Hello UCLAN students! This page contains info about the headshot sessions we'll be hosting from the 9th until the 17th of May. I'd recommend to have a read through the info below to get an idea of how we'll work together, there's also advice for what to wear to the session and tips on makeup/hair. If you've got any questions that aren't covered below drop me an email: mail@tombarkerphotography.com and i'll get back to you.

The first step is to book your session, use the form below to pick out a day/time that works for you. Aim to arrive to session around 10 minutes early so we can get started on time.

I believe there are two parts to a great actors headshot:

  • Looks like you! Sounds simple right? It's vitally important that you appear in your headshot as you do in 'real life' almost as if you we're attending casting. Wear clothing that you would normally wear, have your makeup as you would usually have it and don't have your hair cut the day (or a few days) before the shoot. We want the images to be a true representation of who you are but will make sure they show you on your best day.
  • Shows an interesting look/vibe to the image. Imagine if a casting director 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 get from the images.

At the start of the session we’ll have a chat about what you’d like to get from the shoot, the types of roles you typically get cast for you and what you’d like to do in the future. We’ll then plan out ideas for the shoot including which clothing options might work best. Throughout the shoot we’ll take little breaks to review the images and steer everything in the right direction.

I’d recommend to wear something you feel comfortable and confident in, I like to shoot a 3-5 different looks so recommend clients bring quite a few options, between 5-10 is a good number so we can narrow down ideas during the shoot. Too many options to pick from is much better than not having enough. Just small differences to colour, texture & neckline can make a big difference. I don’t have a set of colours that I recommend as different options can work better for different people, the only colour I tend to avoid is white as it’s brightness can be distracting as can some large logos (small ones are fine). Patterns can be nice as long as they’re not too busy and it might be worthwhile bringing a jacket/coat or something with a collar as it can work well in some situations. Newer clothing will obviously look nicer than older items but don’t feel that you have to buy anything new to wear to the shoot. If you do buy anything new keep the tags on it just incase you wanted to return it afterwards.

For guys if you want to change your hair or shave part-way through the shoot that’s fine, just bring everything you need with you including a towel. If you have any blemishes that you would prefer to be covered up it's best to not do so with makeup but for me to do when editing your images. I take a subtle approach to editing so I never take anything out that's permanent but i'm happy to reduce anything that's just temporary. We can discuss this in further detail during your shoot.

For ladies 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. If you need to bring straighteners or any other products that’s fine as there is space for hair & makeup tweaks. It’s easier to apply more makeup partway through the shoot than take it off! If you have any blemishes that you would prefer to be covered up it's best to not do so with makeup but for me to do when editing your images. I take a subtle approach to editing so I never take anything out that's permanent but i'm happy to reduce anything that's just temporary. We can discuss this in further detail during your shoot.

The process of shooting is fairly easy, we'll shoot for 2 minutes at a time with a photo being taken every 4/5 seconds. In-between each image we just want a small change in expression so we build some variety but i'll give you some direction during the shoot. Rather than going for big changes for each image we'll shoot 5 or 6 images in one mood then switch up to something different - that way everything looks fairly natural but we can steer the direction of the shoot as we go.

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, 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.

Any questions that come up before hand just drop me an email: mail@tombarkerphotography.com 

Looking forward to meeting you!
Tom