FAQ & Tips For Your Photo Session

Preparing for your headshot session is not that hard! Basically, you just need to relax and look forward to your shoot. However, there are a few tips that will help you put your best face forward. I have outlined these below, along with the most common questions I receive. These are just things to keep in mind and will help you to get the best photos possible and arrive prepared and ready to shoot!

Which Package Is Right For Me?  
Choosing which headshot package will work for you, really depends on what you need. The basic package is good if you are a beginner who is just taking classes, and needs headshots for auditions and getting started. It is also a good choice if you have changed your hair or lost / gained a lot of weight. If you need specific looks, are more seasoned, or want to shave facial hair (men), or change your hair from curly to straight (wigs are usually suggested for this) then the deluxe package would work for you.
- Always consult your agent or coach on the types of looks they want for you. 

Where will my session take place? 
Most of my sessions take place in my Stone Mountain studio. My studio is the best place when you need hair and make-up done as well, since we are all set up for it. I do shoot around Suwanee in the warmer months, which are generally from April - October and it works out well for my clients that are north of Atlanta. These sessions work out great for men and kids who do not need professional hair and make-up. I still provide light foundation and powder to ensure that my clients look their best. Please note slate shots are not available in Suwanee. 

How can I book my appointment and send you my deposit? 
The best way to schedule a session is to email me directly via the "contact me" form on the left. Once we have confirmed a date and time, I'll send you a confirmation email that contains a link to send your deposit via Paypal, or you may secure it with a credit card. 

Filming Slate Shots
I often get asked about filming slate shots, and yes, I do offer that service! Slate shots are short video clips that match your headshot and bring it to life! Actors with slate shots GET SEEN, as it allows casting directors to see and hear what you sound like. I film in HD, with professional lighting and sound. Slate shots are emailed to you the same day as your session, which allows you to upload them to your profile immediately.  

How To Prepare 
One of the best things you can do before your session is to get enough sleep the night before. You can skip one night out on the town to get great headshots, right? Drinking alcohol and not being well rested will show up in your photos. The days before and day of your shoot, make sure to have plenty of water and fluids. Water will help hydrate your skin and keep it clear. Try to avoid prolonged sun exposure as well, as it takes a lot of retouching to cover up sun burn. Also, don't try any new products for your hair, face or skin before your shoot. You never know when it could break you out and now is not the time to experiment! 

What Should I Do With My Hair?
Your hair should be cut and colored how you will be wearing it for the next 8 -12 months. You don't want to take your headshots, and then do a big hair change! I usually suggest not getting a hair cut or colored within 5 days of your appointment. Hair needs time to re-adjust after a cut (even a trim), and can do some funky things. So, it's best to wait a little while and let it get settled. This way it will also be easier to style and will be more likely to look how you want it to at your shoot.

Should I Wear My Glasses? 
I often get asked if my clients should wear glasses in their headshots. The answer depends on what you need them for. If you can't see a thing without them, then you definitely need to wear them in all of your shots! If you only need them to see a near or far, and can function without them, then it is a good idea to do a majority of shots without them and just add a few shots in so you'll have them if needed. Glasses can also work well for specific character shots.

What To Wear - Headshots 
Clothes should be simple and not very trendy. I usually suggest that my clients bring a variety of necklines and colors. You want to avoid big, bold patterns, and shirts with logos. For colors, think about mid tones and medium colors. Colors such as greens, grays, blues, darker reds, and purples all photograph very well. If you have certain colors you have been told look great on you on camera, then definitely bring those too!

Pastels and white do not photograph well and generally wash clients out. Texture in clothing adds interest without being distracting. Small textures (such as lace or pointelle) can work well for women. For guys, a button up under a 3/4 zipped sweater,  V necks and button ups always photograph nicely. Layering is also a good idea. For women, denim jackets, cardigans with tank tops, and tank tops with long sleeved tops over them can all work well. For commercial shots and younger talent, bright colors really pop! For film headshots, the more subdued and muted colors are best.

For business shots on men, grey, and dark blue suits work well. Ties look best when their tone lands between the suit and the shirt (such as mid-tone). Ties that are very silky and shiny will not photograph well. If you don't want to wear a tie, choose a colored shirt (not white, but lighter than the jacket color). If you wear a button-down shirt, it's best to wear a jacket or sweater of some kind to layer the look.,For business shots for women, grey, and neutral suits with blush colored, or more subdued colored shells underneath, photograph nicely. 

Make sure all of your clothing fits well, and is clean. You need to be comfortable, so you will feel good and it will translate into your photos! I tell my clients to bring more clothing options than they need. Usually 6-8 tops are adequate and gives us enough to choose from. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum. Small hoops or studs are great if you have pierced ears, and no necklaces.  

What To Wear - Body Shots 
For body shots (also known as full length shots) you want to bring clothing that shows off your body! Tighter tops and jeans, as well as dresses work well for women. It's usually suggested that body shots are a combination of casual, dressy, business and athletic / fitness type shots. You want to bring cute tops that fit well, dresses, pant suits, suits for men or sports coats, workout clothing, and jeans with a fitted t-shirt are all great options. Accessories such as magazines, Ipads, briefcases, weights or yoga mats all convey different ideas and can help set the scene for the type of look you need. Also make sure to bring bring matching shoes, belts, and jewelry if needed!   

Make sure all of your clothing fits well, and is clean. You need to be comfortable, so you will feel good and it will translate into your photos! I tell my clients to bring more clothing options than they need. Usually 6-8 tops are adequate and gives us enough to choose from.

Being On Time
Please plan to arrive on time (5-10 minutes before your scheduled time is fine).  I usually allow plenty of time during sessions, but if you are more than 30 minutes past your appointment time, then you may have to do a smaller package or reschedule / cancel your appointment.

What Happens After Our Shoot? 
After our shoot, I will process your images. They will still look very close to how they were in the camera during your shoot, but I will do some minor editing to make them look their best. Within 72 hours of your shoot, I will email you a link to your private online gallery and digital downloads. You can then share it with your acting coaches, agents or friends. You will need a free program called Winzip to download the hi-resolution photos. Then you will choose the retouched images you would like. There is no time limit on when you need to order them. Once you have made your selections, just let me know which images you would like retouched for printing. If you have a deadline, please keep in mind it takes me 24 hours to get the retouched image back to you, and the mass production printer can take another 2-3 days.

If you need your photos sooner, for a $30 rush fee you can have them by 10am the morning after your shoot.  At the end of your session, I will give you a list of reputable Atlanta agencies and acting coaches and schools that I work with. I recommend Pixel Pusher in Atlanta for printing the mass produced copies of your headshots (such as 25-100 copies with your name on it). 

** This FAQ was written by Megan Dougherty Photography, LLC and may not be reproduced in any way. 

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