Article by Headshot Photographer; Vanie Poyey


Recently a client came in and the first thing she blurted out with a big sigh as she plopped down on the couch was that she’s had three shoots in the last year and she hopes she gets it right this time.    I naturally assured her that she would because she’s come to the right place!   BUT it quickly became apparent that in fact, she may not get it right this time either.

The reason for my change of heart was because from the very beginning it seemed my client had formulated her own ideas of what she should look like and what she should wear.  Not that there’s anything wrong with anyone having their own ideas but in this case her own ideas were the reason she had three shoots in one year and still didn’t get it right.   In short, based on my experience, her ideas were not going to result in the looks her reps were asking for.   Worst of all, when I tried to explain this, she was not open to advice.

Starting with makeup, she wanted bold colors and hard lines for every look including the “Girl Next Door.”  While bold colors may work for “Edgy” or “Hip”, her choice of makeup was not in sync with the “Girl Next Door” look and she came across more like a vixen than the girl next door.

When it came to wardrobe, she also had very specific ideas of say what an “Office Girl” would wear.   While her idea of what she would wear to the office was correct, it would not translate the same way in a headshot.   Again, my advice for an alternative outfit choice was ignored and the look we photographed likely will not serve her well as “Office Girl.”

The lesson here is that while there’s nothing wrong with personal preference, if you’ve failed to deliver your agents the tools they need to get you work, try deferring to the advice of the professionals. When it comes to industry standards, pro photographers work with many agents, managers, and casting directors, and we see a wide range of actors with a wide range of needs.  We have a good grasp on the big picture and can help guide you towards your goals… but only if you let us.

Trusting the right professional can result in surprising success.


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Heather Geisler: Athletic / Office Girl / Fashionista


Dana Byrne: Suburban Mom /  Tamara Cimmerian: Antihero


Dan Hillaker: Antihero / Hipster


Lauren Henning: Hipster / Intern / Athletic


John Hannen: Outdoorsy Grandad / Professor / Casual Grandad


Swee Khor: Urban Hip / Computer Tech / Casual Mom


Mike Kosareff: Blue Collar / Suburban Dad


Nefertiti Jones: Disney / Jazemin Jones: Simply… cute!


Lisa Costanza: Blue Collar / Suburban Grandma


Hunter Davis: Silicon Valley Creative Professional / Office Guy

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