, and wish you all the best succes in your acting careers.


Sincerely, Paul Amodio  

Paul Amodio Photography