Not every question is answered below, but hopefully anything you’re wondering about is. If your particular question isn’t answered below, please do not hesitate to contact me for further information!
The simple answer to this great question is we, as headshot photographers, are tuned into the smallest details and know how to handle a variety of situations that might only arise in headshot photography. Specializing in a single area like this allows me to stay up on the latest and greatest tricks of the trade to ensure you come away with the best headshot you have ever had taken. It’s like in medicine — if you need to get your eyeglass prescription updated, you’re going to visit an optometrist and not a primary care physician. Make your investment count by going with those who have trained for hundreds of hours to capture your best expressions.
The hunk of plastic, metal and glass that I work with can really cause fits for many, including me, but I will work very hard to put you at ease right from our initial contact. I like to create a free-flowing environment during a headshot session so that your true personality comes across in your images. If you need a voice of reassurance prior to arriving for your session, please don’t hesitate to give me a call to go over anything you might have questions about.
Great headshots don’t come from sitting down in front of a light or two, taking a slew of shots and looking at a few of the resulting images on the tiny screen on my camera. My sessions have you standing to give you the best posture, you’re in front of state-of-the-art lighting that’s been finely tuned to match your skin tones, and all photos immediately show up on a laptop connected to my camera so your headshots show up large during our periodic image reviews that occur throughout your session.
I aim to give you a headshot experience that’s fun, relaxing, educational and collaborative!
Yes. Scheduling an appointment ensures that you get the complete experience that you’re investing in. If you’re in need of something right away, please contact me to see about available slots in the short term and I will do my best to accommodate your request!
Yes. The full session fee is due at the time of booking and will serve as your non-refundable deposit to reserve your session’s date and time slot.
Yes! I recently partnered with a local full-service salon that offers a host of options and a team full of experts ready to help you look your best for your headshot. They’re about two miles from the studio so they are conveniently located!
Gervasi & Company Hair Salon
167 Beale Street
Quincy, MA 02170
A ‘look’ simply means clothing changes, like if you change a top or a shirt. For looks that involve a suit jacket, tie and shirt, I consider it one single look (with three options) if we shoot with all three components, and then shoot some without the tie, and finish the look out by losing the jacket. Changing any of those things out for something different is a new look.
Please contact me by phone, e-mail or through this website to book your session.
If you cancel your session beyond a 48-hour period, you will have 30 days from the time of cancellation to reschedule your appointment without the need for an additional fee. After the 30-day window passes, any rescheduling will require a new session fee. Important: If you cancel within 48 hours of your scheduled appointment or are a no-call/no-show, any rescheduling will require a new session fee.
A part of making a headshot extremely impactful is framing the image horizontally (or landscape, if you will). This does a couple of things:
- It creates negative space around you which allows the onlooker’s eyes to naturally roam around the frame – this is an opportunity lost when a subject gets “boxed in” on a vertical photograph.
- The point of a headshot is to highlight your face and your shoulders. Framing the shot horizontally allows me to focus on your expression, which makes a huge impact on any viewer looking at your image. My horizontal images can be made vertical, so if the need ever arises that can be done.
Another popular question is why do I crop the tops of my subjects’ heads. While I do try and shoot with your full head intact, I like providing images with your heads “chopped off” for a few important reasons:
- It allows a more interesting and powerful image by moving your eyes further up in the frame. This is an old video trick (watch any 60 Minutes interview) that takes advantage of what we photographers call “The Rule of Thirds.” It makes your headshot more engaging with the viewer.
- By cropping the top of your head, it brings more of your face into the frame. This is important because in today’s mobile society your image can make a bigger impact when someone is viewing your profile on a smartphone or tablet. Think of how small those profile photo boxes are on LinkedIn and Facebook.
- It allows more of your clothing to appear in the photo. For men and women both, this can be key because clothing options are often chosen depending on what frames your face the best.
If it’s of utmost importance to have your full head in a headshot, please tell me prior to your shoot so that I make sure every image we take has the same framing.
Inside the studio, no. I shoot all headshots on white by default and offer gray and black options if white isn’t necessarily your jam. White is the most universally accepted color as it plays well online and in print, however gray and black can also provide a strong visual impact when used properly (this includes clothing choices as not all work with the darker backdrops). Let me know ahead of time that you might want to shoot on something other than white.
A few quick tips to help you prepare for your session in the days ahead:
- Try and get a good night of sleep.
- Eat before your session. Bring snacks if you’d like.
- Make sure you’re hydrated several days in advance. It makes your skin look fantastic.
- Come into your session with the mindset of having a good time. I will do my best to guide you through the process, coaching you along the way and helping you review your images, but we’re a team when it comes to getting the best headshot you’ve ever had.
Please see my headshot session page for further details on clothing, hair, jewelry and makeup.
For men and women, please make sure your hair is ready in the way that you would normally like to present yourself and, if you would like, bring any of your products with you that you may need during the shoot, including hair ties since there is a chance you will have a ponytail at some point.
Think long term on this one. If you normally run without facial hair and plan to continue doing so, please arrive clean shaven. If you sometimes bounce back and forth between facial hair and clean shaven, arrive with your facial hair as you’d normally wear it (properly groomed) and then in the second half of the session we will have you shave to get a bunch of shots with a clean look. Try to use a new razor when shaving as it will help leave your skin in the best condition possible. Electric shavers tend to cause red spots and leave stubble.
Men: Please don’t wear makeup. Bring lip balm and moisturizer if anything. Women: Begin with a clean palette — cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize your face on the day of our shoot. Don’t overdo your foundation. Avoid using anything that has SPF protection in it as it’ll make you look washed out under flash photography due to reflected light. Your basic daily use of mascara (as long as it’s not underneath your eyes), blush and shadow should be fine (nothing wild), and stay away from smokey eyes. Make sure anything that goes on your lips isn’t shiny and reflective.
Our goal is to get a clean, timeless look in your headshot, so I don’t recommend wearing any jewelry. Not only can jewelry date a photo faster than a haircut, but it tends to show up extremely bright in an image which can steal attention away from your eyes. Exceptions can be made, such as studs on your ears, but I highly recommend going against wearing necklaces and anything that dangles from your ears.
Since we are dealing primarily with headshots, we only need to worry about tops/shirts, so please bring at least 6-8 options to choose from. We can’t shoot it if you don’t bring it, so if you’re unsure if it’ll work, bring it anyway! Make sure the tops are comfortable, and don’t limit your choices to the current season. Colors are more of a visual thing, so bring a variety that we can choose from. You will want to stay away from anything with heavy patterns and logos. We need the focus to remain on your eyes, not your threads.
No, I do not. While I aim to have the best image possible straight from my camera, every headshot is run through a checklist of things during the retouching phase before you receive the final product. Think of it as quality control. Many hours have been spent creating images that make the biggest visual impact possible, so while we aim to create magic during the session, the other half of that magic happens on the computer after your session is complete!
Yes. The first yes entails taking my studio on the road to your location of choice, for example a conference room at your place of employment. Everything that is set up in my home studio comes with me to ensure that you get the same headshot images no matter what room we are shooting in (as long as there is enough space!) This includes my backdrops, lights, computer, etc. There is an additional fee for going on location along with certain session minimums that are detailed further on my ‘Investment‘ page.
While headshot photography is what I do on an everyday basis, I do offer conference photography services on a request-only basis. Please contact me if you would like to inquire further.