Every time I design a new course or come up with a new idea, it’s always in response to listening to actors talking about things they’re struggling with or frustrations about the industry. I’ve seen a lot of headshots over the years. Some great and some really, really poor ones. When an actor joins this industry, how do they know what is good or not? How do they know how to prepare themselves properly for the shoot and do they even know themselves well enough to be creating their sales pitch in the first place? It got me thinking.
I approached my really rather talented cousin James of Shift Focus / James Green Photography to see if he wanted to join forces to offer headshots to actors training with us at Both Feet. He was totally game. And what a wonderful treat for me - I only have three blood relatives left and he’s one of them so getting to bring together our two lives/major passions is really quite special.
James is technically a phenomenal photographer, he absolutely knows his stuff. He is most definitely an artist rather than someone who’s just bought a nice camera so I knew our skills would be a perfect match.
The biggest hurdle with headshots is providing a space where an actor can be themselves, which means it needs to be safe. I figured if I’m working with actors who I’ve been training, they already trust me, they already know the space will be safe. Plus I know them well enough to be able to coach them on different looks and through any struggles they might be having and push them to be simple but bold and brave.
I’m a firm believer that we’re better together. So, instead of doing solo shoots I wanted to run a whole day shoot with up to 8 actors. This would mean everyone would have time to change clothes and hair etc without a load of pressure but most importantly comradery would lift spirits, ease nerves, offer inspiration and raise the bar.
James and I ran our trial shoot in January and I’ve got to say, we’re both pretty chuffed with the outcome. Always learning and ready for what's next, we’re now planning our next Headshot Day and designing a similar set up for Showreels - very exciting!!
It’s worth saying that I have zero interest in going into headshots and showreels but I do have a deep rooted investment in the actors I work with so, what James and I are offering will only be open to actors training with Both Feet.
See you soon?
I am chuffed with my new acting head shots, they have already got me some good auditions. James is a highly skilled, friendly and hard working photographer. During the session I felt relaxed and really enjoyed myself too. I have been acting for 10 years now and had lots of head shots done, but these are my favourite! ~ Josie Cerise
Money is tight. Headshots are important, an investment, your marketing material. Yet for some reason I see so many actors be unprepared when it comes to choosing photographers and attending their shoot. Here are a few thoughts from me on making every penny count.
Since writing this blog we've actually started to run our own Headshot Days with me (Steph) coaching and James of Shift Focus behind the camera. Find out more HERE.