Welcome Staffordshire University students, this page contains all the information that would normally be sent to a headshot client when booking their session. It details what to bring to the shoot, a few things to consider beforehand a little about the format of the session.

You can book your time slot using the form below by selecting the time that you would prefer.
If you have any questions feel free to get in touch via email on mail@tombarkerphotography.com

As we're limited in time to 20 minutes it's important you arrive a little early to your session so there's no delay to getting started, we'll start shooting pretty quick and it'll be surprising how fast 20 minutes can fly by! At the start of the session we’ll have a brief chat so I can get to know you a little and get a better idea of what might work well for you about you, whilst we're having a chat i'll be taking some test shots so I can adjust the lighting if needed.

There are two things that sum up a good headshot:

  • Looks like you! Sounds very obvious but we want to make sure your headshot looks just like you so when you go to an audition the CD can look at the image and look at you without any surprises. There's more detail below for hair & makeup but it's best to appear as you normally would do everyday rather than be 'glammed' up.
  • Has an interesting mood or vibe. Imagine if a CD we're looking for a presenter for a CBBC morning show, the headshot that will work for that role is very different to say a new series of Game of Thrones. We want to avoid creating character images but instead want to lean slightly towards the type of work that you want to do and are best suited for, if you want to be in GOT don't have a big epic smile, if you want to be a kids presenter don't look so serious. We'll be shooting a variety of images so don't feel that we're just going to go down one route but just consider what you'd like to do.

During the shoot i'll be giving a little direction, so we don't have to spend 5 minutes going over everything, here's a quick summary of the instructions i'll be giving:

  • Usually i'll shoot with the body facing ever so slightly left or right with the face almost straight forward - if I want you to move a little i'll just mimic the movement I want you to do rather than asking you to move left/right/up/down (left and right can be confusing enough!)
  • We really want to get a variety of different images so you pick the best one to use for your headshot so when we're shooting we'll go for what I call a 'set' of images where we'll shoot for 2 minutes at a time, the pace will be a photo every 5/6 seconds. In between each image we want a little variety in terms of expression but nothing too big - usually we'll shoot around 5 images in one mood then change it up and shoot another mood. We really want to avoid character headshots but just get something that looks like you but leans slightly towards the mood or vibe of roles you might be seen for.
  • Whilst we're shooting you'll want to be looking into the centre of the camera lens - this makes the eyes stand out and helps the viewer make a connection.
  • The lighting is very precise once we've got it setup so whilst you can move a little during the shoot try not to do any big movements especially back and forwards.
  • During the shoot we'll get time to stop and review the images being shot, i'll give you an honest critique and tell you where I think we can do more or less but don't be afraid of offending me - i'm not precious about my images so you can say what you want. I believe it's better to be honest and get better results than be polite and unhappy with the outcome.

For clothing i'd recommend to wear something you feel comfortable and confident in, it's best to bring a few options with you so we're not just having to go with one choice. Try to bring clothing options that have differences in colour, texture & neckline. The only colour I tend to avoid is white as it's brightness can wash out an image and becomes distracting. Whilst black can be nice don't just bring black tops, navy or dark grey can work well too. Whilst some patterns can be okay, small fine patters and stripes are best to be avoided as are logos.

Newer clothing will obviously look nicer than older items but if you do buy anything for the session we can keep the tags on incase you decide to return it afterwards.

With makeup it’s best to arrive with your makeup done or nearly done, you can freshen up before we start shooting. I’d normally recommend to just wear your makeup as you normally would to a casting, with just one addition - to use a matte finishing powder after foundation, i’ve found this really helps makeup look natural and gives a smooth skin-tone that doesn’t appear to be retouched once the images are finished.

Do not try to cover up any blemishes with makeup - it's much easier for me to do afterwards in photoshop and looks natural. If you try to cover anything up with makeup then it can look obvious very quickly.

For hair i'd recommend to just wear it as you would do everyday, if you have longer hair it's worthwhile trying a few shots with it up. We want to avoid your hair covering your face so we might play around with a few different ideas during the shoot of putting it behind one shoulder or over to one side.

We'll have just 20 minutes for your session so please make sure you arrive a little early so we can start on-time. Come in with a plan of what you'd like to wear and the vibe/mood of the images you'd like so we can get straight into the shoot. These two little videos will give you an idea for what makes a great headshot but also a few tips on preparing for your session.