Frequently Asked Questions
So you grabbed one of our coveted mini session slots? Fantastic! There are a few things you need to know because things run a little bit differently compared to our regular sessions Make sure to read everything on this page so that you are prepared to get the most out of your spot. These sessions are small, but we can get a surprising amount done in a short time as long as you are prepared.
Where does the session take place?
All mini sessions take place in our studio. Cool bottles of water and air conditioning will make sure that you look your best. Our studio is located near the Bethesda Marriott Suites at 6701 Democracy Blvd Suite 300 Bethesda, MD 20817.
Is there parking?
Yes, the visitor parking lot for this building is located directly in
front of the entrance on the corner of Fernwood road and
Democracy Blvd. This is a paid open air lot and should have
ample parking available.
What is your covid-19 protocol?
The Health and safety of our clients and our community are extremely important to us. During mini sessions, we will be using safety guidelines from the CDC, the state of Maryland, and Professional Photographers of America. These include: Disinfecting common surfaces between sessions, mask, appropriate physical distancing are in place.
What is included with my session?
Included in your small but mighty session is a 15-minute, one look photo shoot shoot. This is perfect to get one, targeted look to add to your portfolio. Whether you want to get something more dramatic or more commercial, have a specific idea of what you need before you come in and you will get the most out of it. After the session you will immediately see and select your favorite image to be retouched and delivered to you within 2-3 business days. At that time you will also have the opportunity to purchase additional retouched images at a discounted rate of $40 per image. We don’t offer online galleries for mini-sessions so be ready to choose your image the day of your session.
What should I wear?
- Steer clear of white tops. The eye is always drawn to the brightest thing in the image. For your headshot, we want that to be your face.
- Classic business professional clothing photographs best in solid colors, so please be mindful of avoiding bold patterns when preparing for the shoot.
- Actor’s: bring something extra to grab a quick second look. A cool jacket, a pair of glasses, something you can throw on real quick and add a little zing to your shot.
- Make sure you come wearing the clothes you will be photographed in. There won’t be time to sort through loads of selections. Bring one backup top if you are having trouble deciding.
- Jewelry is not recommended. If you have simple studs in your ears or a very simple necklace, that’s fine, but leave the funky and chunky pieces at home.
- Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed with no branded logos. We don’t retouch out logos and wrinkles.
What about hair and makeup?
- We always recommend that you consider professional hair and makeup for any session, no matter the size. Because of the back-to-back nature of the mini sessions event, we are unable to open up our studio for hair and makeup prior to your session.
- Make sure to have your hair and makeup completely done when you arrive, there won’t be time or space to do it.
What are my background options?
Backgrounds available for you to choose from for your mini session.
White, Black, Gray, Blue
- A white background is the most powerful way to get recognized and connections on LinkedIn.
- You will stand out on Zoom, Microsoft teams, and most social media outlets with a white background.
- A white background is easier to see on computers, tablets, and cell phones.
- A graphic designer can incorporate your image for marketing maternal such as business cards, flyers, and an automobile wrap.
- Investing in a professional headshot is necessary for every professional business person.
- Teams headshots should have the same color or theme for the consistency of your brand.
- For websites, pick a background color that represents your brand or your market. Who do you want to attract?
It's my first time, what kind of acting headshots do I need?
As an actor, the type of shots you need is going to be determined by a few factors including your market (where you live and work), your type (what you look and act like), what you want to audition for and more. Here are a couple of things to consider.
You should always consult your agent on what you need. They have experience in the industry and more importantly, they know what you need to book more jobs.
If you don’t have an agent yet then by default you want to get a clean, simple, headshot with an option of a couple of different expressions. Mainly actors need a Film and Television headshot and a Commercial headshot. The main difference in these two types of headshots is the expression. Commercial is strong, upbeat, and either a soft or full smile. Film and Television headshots are typically more serious with no smile and a neutral expression and great eye to camera connection.
Remember that the majority of casting for film and television, at least in the early stages, is done online. Casting directors look at an array of small thumbnails to determine the initial round of auditions so it’s important that your headshot is impactful and close up. A small thumbnail of your whole body from head to toe will make your face a lot less visible at that size.
Don’t worry too much about specific character shots unless directed by your agent. Your two basic looks will be commercial (upbeat and happy) and film and television (more dramatic).
What else do I need to be ready?
If you have gone through all these questions, you should be pretty much ready to go. Here are a few last minute things to remember before your session:
- Plan to arrive ten minutes early. If you are late, you will probably lose your spot. There are no refunds and no rescheduling if you are late. Be on time, be prepared and it will be awesome.
- If you are wearing makeup, make sure to bring your powder with you when you come. The camera and lights often require a little more foundation than you might be used to wearing and it only takes a second to cut the shine down.
- Don’t get your hair cut within 48 hours of the shoot. Give your noggin a couple of days to recover from your new “do” before you put that bad boy on camera.
- Don’t make any drastic changes to your appearance right before the session. You are going to be setting yourself up for disappointment. Your headshot should look like you plan to show up for auditions so don’t go overboard.
- Get a good night’s rest before the session and avoid drinking alcohol or eating salty foods for 24-48 hours ahead of time. Being tired, hungover, and full of fried food can make you look puffy and blotchy. Rest, drink lots of water, and come ready to knock it out of the park.
Can I bring someone with me to the session?
- No visitors are allowed in the camera room or during viewing because of space restrictions and social distancing.
- No children are allowed at the studio unless they are getting a headshot.
- Children under 18 are allowed to bring one guardian in the camera room and to view images.
Basic Retouching What We do and Don’t Do
- Reduce the appearance of dark circles under eyes
- Remove yellow and red from eyes and teeth
- Reduce the appearance of wrinkles
- Eliminate distracting stray hairs
- Erase temporary blemishes like acne and razor bumps
- Enhance the color and contrast for more impact
- Use skin softening filters
- Distort or shrink natural features
- Change hair styles or color
- Fix wrinkled or disheveled clothes
- Remove logos or graphics from clothing
- Remove permanent facial features (actors and models)
Headshot retouching has been around since long before digital photography. We employ digital versions of some of the classic film techniques in order to enhance our images, but the goal is always to capture as much as we can in-camera. Authenticity and approachability are a huge part of marketing a business and we believe that your headshots and professional images should reflect that.