A Photographer’s Needs for a Successful Headshot Session: Part II

 Jo[Theatrical Headshots Los Angeles by Vanie]

This is a two part blog and Part I of this blog post can be found HERE.  This blog is about examples and would make more sense if you read Part I first. To summarize Part I, a person’s attitude can pretty much make or break a headshot session.  A controlling attitude can stifle the creative process of a photographer while a trusting one can bring about the freedom to get more creative with exceptional results.

It truly does take two to tango,

and every once in a while, you dance with a partner that can do so exceptionally well.

Allyssa Schmitt (below) is a shining example of someone who had done her research and TRUSTED THE PROCESS of the photographer she chose.  Our dance was fluid, and it allowed me to break out of the steps I’m accustomed to and venture into an exploratory and fun tango!

She had a great attitude, was sure her pictures were going to turn out well, and truly embraced the process of getting her pictures taken with me.  Yes, she had the same concerns as everyone else, like for instance, dark circles under her eyes, BUT she was able to let go and have fun, because dark circles are not something to fret over when there’s Photoshop!

Having her trust me gave me the freedom to play, and from that freedom came some great spontaneous moments.  With Allyssa’s shoot, if it wasn’t for the freedom she gave me, I wouldn’t have noticed the old car on our way back that then made me think of having her somehow use it for our shot, and I wouldn’t have noticed the wall we used for her edgier look, for which we had to sneak onto private property!  It was a fun adventure!


JR Ritcherson: Creative Tech / Gamer / Blue Collar / Hipster

I FIND THAT FOR THE MOST PART, those who aren’t happy with the results for their session weren’t happy to begin with.  Having a negative attitude about how you’ve never taken a great picture, and bringing that in on the day of your session isn’t going to help your results!

Showing up sick to a session and complaining about not looking good when you should have rescheduled in the first place, isn’t going to help either. 

Complaining about how you hate the process and constantly stopping the momentum of a shoot because you are self critical, have baggy eyes, bad skin, or because you can’t make up your mind about clothing or feel the need to fix your hair after every shot will not only slow down the process, but will completely deplete me of my creativity.


Tiffany Berube: Heroine / Office Girl / Upscale Business


Matt Antunez: Jock / Hero

WITH SUCH SESSIONS,  I’m pretty much on auto-mode waiting for you to be done fussing over yourself so I can shoot some pictures, put down the camera, and wait again.

That is not the way great moments are created and captured!

That is not a Tango! When makeup becomes such a process that it takes two hours of changes for you to still not be happy with your face, then OF COURSE you’re not going to be happy with your pictures.

FACT: In twelve years, I’ve cancelled two sessions for this very reason.  Regretfully, I didn’t cancel a third, which I should have.


Nicole Appleby: Artist / Down and Out – Edgy / Politician


Zack Golovan: Sports Fan / Gamer


Alisha Sweeting: Hipster / Best Friend / Musician

If you’ve done your research, have studied your photographer’s portfolio (which also showcases their makeup artist’s work), then when you hire him or her, you simply need to trust and let the professionals do their job.

The process of creating successful headshots comes from collaboration and input– NOT control.


I love helping you by putting out this free information (often written on weekends and evenings) so please help me spread the word by commenting and or sharing this post on your social feed!????????


  1. Tom K.

    Whoa! I just bought new iPad and your photos look incredible on it.

    • admin

      Congrats on the iPad Tom!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *