Creating a new headshot portfolio for Katherine Press.
A Cambridge graduate, a former student of the Central School of Ballet, and currently to be seen alongside Chiwetel Ejiofor in Poliakoff’s ‘Dancing on the Edge‘ on BBC 2, Katherine had been an eloquent participant in my ‘Take Control of Your Headshots‘ seminar for the Actors Guild in Autumn 2012.
And she was kind enough to choose me to shoot her new actors headshots later in the year.
Katherine particularly wanted to give her agent, United Agents, a breadth of new photos to help capitalise on a run of excellent work – including Ophelia in Trevor Nunn’s “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead” at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket.
Capturing true range
Keen that her photos show directors and casting professionals a true sense of her range, Katherine was able articulate some specific castings to focus on together in the session:
- Something to capture a classical elegance and youthfulness
- Something softer and more commercial.
- A tougher, grittier shot for more contemporary and ‘edgier’ castings.
As a headshot photographer, I find that’s a great place to start, because for all that I can make quick assessments about an actor’s skin tone, eye colour, hair colour, facial structure and potential casting, often it is the actor who knows him or her self and their career best.
Showing range subtly
So, working together, we selected the tops that Katherine had brought to to best suit these broad themes.
And by shooting both indoor and out, as well as reviewing batches of photos regularly, we were able to capture that range together.
Not just with lighting, hair and clothing choices, but also by directing Katherine to subtle variations of thought and mood.
“Michael’s “philosophy” on the value of having a varied headshot portfolio really struck a chord with me. In an enjoyable and relaxed session, we worked together to produce a new selection of shots to cover the full breadth of my casting range.”
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