Good morning and welcome to day two of head shot week with Jen Shannon Portrait! Yesterday, I kicked off the week with a post about the three head shots most people generally come to me for. You can click here to read that post. Today, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into the process of what a typical head shot experience with Jen Shannon Portrait looks like.
Here are the steps in the process.
- The consultation
- The preparation
- Hair and makeup
- The shoot
- The culling process
- Editing and final delivery within 1 business day
Consultation: Let’s start with the consultation. After a client has inquired with me, I typically gather information in the form of a questionnaire that helps me to better understand the need of my Client and my Client’s profession. If, for example, my Client is in the corporate world, they may be looking for more formal head shots. If they are in the blogging or service based world, they may be looking for more relaxed and laid back head shots. It’s important to understand my Client’s needs and their uses for the head shots.
During the consultation, we talk about where they will be using their head shots, how they want people to feel when they see their head shots and what they want their first impressions to be based on where they will be using their head shots. For example, one head shot they may want to use on LinkedIn may need to make people feel that the person is powerful, knowledgeable, and confident, whereas another one of their head shots, they may want to use on their blog that is approachable, friendly, and confident. There’s a big difference between the two, so understanding that is key.
Preparation: Each Client that books their head shot session with me will receive a preparation guide as well as a style guide. It’s important, especially for ladies, to take good care of their skin leading up to their session. My preparation guide walks them through suggestions of what to do leading up to their session to prepare them to look their most polished. For example, they may want to get their roots touched up, nails done, or get a Hydrafacial (Jill Stonier gives an AMAZING Hydrafacial) in the days leading up to their head shots. Skincare is the most important. If you’re skin is cared for, your makeup will not only go on flawlessly, but photograph flawlessly as well. More on that later this week. Jill Stonier, pictured below, will be featured later this week talking about skin care.
In addition to beauty preparations, what you wear can also make a huge impact in your photographs. My style guide walks you through various necklines, cuts, and waist lines that best accentuate your shape and size. Many times what makes a person looked polished to the natural eye can photograph to make them look larger than they are or add bulk in area that aren’t flattering. It’s important to read this guide and ask questions if you feel lost! That’s what I’m here for.
Hair and makeup: Outside of the head shot marathons I host, my minimum head shot collection includes professionally done hair and makeup. I have a network of hair and makeup artists I trust to do the job and do it well. Most times, it can be done right there in my studio. On some occasions, it’s easier for the Clients that need to get in and get done to walk across the street from my studio to Jill Stonier, Professional Makeup Artist, where she is all setup and ready to start on your makeup. She also has a team of licensed hair stylists that can do your hair there as well.
It is imperative to head shots that you look your most polished. Every day makeup and hair applications are much different than photographic makeup and hair applications. Most times, makeup needs to be applied more heavily and hair requires some teasing or curling that is best left to a professional.
Take this photo I recently posted to my Instagram account. This is a comparison of a before and after head shot. The head shot on the iPhone was done with no professional hair and makeup application. The difference is staggering.
The shoot: Now comes the easy part, at least for me! This is generally where things get awkward but in a good way. I will pose you from head to toe to make sure your shape and body type are flattered in their best areas. That involves contorting yourself a little bit, feeling awkward/stupid, but looking amazing. The most awkward of them being the “push your chin forward like a turtle and then bring it down” because it feels ridiculous, but defines the jaw line and helps to eliminate double chins. Typically, a shoot lasts around 20 minutes. We can normally get what we need during that time, depending on how many outfit changes you’ve brought.
The culling process: After the shoot is complete, we sit down at my computer while I offload the photos we’ve just taken and pull them up to look at. Generally it takes about 3 rounds of culling to select the final three, but most times, the client falls in love with their head shots and usually pays for additional head shots. During the culling process, the first round consists of picking any photos that we even slightly like. After the first round, we then look at the first round selections as a whole and start picking at the smaller nuances of the photos, such as “you’re smile looks better here” or “your eyes are more open in this one.” Generally, what you’re looking for during this process is facial expression. Just about anything else can be edited to look a certain way. I open eyes, increase hair volume, eliminate jowls or double chins, skinny waist lines and arms, remove stray eyes, reduce the appearance of fine lines, etc. You’d be surprised what can be done HOWEVER I want you to look like a polished version of you, not someone completely different, so keep that in mind. After we’ve selected the finals, you get to go out looking fabulous and that’s when I get to work on editing.
Editing and delivering in one business day: This is of utmost importance to my clients. Most people don’t know they need head shots until they’re in a pinch to get them. Most often, I hear, “I need these done yesterday” which means they need them asap. That’s where I come in. I guarantee you will have your fully edited head shots delivered to you within one business day, usually same day. All edits are guaranteed so if you are not happy or you need additional edits, those are at no extra charge to you. I guarantee my work!
Each image is fully edited, which includes what I mentioned above as well as any additional edits the Client requests. For example, I had a pageant Client come to me and she needed her hair to look as big as possible. While it wasn’t an edit I would have preferred for a head shot Client, that was HER need, therefore that’s what I did. I’ve skinnied arms, removed back rolls, eliminated gaps in teeth, whitened teeth, removed excess gum space in mouths, filled in hair gaps, etc. I can’t say there’s nothing I can’t do, but there’s little I can’t do. It all goes back to good preparation though.
I hope that this article has been extremely helpful to those considering getting head shots done, even if not by me. It can be a daunting process of unknowns but I’m here to make it a little more “known” and a little less scary. Tune in tomorrow when Jill does a blog takeover to talk about the importance of skincare for your head shots! Until then, stay fabulous!