If you need a headshot for a job interview, a college admission application, an audition for a play or a film, a meeting with a new choreographer, an interview with a dance company, a portfolio recounting and summarizing your expertise, or simply a memento of you in a specific point in your life to give to friends and family, this photo should faithfully portray the way you are. The purpose of a portrait or headshot is to capture your personality and to show your uniqueness and originality. Thus, each photo should be engaging and original.
I work towards achieving these goals in my photo shoots by choosing locations that are as unique and as original as possible. My vision of a unique shot is one that is taken in the outdoors, when you are not necessarily staring into the camera, just using natural light, and avoiding conventional poses. In fact, I prefer results obtained when the shot resembles a true candid photo, a photo that is uniquely you in that special split second when you are almost unaware of the camera pointed at you.
Natural light is a key ingredient in my photography, as it provides for very authentic and unaffected scenery. I generally avoid retouching, adding backgrounds that were not in the original shot, and using other trickery. Instead, I use rather simple processing means, fine-tuning light and color corrections, and I keep retouching to the bare minimum. It is not compelling to me to be presented with a photograph where many aspects of your facial expression are altered by retouching. You see so many portraits where the subject is almost unrecognizable, where hazel eyes have magically become deep blue, or where your unique small mole on the cheek is nowhere to be seen.
When you go to a job interview, to a company audition, or to a college admission interview, you want to look your best, but you also want to look like yourself. You want the person meeting you to be able to recognize that the person portrayed in the photo is you, not how you would like to look. I have read in various cast directors’ and talent agents’ recounts how disturbed they are that, on the basis of the photos they receive they were expecting somebody completely different from the person they ultimately met. Such a situation can undermine the results of your interview.
I believe that the same confusing feelings are experienced by interviewers in any job field. Thus, I strive to keep you real, while I do my best to accentuate your true attributes and bring out your personality. Every assignment and job is different; there are indoor situations where natural light is simply non-existent or very poor, and where the room lighting is not perfect. In these curcumstances I will use artificial light. With optimal photographic equipment the use of artificial light is often unnecessary.
In this portraiture endeavor I offer portraits for dancers, performers, corporate job seekers, corporate advertising campaigns, graduating high school and college students, families and children.
Child photography is a special situation. Photographing children is like chasing a rolling object downhill hoping gravity will reverse and move the object back onto your lap. Children have very different attitudes towards the camera, if they are old enough to recognize they are being photographed, but young enough to not be able to exercise some sort of composure, then they can make your job quite difficult. The most important thing to do is to engage them and make sure that their personality comes through the shot. Then take as many shots as possible and make sure there are plenty of candid photos. Candid photos usually carry the best value, especially for young children, because through these photos I am able to portray child to child interaction, the dynamics of child’s play, an unsolicited smile, or a quizzical look. For those children who are older, engaging them in a conversation on subjects they are interested in can break the ice, make them comfortable, and make them at ease in front of the camera.
I offer various options for these portraiture sessions:
*The Headshot and Resume Combo has become quite popular among dancers, artist, actors and models, and it consists of a portrait printed on the front of a heavy-weight double sided photo paper with a resume or bio-sketch printed on the back. For this purpose I use 8x10-inch paper that allows for enough space to print all the information contained in your resume and to feature a large portrait of yourself.
This means of presentation is not only an effective way to introduce yourself at auditions and interviews, as it provides all the information needed in a single sheet, but it is also a safe way of submitting your photo and your resume. The last thing you want to happen is for your headshot and your resume to be separated, one without the other is useless.