Frequently asked questions

What should I expect when I come for a studio portrait or headshot session?

I’ll ask you to take your shoes off at the door; I try to keep the studio floor very clean. (Have you had a shower today?)

Unless you’ve requested otherwise, a session will take 20-40 minutes; I’ll usually have a chat over tea or coffee with you first. I’ll be editing and processing the photographs for a few hours after you’ve gone.

What's the difference between portrait and headshot photography?

To be honest, not a great deal. A headshot photograph is simply a slightly more formal portrait as preferred for business use, such as in company annual reports, “Our Staff” noticeboards, and on business cards and professional web sites. Despite the name, it does not necessarily have to exclude your shoulders. I can provide different crops of the same image; you might for example wish to exclude shoulders from uses where the image will be very small such as on business cards.

What should I wear?

Wear something you like, perhaps bring one change of clothes/top. If we’re only doing head and shoulders photography work your lower half doesn’t matter.

Plain block colours work best in portrait photography; avoid patterned fabrics.

What should I bring?

Consider bringing a hat or two, or a scarf or tie, a hat you look fantastic in is good, but so often is a funny hat.


Bring a comb if you have one. Bring a hairbrush if you ever use one.

May I bring a change of outfit?

Of course, there is a bathroom and a bedroom at the studio where you may change.

What about makeup?

If you wear makeup, don’t go overboard, less is more. Aim for a subtle look. If I can tell that you’re wearing foundation, then you’re wearing too much; it’s often best avoided completely. Remember that bright lights show up detail – I can edit out spots and pimples, but not caked on whitewash.

If you want some black and white images, a darker shade of lipstick can be good – you don’t need to go full on Goth black, just a slightly darker shade than you might normally wear. Glossy lips can look good, but can be a problem if too reflective – If you want to try lip gloss, wear lipstick and bring a lip gloss which you can apply over it.

Avoid coloured or novelty nail varnish! Your hands might sometimes be in shot. Neat nails with a little nail gloss are good. French Tip nails often look good. (The stick on variety can be purchased cheaply, and will look good if applied correctly.)

If you’d like a professional makeup artist to work with us at the shoot, I can arrange one. Obviously this will need to be booked well in advance and her costs will have to be met.

What format will my photos be in?

If you mean file format for digital images, I shoot in RAW and can covert to most common formats. I will usually provide you with .jpg images unless you request otherwise.

If you mean geometric format, I crop to whatever format you require. If you don’t know, I’ll usually recommend 1:1.414 which is the width to height ratio of common paper sizes. If you’re seeking images for a publication, try to find out what ratio they want, and let me know before you come to the shoot.

May I edit the images if for example I find I want a different crop or file size?

Noooooo! Please don’t do this. Just get in contact. I have the originals of the images. I can usually recrop, resize or reduce the file size without degrading the image quality as much as you are likely to working from your versions. Please remember that my reputation rests in those images. I can usually do this quickly, and will rarely charge you anything for it.

Will you photograph couples or groups?

Certainly. The studio’s not enormous, so large groups won’t fit, but up to four of five people is fine. A couple or group shoot takes longer than one for an individual – many more photographs need to be taken in order to get some where everybody is looking their absolute best… all at the same instance.

Will you photograph pets?

Sure, I love animals. Pet photography takes a bit of prior planning and sessions need to be kept short. A series of short sessions is more likely to be successful.

Will you come out to my home or workplace?

I’ll consider it, we need to discuss details. I usually work in the studio because photography is all about the control and quality of light. I have portable lighting and can get good results with it, but the ambient lighting in your home will rarely be as controllable as in my studio. You will also need to meet the costs of my travel and travel time. Nonetheless, please contact me with the specifics.

If you’re a business requiring headshots of a number of staff, I can visit your workplace. You will need to provide an adequate, medium sized room, which can be mostly blacked out, and I will expect the courtesy that I would show you if you visit my studio – oh, and coffee, lots of coffee.

If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate:  Ask

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