Monday, June 8, 2009

MY NEW ACTING HEADSHOTS~ FINDING THE RIGHT PHOTOGRAPHER FOR ME!


I've been thinking about getting new ACTING headshots for a while now...

My research really began recently, when I made my decision to jump back into acting...

I took a LONG break from acting to pursue my other creative dreams...

I tried to divide my focus for a while, but I realized I accomplished more when my focus was on one thing at a time...

That becomes quite a challenge for me quite often because as an artist, I like to allow my creative juices to flow in every medium...

I feel VERY blessed that I am a professional illustrator/singer/songwriter/guitarist/producer/promoter/booker/actress...

I consider myself the blank canvas, life is my palette, and the opportunities are my variety of  colors...

Does that make sense to you?

It works for me...

Anyways...

So getting back into acting...

I wanted to submit for certain casting notices & I realized QUICKLY that there are tools that I needed like YESTERDAY...

In order to submit for auditions, I need to have a 8 X 10 headshot that represents me as I am at this moment (Not 20 years ago) AND I need to update my resume...

I got call for a movie audition later this week which was really the BIG push I needed to get on it...

I decided to research headshot photographers as I would with any big purchase before making an investment!

Some people might not see ACTING headshots as an investment, but it is...Photographer, shoot location/studio, makeup artist, hair, Printing...It's not cheap if you want to present yourself at your BEST in a professional manner! 

Unless your rich & money is no object...I certainly don't fall into that category...not yet! (^.^)

Also, keep in mind that if you change your image like cut your hair, or shave your beard, you're going to have to get new headshots...

How did I research???

I asked industry people I know & fellow actors which photographers they recommended... 

 AND

I read "BACKSTAGE"...

"BACKSTAGE" recently had a GREAT issue featuring "The Best In LA" and they had a nice list of photographers...

Shout out:

I LOVE "BACKSTAGE"!!! 

It has been one of my most important tools as an actress staying up to date with everything that's going on in the industry...Castings, articles, reviews, photographers, schools, who's who, what's when...East Coast/ West Coast/Regional... Everything you need to know in the industry...for as long as I can remember, I've been buying BACKSTAGE...

I've been an artist all my life & worked professionally for many years in New York City, and LA, & "BACKSTAGE" has always been there for me in every way imaginable!!!

Goodness dare I say for 15-20+ years...

Don't ask me how long...all I can say is that "BACKSTAGE" has been around for a VERY long time!!!


Anyway, I got some really GREAT recommendations, but NOTHING was really appealing to me...

Over the years, I've learned to trust my instincts...

I feel it's REALLY important that when looking for a PHOTOGRAPHER, you keep in mind the following things:

*KNOW WHAT YOU WANT!!! (Do you homework & look at other actor headshots) Know what you like & what you want BEFORE beginning your search! It will help you save time & money...trust me, I knew what I wanted, so I knew when I saw my photographers work, right away he was the one!!!

*Know your realistic budget & keep in mind that the photo shoot does not include printing costs & setup fees at photo labs...

*Make sure the photographer knows the industry standard-the industry seems to go thru trends, even with headshots believe it or not...knowing what's hot right now puts you ahead of the game!

*Make sure the photographer has a professional portfolio & or website you can refer to and see samples of THEIR work, bio, resume, client list...Believe it or not, I had photographers referred to me that DON'T Have their websites together or updated & they expect me to give them my money & business based on their word that 

"They've got whatever I need"...

Survey says... X

***Make sure the photographer has experience~YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR~ This is a VERY important one, especially when it comes to ACTING headshots!!! For example, As a singer/songwriter/guitarist, I have A LOT of friends that shoot musicians live...they are REALLY GREAT photographers, but what they shoot is NOT always appropriate for professional ACTING headshots & professional ACTING auditions...I read recently a casting director said "I hate seeing hands & feet in photos"...know your industry...

*Make sure you feel a good rapport (relation, connection) with the photographer- you want to be REALLY comfortable with the person who photographs you, because you want them to capture YOU @your best! 

*Make sure the photographer is open & patient about answering your questions...They are your client because you will be paying them, remember that!!!

*Make sure The quality of their photographs are professional looking-the lighting is good, the photos not blurry (there's a difference between a soft touch to the photo & it being blurry & out of focus)...

*Find out what ALL the costs are & what is included in ALL OF the costS-Initial consultation, touch ups, Location~shoot in the studio or outdoors, makup artist, changes, number of photos, burned cd with photos...

I'm sure there are a NUMBER of other things to consider that I might be forgetting...these are just things that I can think of right now as I'm writing this...

With all that being said, I think it's enough to digest & get you going...

*So with all that in mind, just remember this

***We are all different...every individual is unique***

One photographer who is GREAT who worked for another person, might not work for you...

So how do you find the right photographer???

YOU interview them!!!

You might like their work, but you might not like their vibe or attitude which is just as important!!!

I recently moved back to LA, and if you want to talk about "Being At The Right Place At The Right Time"...

I hit it off with one of my new neighbors...we just clicked...I call it "Cosmic Connection" when that happens...

When I found out that he was a photographer...

YOU KNOW I jumped and checked out his website...

And guess what...

I KNEW he was the right photographer for ME!

You know how, because I knew what I wanted!!!

And in the end, I am VERY happy with the results!

He photographed the headshots shown above!

Who is he?

His name is Allen Zaki

If you're in LA, and you're looking for a professional photographer, be sure to check him out


He is FABULOUS!!!

He's professional, fun, refreshing, warm, soothing, real, beautiful spirit who is also BEYOND TALENTED...he's young & cute too with a wonderful flair for fashion!

My experience working with Allen was AMAZING from START to FINISH!  

I highly recommend you check him out!

PeAce Love aRt & sOuL
Denise Vasquez

1 comment:

  1. Great advice!

    I love the part about interviewing the photographer.

    Once you've narrowed the field to photos you like to look at, the most important thing is rapport with the photographer.

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