How Do I Pick?
Your guess is as good as mine. I kid! I kid!
As a guideline what I tend to look for is: Does it look like you? Do you look good? Is there something interesting and compelling going on behind your eyes? Does it make me want to meet you? If you only had one shot to represent you, to go in the program next to your bio, would this be it?
What I recommend doing once you have gotten all your files is that you make a "Favorites" folder on your desktop and start pulling your faves over into it. Then take that favorites folder and get them all printed up in 4X6. It is amazing how clear your decision becomes when you can see the shots you are trying to decide between laid out side by side next to one another. Making 4X6s can also be helpful if your agent wants to see a bunch of them bigger before s/he makes their final decision on which shots they want for you.
You can do this a couple of ways. One: take your disk to any photo store or store with a photo kiosk like CVS, Wolf, Ritz, Walgreen’s, and either have them make prints for you, or I know some of those stores have those machines you just stick your disk in and you can make your own prints. I said “stick your disk in” stop laughing….
You can also do this on-line at places like CVS, order them on-line and go to your local CVS and pick them up. The other option is to use an exclusively on-line outlet, like Shutterfly or Kodak Gallery. You'll have to wait for them to mail them to you, whereas with the CVS option you can pick them up same day, but it's cheaper. Walgreens and CVS run about 19 cents a print, and Kodak Gallery and Shutterfly run about 15 cents a print. All of these places are always running some promotional offer or other, "sign up and get 50 free 4X6s!" so you should be able to do this pretty cost effectively.
How Do I Order? What if I Want Touch Ups?
For Touch Ups all you need to do is e-mail your headhsot files from your disk to my rockin’ touch up dude at firstname.lastname@example.org (yes, his name is “Alexis”, he is a dude). He charges $25 flat fee per print – which is awesome because most places charge $35 to start, and about $85 an hour.
When you e-mail Alexis, the dude, all you need to say is:
“Hi! My name is __________ and I would like to order shots #43, #176, and #295. Please touch them up! Thanks!” (If you know you want specific things touched up, this is the place to specify. Otherwise, we’ll just
assume you mean softening any lines around the eyes, blemish touch ups, whitening of eyes and teeth, and any color correction.) And remember to attach said photo files to the e-mail (otherwise, Alexis, the dude, won’t have anything to touch up, yo’.) If you hate computers and this seems too hard or involved, e-mail me, and I will help you. Is good?
When your touch ups are done, we will send them to you via e-mail to proof. We will put your name and borders on your pics for you – feel free to request specific borders and fonts if you like! If not, we’ll do what we usually do, and if you hate it when you get the proof, we’ll change it according to your specifications. You can pay for them on-line by going to the “Prices and Policies” page and clicking “Retouching”. Alexis, the dude, can also invoice you directly.
Once you sign off on your proofs, I will send you your full sized files and then you are all set. Do with them as you please! Upload them to casting sites! Make hard copies! Send a copy to grandma! Last minute audition, and you’re out of headshots? No problemo! If your printer is good enough, print one out, and if it’s not good enough, go print one out at CVS, FedExKinkos, or Walgreens! It’s that easy! And if you call now, you also get the Ginsu II Knife Set!!!
How Do I Make Reproductions of My Headshots En Masse for Cheap?
Everything is on-line nowadays so for all my clients no matter where they are I recommend Argentum Photo Lab in Hollywood. They'll ship them to you in New York or Chicago and I gots a 20% discount code for ya'. You can just upload your full sized file to their site and boom! Repros! Done! In Chicago, if you wanna go local, I recommend J&S Photo. In New York I feel like people still use Reproductions overwhelmingly. Links to everything and more below
What If I Want Nothing To Do With You and Your Shenanigans?
You're roommate is a photoshop wizard and you don't want to pay for retouching, your brother works at reproductions and can get you 50% off so you don't need me to cop and put borders on your pic. All good my friends! Do it! A couple things:
I think that cropping can make or break your shot, so even if you don't go through me for retouching please don't be shy about contacting me to crop and format your shots that your roommate touched up. It's free and I love doing it. I believe that every headshot out there that I have taken is one of my business cards and I want it to be perfect for you. I want someone to lean over to you in a casting director's waiting room and say, "who did your shots?" Don't ever be shy about contacting me to help you make them perfect. You're actually doing me a favor!
If you are going to go it alone, I have a couple of suggestions: Let whomever does your printing know things like if you would like to have white borders all around your headshot, or if you want your horizontal headshots placed vertically or horizontally on the page, whether or not you need any cropping done, etc. For horizontal headshots placed vertically, I recommend that they blow up the shot so that your face size is about the size of your fist – not including your hair and ears, just your face. Face = Fist. Oy, sounds like a date night with Chris Brown. (Too soon?) For Verticals, I am not a big fan of head room, so I recommend them cropping the top of the picture close to your head.
When you get your repros done is when they’ll do things like put your name at the bottom. Two things that I suggest for your repros is matte prints, and having them put a black-line border around your picture (they call it a "key-line") – I think it really makes your headshot pop. I do not recommend lithos for headshots – I don’t care how cheap they are, you’ll never need 300 of the same picture of yourself. Ever. Ever. Go with photographic quality if you can for headshots. For postcards, DO go with lithos – they are sturdier and will fare better when you send them through the mail, you can write directly on the back of them without them bleeding through to the front of the picture, and you may well need 300 of them.
Remember, everything is controllable in color – your skin tone, hair color, eye color, background color, I can add an arm – the sky’s the limit! And yes, we can always turn your color headshots into black and white if you like. If you have ANY questions or confusions, no matter how large or small, I encourage you to call or e-mail me!!!!!! I am a resource for you whenever you need me! There are no stupid questions!!!!
Take Care and May The Force Be With You!
Love – Maia