What are headshots?
Headshots are portraits with a job to do. They are there to highlight YOU, and draw the eyes purely to YOU. They should ideally look like you without excessive retouching or changes, and importantly – you are more important than the style of photograph.
Simple is best, which is why all the A-Listers have simple, elegant headshots and why companies and business people almost always prefer this style.
Why do I need a headshot?
To be honest – no one really cares what you look like. They don’t care what I look like either… which is a curious thing to hear from someone like me. What people really care about is the message you put out there. It conveys you should be taken seriously and makes you more approachable than just a name on a paper.
A great headshot can help your career or if you are an actor it can entice a director to imagine you better. There is no understating it – a great headshot makes a real difference.
There are lots of headshot photographers – How do I choose?
These days the world and his dog are claiming to shoot headshots, so it can be a difficult choice sometimes. Look at the photographer’s whole portfolio and see if you like their style – but also look for consistency. Do the images engage you? Do they make you interested in the people you see? If you want studio style images, does the photographer have their own dedicated studio?
My rates are fair, and reflect the quality and dependability of what I do. No one pays a McDonalds price and expects a steak. 🙂
LinkedIn UK’s sole preferred headshot photographer?
Yes, that’s what they told me after trialling several headshot and portrait photographers. They’d been searching for a reliable and quality photographer that they could hire directly or refer to their premium corporate clients. It seems the search was proving difficult until I photographed for them and their clients started asking for me specially. And so I found myself their go-to guy for headshot projects. Something I’m quite proud of.
You mention different “looks” in your packages..?
It can be as simple as swapping a jacket through to a whole clothing change. Hair up or down? Casual or formal? With each “look” I tailor the lighting specially for you. There are no “cookie-cutter” solutions with my photography.
What can I expect from your headshot sessions?
I shoot differently to many headshot photographers in that I shoot slowly and deliberately. We’ll work together to fine tune your best “look” or pose. We’ll discuss options and the styles you like, and whilst you’re changing into something different, I’ll be making alterations to lighting and backdrops, because every set is different. We take lots of shots so you have lots of options and we refine your choice as we go – keeping only the best ones.
Some photographers offer me 100’s of final images…
You don’t need 100’s of shots. In reality you need one from each look. One great one! But we select 3 from each, just in case and we choose as we shoot so we know when we’ve got your best and you are confident we’ve got it. I spend time on each images after your session, to ensure they’re really great – not possible if there are 100’s of them. It’s a bit like fine dining – you don’t need a huge plate, you just want a scrumptious meal.
What about Retouching?
Yes I offer retouching and it is amongst the finest around. My retouching is by hand and can take 60-90 minutes per image. Good retouching should never be seen.
No one should notice, except that you’ll look particularly amazing. The better retouching is, the less you’ll notice it – until you see the before/after of course.
True hand retouching looks authentic and particularly for actors, hand retouching won’t get you into trouble with a casting director. And my retouching is optional, so you can decide if you want it after the session. There’s no pressure and I’ll show you examples.
What do I wear?
I advise that clients bring a variety of clothes and we’ll take a look through them. You’ll know the colour palette that works for you, and some items will be favourites for good reason. Jackets are always a good choice and you can bring casual and / or formal. You may want to portray different sides to your character.
Classic t-shirts, suit jackets and shirts/blouses, ties and open neck jerseys all look great. Have a look through my portfolio to get an idea
Suits and ties give a formal look for men, but lose the tie and we’ve a whole new image. Big patterns and bold colours are not always the best choice. Black almost always works well, so it is great to include.
Clothes that fit well, work best. Sit in front of the mirror and decide carefully. Ask yourself – how well does that favourite jacket actually fit?
Fine checked patterns can be an issue, so best avoid those herringbone patterns. If in doubt, bring it anyway. Pressed clothes are better than wrinkly ones. and no awkward stains. Jewellery can be great, but keep it simple.
What about hair and makeup?
For the ladies I always recommend a natural look. A light foundation and a good concealer. Easy on the makeup and light on the eyeliner and eyeshadow. A light foundation and a good concealer with a light powder.
Careful with some powders because they have a lovely “glow” which looks great for day-to-day, but less so on camera. Avoid anything that has any sparkly element. You can always add it later.
I carry quite a full makeup kit of different foundations and blot powders of all shades – all Mac, along with a variety of primers, cleansing solutions and specialist of brushes. And I’ve a deft, skilled hand at helping with those awkward spots.
I can of course bring in a talented makeup artist, but much of the time it can be more cost effective to opt for retouching.
For the men, I may still want to help out with a little makeup here and there. Don’t worry, it will look very natural. If you are shaved, please make sure it is a quality shave.
For everyone I advise not to get a haircut the day before. Let it settle in for a few days. But please do make sure your hairstyle is how you want to be portrayed. Washed and conditioned looks best and bring your favourite brush… If your hair is long, you may want to have it up and down for different looks. Easiest if we start with it up.
If you’re thinking of with and without glasses, remember that frames can leave a mark on the nose. So best arrive without if you also wear contacts, and we can swap later in the shoot.
What do I get at the end of the session?
The most popular package is “The Package” where we work collaboratively to discover your three best images from each look. So that would be 9 high resolution images. Or if you choose the “Express,” you can choose your favourite from that session.
The great thing is that you’ll know what you’re choosing at the time of your session and I can help you with your selection and we can be sure you’ve definitely got exactly what you want and need before you leave the studio.
For the purposes of headshots, high resolution images will be at least 3000px at the longest edge – which is easily big enough to print at about A4 size and much more than you will ever need for web use. (Higher resolution by arrangement).
Retouching is optional so if you choose this on any images, these will be supplied as such. Otherwise images will be carefully checked and fine tuned before sending to you as an easily downloaded link. Images are supplied as high resolution JPEGs. (Raw files are not supplied), with an editorial licence for usage.
Any other tips?
Get a good nights rest. Avoid alcohol the evening before. And prepare to have lots of fun. We’re usually laughing all the way through – even with the most reluctant of subjects.
My studio is very easy to get to. I’ve lots of free parking on site, so just pull your car right in. Or by tube, Uxbridge is on the Metropolitan or Piccadilly lines and I’m a short walk away. I can even pick you up from the station if that is easier.
And don’t worry – I’ll send you a quick email with a few helpful tips before your session.
What are Mass Headshot Sessions?
Lee offers a solution for companies who need larger scale headshot sessions to photograph entire teams or departments. He can bring an entire studio set up to your offices and photograph headshots with no compromise to quality. This is one of the most cost effective ways to refresh your company image or brand.
Can you do headshots at our conference / event?
Absolutely. I shoot many large scale headshot session at events. They are the perfect opportunity for people to come together from all over the UK where otherwise it might be difficult to
organise headshots for all. Just find me an area, preferably in a high-footfall spot, or advertise in advance… I’m often the most popular attraction at events with people keenly waiting for the chance to get their headshots taken.
And after the mass headshot sessions… what if the team changes?
There’s always next year or later on for another big session. But if you need just the occasional “top up” then I can usually replicate the look in my Uxbridge studio and can sometimes offer a preferred rate to help. Call me directly to discuss.