Business and Formal Portraits

Preparing for a Better Portrait

Please do not show up very early for your appointment at the studio, especially first thing in the morning.  Call ahead if you're running late.  518-465-7222 [studio] |  518-369-2920 [cell]

CORPORATE HEADSHOTS / PORTRAITS:  WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?

Please do not apply skin moisturizer before the portrait session, as you may appear very shiny/greasy in the portraits.   Not even "just a little".

Please avoid getting sunburned before the session!  

Your choices should be simple, classic, and understated.  Darker solids and middle tones are usually best.  Wear colors that complement you.  Think "year-around" look.

Avoid eye-catching patterns, colors, prints, plaids, logos, and shiny materials that detract from your face.  Textures are okay.  Also try to avoid whites unless it's under a jacket. This way the emphasis remains on your face.  Remember, your eyes should be the focus of your headshot. Choose clothing that is flattering and fits you well.  Wear what you enjoy.

Please don't bring your entire wardrobe...but if you are unsure, bring more not less.  

Please iron shirt collars for a crisp look.

You may bring your dress clothes on a hanger to avoid wrinkles and sweat stains, and use the changing room before the session, particularly in hot summer temperatures.

Always inspect your ‘work’ suit jackets very closely under a bright light for food stains before the session.   Digital capture is not forgiving with faint food marks.

Ladies, for political campaign photographs on lawns and in parks, do not wear high heels, as they will sink in the turf.

Advice to MEN:    Middle toned to dark solid colored jackets are best.  Avoid light colored ties for a better duplicate B/W photograph conversion.  Always wear, or at least bring, a suit or sports jacket, and tie.  Avoid faded, old, and ill fitting clothing.  Spread collars are popular with big men, and the Full Windsor tie knot fills that wide spread the best.  If you want to learn how to tie a Full Windsor knot there are several You Tube instructional videos on-line.                                                                                                              

Skipping the tie?  Wear a more casual, non-business suit; perhaps less structured, lighter colors, and fabrics.    Or, wear a sport jacket.    Wear a less formal shirt.  Perhaps a classic oxford or button down in a patterned, chambray or denim fabric.

 A shirt collar that maintains a straight and vertical orientation is more important here.  Iron the shirt with starch, and/or use collar stays.  Please, no spread out collars lying flat. 

Wear an undershirt to help absorb sweat, but do not reveal white undershirts under the neck.    Use a v-neck style undershirt.

Consider a colorful or patterned pocket square, tucked in with a puff fold.

Dot-Com Generation: New polo shirts work well.

Rules can be broken! If you have clothes you like that make you feel attractive...bring them.

Heavier than average?    

If you are concerned about appearing overweight:

           Men: Choose clothing that fits you well!  Need a new sports jacket or suit that truly fits?  Buy it now.  Ill fitting dress shirts and jackets are virtually impossible to correct in Photoshop.

Avoid solid white shirts, or white collars.  Light blue is fine, and will not add pounds under the chin as solid white shirts will.

          Women: Avoid white collars, as well as wide and open, flat collars, which reveal too much of a heavy neck.   Avoid deep necklines.   Long sleeves are a must.

Glasses:  If you wear glasses regularly, wear them for your portrait.  If removing glasses for the portrait, remove them 30 minutes earlier so the nose rest marks disappear.  

How should I wear my hair?  Arrive at the photo shoot with your hair already done.  I suggest you style your hair the way you normally wear it.  This way you won't have to worry about reconstructing an elaborate hairstyle on a rainy day.  Bring any hair products and/or brushes you may need for touch ups during the shoot.

A haircut a week before your portrait session is best, as freshly cut hair can often look unnatural.

Make-up?   We generally don't include professional make-up artist services as the extra time involved is quite long, and the final result is often excessive and unnatural.

Here are a few basics to keep in mind:

        Men:  We can supply a light face powder to the nose and forehead to reduce oily facial shine.  Shaving before your portrait session will minimize any five o’clock shadow.  Five o’clock shadow beard stubble does not retouch well in Photoshop.   Needless to say, this does not apply if you want the trendy "3-day-beard-stubble" look.  If you have a mustache or beard, please check if it needs a neater trim.  Please do not apply shiny skin moisturizer.    Trim protruding nose and ear hairs in advance.

       Ladies:  Please do not apply shiny skin moisturizer.   Do your make-up as if you were going to meet a friend that you haven't seen for a while. You want to look great, but don't overdo it, and if in doubt, less is always more! Bring your own make-up and tools for any necessary last minute touch-ups.  If you are after a complete new makeover, or have particular needs, you can bring in a professional make-up artist.  In that case, notify us that you both plan to arrive one hour early.  

A new option: If you want to work directly with Tim applying digital make-up in Photoshop [after the standard subtle enhancements], please book an extra 30 minutes for the session.   Photoshop tools include eyebrow pencil, mascara, eyeshadow, eyeliner, blusher, bronzer, and highlighter.

Company Image Style:

We're flexible!  If you have a distinctive style of photography or background that you would like us to maintain, we can usually mirror that style or lighting setup, and maintain your firm's existing corporate image.  We can also include your company logo in your photograph.  Just bring us a high resolution (300dpi) JPEG or TIFF file of the artwork / logo.

What to Bring:

A good attitude is most important!

Feel free to bring your old portraits.  Share your likes and dislikes.  If any of your friends' or colleagues' portraits appeal to you, bring them, or e-mail on-line links to them.  Examples help us to see your sense of style.


ACTORS / TALENT / MODELS:   In-Studio and Outdoor Casual Portraits:

Please do not show up very early for your appointment at the studio, especially first thing in the morning. Call ahead if you're running late. 518-465-7222

Wear what you enjoy. Rules can be broken! If you have clothes you like that make you feel attractive...bring them.  Please don't bring your entire wardrobe...but if you are unsure, bring more not less.

Please do not apply skin moisturizer before the portrait session, as you may appear very shiny/greasy in the portraits.

Darker solids and middle tones are often best.  Think of solid colors that compliment you.  Textures are good.  The fit of your clothing is very important.  Choose clothing that is flattering and fits you well.  Bulky oversized clothing will add nothing to your photo.  For body shots bring flattering pants - dark jeans or black pants always work well.

Avoid eye catching patterns, stripes, ruffles, colors, prints, plaids, logos, and shiny material that detract from your face.  Remember, your eyes should be the focus of your headshot.  When combining clothes it is a good idea to create contrast.  For example: with a dark colored jacket wear a lighter toned or different colored top underneath.  With a light colored jacket wear a darker toned or different colored top underneath.

When choosing colors for COLOR SHOTS, it's always a good idea to choose colors that bring out and enhance your eye and hair color.  Bring the "you look good in that color" shirt.  Darker colors usually work best.  And, "when in doubt, wear black!".

BLACK+WHITE headshot suggestions are the following: Avoid white.  Bring black.  Choose items that are at least one shade darker than your skin tone so your face stands out.  A top not darker than your skin tone is fine if worn under a darker jacket, shirt, or sweater.  If you are a person with a dark skin tone, then white tops or tops lighter than your skin tone will be fine.

Jewelry (especially earrings and necklaces) and watches may be distracting. Try to keep it simple, small, elegant, or avoid accessories all together.

Keep it casual and keep it very “you”. Above all (even if it contradicts all the rest) wear whatever makes you feel great!
Or.....You can also choose attire based on characters you would be cast in. Examples: sporty sweat shirt for an athlete, suit for an executive ,etc.

Women: Come to the shoot with 2 or 3 tops and one pair of jeans or cool pants that are basic and neutral to wear throughout the shoot. We mostly go for the eyes so don't worry too much about "whole outfits". It's EYES that sell! What tends to work best on women are strappy tops in white or neutrals/color (blues, reds, grays) and tight long sleeve tops in solid colors, preferably dark. You can bring a top with pattern or a sundress, but generally, it's best to go for basic solids. Bring tops you love and feel pretty in (like a top you'd wear on a Saturday night date with a new guy!). Textured sweaters are great, again in solid colors or neutrals (even black) but not white. You should generally bring a variety of necklines (mostly open neck), straps, tank tops, v-necks, sleeveless, etc.. Button down/collared shirts and turtlenecks tend to compete with your hair if it's long. If you have a dress with a flattering neckline, that's an option too. You can always bring several options so we can pick the best for you together. If you can splurge, treat yourself to an outfit you've always wanted but couldn't afford. If we treat it carefully and keep the tags on -- hiding them from the camera, of course -- you can always return it after the shoot! No baggy clothes. It is important to feel great in your clothes. If you feel good, you look good.

Men: For men, we recommend dark colored or solid blue long sleeve tight fitting shirts. V-neck/crew neck t-shirts make for good layering pieces or on their own, so bring a couple solid colored t-shirts, and a clean new cotton white t-shirt. And a few tops/sweaters with texture you like. Textures are good. Avoid prints, stripes, patterns, logos. No baggy clothes. Black is good. What tends to work best are shirts a shade darker than your skin if you have a paler complexion, or a shade lighter than your skin if you have a darker complexion -- to make you 'pop out' more. Also, pick colors that will compliment your eyes. If you want a shot with a jean jacket or leather one, bring it along, too. Avoid hats, earrings or jewelry, unless you are making an intended statement.

You should choose outfits as if you are going on a first date; outfits that show how attractive you are. It's important to feel good in your clothes. If you feel good, you look good.

How should I wear my hair?

Arrive at the photo shoot with your hair already done. I suggest you do your hair the way you normally wear it. This way you won't have to worry about reconstructing an elaborate hairstyle on a rainy day. Bring any hair products and/or brushes you may need for touch ups during the shoot.

A haircut a week before your portrait session is best, as freshly cut hair can often look unnatural.

Make-up, Moisturizers, Sunburns, and More:   Please do not apply skin moisturizer before the portrait session, as you may appear very shiny/greasy in the portraits.   Please avoid getting sunburned before the session!  You may bring your dress clothes on a hanger, and use the changing room before the session to avoid getting sweaty before the session wearing a suit in summer tempertures.
We generally don't include make-up services as the extra time involved is quite long and the final result is sometimes only subtly different to what we can do with computer retouching. However, there are a few basics to keep in mind:   Ladies: Do your make-up, as if you were going to meet a friend that you haven't seen for a while.  You want to look great, but don't over do it and if in doubt, less is always more! Bring your own make-up and tools for any necessary last minute touch-ups. If you are after a complete new makeover, or have particular needs, you can bring in a professional make-up artist to really boost your image. In that case, notify us that you both plan to arrive one hour early.   Men: We can supply a light face powder to reduce face shine from oils in the skin.  Shaving before your portrait session will minimize any five o’clock shadow.   Needless to say, this does not apply if you want the trendy "3-day-beard-stubble" look.  If you have a mustache or beard, check if it needs a neater trim.

What to Bring:   A good attitude is most important !  Feel free to bring your old portraits. Share your likes and dislikes. If any of your friends' or colleagues' portraits appeal to you, bring them. Examples help us to see your sense of style.   Please feel free to bring your favorite music CDs.

General: Quite often your headshot is your first chance to make an impression on the decision makers.  So get sleep and don't party the night before your shoot. Try not to stress over your shoot because that stress will often show up in adverse ways, like in your complexion.  For a better complexion, drink enough water!  Remember it's digital now: You will see what we are photographing, as we are shooting... taking all the stress out of the shoot and making the process of having your photos created fun.

Adding names to headshot enlargements:  It's very smart to do some advance homework:   Study the type fonts, and the width and color of borders, [or no borders], in other actors' headshots, so you will have more confidence when making decisions for your own headshot prints.


FAMILIES:

Photographs will be more focused on facial expressions if the whole family is dressed in similar colors.  Simple and plain clothing works best.  Plain white, black, khaki, denim shirts or tops for everyone, or plain bold colored tops.  Avoid stripes, spots and logos.  The key is to wear what feels comfortable for you.

You can personalize your session with your favorite things, from sporting equipment to musical instruments, hobbies, even teddy bears!

Children: Please ensure that they are well rested and fed!  However, please avoid tense sugar highs: Do not fed children sweets and soda before the session.  Also avoid food that sticks to their teeth.  Don’t tell them they have to smile, just be positive and excited about being photographed then leave the rest to us.

Please inform family members: do not apply skin moisturizer before the portrait session, as they may appear very shiny/greasy in the portraits.

Call ahead if you're running late. 518-465-7222