Hello everyone, as you probably noticed I don’t really have a FAQ section on the website, however there are a couple of recurring questions that clients ask me when prospecting the services of a headshot photographer.
Given the current economical situation of the country (and the world) I guess the first question I get asked i how much it costs, well my prices are public and you can find them here. Now I must say though that a simple figure isn’t going to differentiate me from other photographers out there. This brings us to the second question, and one that I aim to answer in this post.
Why should you choose me over any other headshot photographer in Dublin?
That’s a great question isn’t it? The answer is remarkably simple though. If you look through other photographers in the same price range than me, most offer sessions of about half an hour to an hour where they shoot client for about 30 minutes or so. There is nothing wrong with this, if you want a picture where you don’t look natural that is absolutely fine. However the headshot is quite possibly your most important asset, this is even more so if you’re an actor or artist. The world we live in is, whether we like it or not, very geared towards image and marketing and your headshot is your number one marketing tool independently of your profession. So it is then of paramount importance that you put your best foot forward every time.
So what is wrong with a 30 minutes session then? You have a busy life and 30 minutes is perfectly fine. Well for a select few of us that may be the case, for a corporate headshot or a HR database photo that’s certainly fine but if your livelihood depends on it, I’d argue otherwise.
You see, when we’re pointed a camera by a stranger, our natural reaction as human beings is one of almost controlled fear, we tend to retreat a bit within ourselves and often times look frightened and a bit like a deer in headlights. From my experience in headshot photography, it takes most people some time to relax, release the tension and show themselves as they really are. The camera can capture all of this and if an image is taken while you’re tensed or stressed, that is visible around your eyes and mouth.
Another thing to consider is extracting real emotion from people. It is very easy for a photographer to tell you to smile, but we both know how that smile is going to look right?
In my headshot photography, I always try to extract real emotion from people, that is imperative for a great headshot, I need to create laughter and capture the real smile, it’s often the moment just before or just after a good old laugh that makes for a great headshot.
Another key element of a great headshot or portrait for that matter is the engagement that your client provides with their eyes. We’ve all seen photographs of models looking into the distance with a vague and distant look on their eyes. That’s absolutely not what we’re looking for on our portraits. We need connection with the camera, the client must engage the camera with their eyes and entice the person looking at the photograph to want to know more about them. This gives personality and mystique to the headshot and makes it a much more striking portrait and thus a more successful one.
Achieving all of this takes time, and this is why I don’t think you’ll be able to achieve the same results out of a 1 hour photo shoot as you will with me where we dedicate 3 hours (and sometimes more) to your headshots. In this time you’ll relax, have fun, and achieve the perfect headshot. During the session I will give you posing tips and techniques that will help you not only in the session but throughout your life.
This is why your first session will be longer, I will need to create trust, build rapport and only then can I extract real emotion from you.
Remember, once you’ve shot with me, all your subsequent sessions will benefit of a discount of 30% over the session cost, this happens because you’ll already know the techniques I use, you’ll already know me and the ice barrier has already been broken. The sessions will flow quicker and the price is obviously lower.
As a final note, I’d like to say that I’m constantly perfecting my lighting and technique, I regularly upgrade my equipment and I’ve studied the anatomy of the human face and participated in workshops with some of the most respected headshot and portrait photographers in the world including the famous Peter Hurley.