FAQ

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have before or after booking a session with me. In the meantime, here are some common queries for your perusal. More coming soon - please feel free to submit questions through my contact page here.

01

How soon do I get my online proof gallery?

24-48 business hours after the shoot I will be uploading your session to my proofing gallery.

Add add an additional 24-48 biz hours for those who have agents /managers that require a particular proofing service; for example, the free 90-day online gallery provided by REPRODUCTIONS.com.

I shoot raw files and process the high quality digital negative as opposed to shooting jpg and letting the camera interpret the negative. Therefore, I make batch adjustments to my proofs before uploading and then export jpgs. When I do my retouches, I also begin my work from the raw file. Working from the raw file rquires more processing time but I believe it is a superior product. Some retouching and adjustments for headshots can be applied to a high resolution jpg and it is an acceptable approach. However, I prefer to have the flexibility to have editing options beyond what a compressed jpg might allow. So, in short, I do not offer files immediately after the session. The little bit of extra time ensures that we have the most potential within your session going forward.

02

I have my choices for edit/retouch...now what?



You may save just the images you want me to edit into your faves gallery or send me an email with the file names; for example, _DSC2037, _DSC2112, _DSC2365, _DSC2499.

If you have specific notes for me, you can detail in email, send back a digital "mark-up" of the picture with notes or just arrange a time to conference with me by phone to talk through any more complicated requests.

My editing packages cover light to medium retouching. Anything that is significantly more intensive may incur additional charges. Please contact me if you have any concerns on this point. Sometimes I can change background and wardrobe colors easily, sometimes it's more involved, so these types of edits need to be assessed shot by shot. Almost always, though, the retouch needed falls into these lesser two categories and I will always let you know up front if I see any concerns before doing the retouching and never do work that would incur an additional charge without getting your consent first.

03

Once I've placed my request/order for retouches, how long until I get the finished digital files? How are they formatted?



3-7 business days, depending on volume, schedule and current editing queue.

If you have five or fewer relatively straight-forward retouches, I usually have those out in 72 business hours. Larger volume orders of six or more can take an extra day or so and extremely large orders may take a week or better (I've had some for 20+ from a studio+location shoots, so I often will deliver a priority batch earlier and the remaining asap after - this is not the normal volume however:-). If I can get them to you earlier I always will and I will give you a confirmation with my delivery date included when I receive your email request, as well.

 

I do my own editing and format your selections for both print use and online use: high resolution images are  300dpi and good to print up to 8x10 and sometimes larger, low resolution are 72dpi and 1000 pixels on the long edge.

I give you the hi-res file as a full-frame image without cropping so that you can crop how you prefer and have all the real estate of the image to work with depending on how you want your 8x10 formatted. Some people prefer full-bleeds or borders, larger or smaller fonts...if you aren't sure how you want to print, go in to the lab. REPRODUCTIONS can show you on the screen what each option will look like and guide you on cropping as well.

I also give you TWO versions of the lo-res file for each of your selections: one full-frame, again so you can crop a bit if you like before uploading or emailing; another cropped in my preference of an 8x10 ratio. I tend to crop fairly tight so that thumbnails will feature you better, so these may not always be the best reference for cropping your printed version if you don't want the 8x10 to be ultra-close-up, but it's important that you be recognizable in the thumbnail-sized image for the online casting services.

Therefore, you end up with THREE versions of each image:

hi-res full-frame

lo-res full-frame

lo-res 8x10 ratio crop

Plus you have access to all your proofs to download for 90-days and have the option of ordering an archive disc of the entire session from REPRODUCTIONS.

04

I've never had headshots taken before? What wardrobe do I need?
 

This could take a while to answer ;-) Depending on your age-range and the type of roles you are suited too, pun intended, this can vary considerably. I consult with all my clients individually about this prior to our session but below are some additional thoughts.

I usually ask my new clients to study commercials, shows and films that and see what roles they could be cast in - where do you see yourself and how are those roles dressed? These will be considerations when you audition, too, so starting this process before your headshot session is a good idea. We don't need costumes (unless your rep wants something very particular) but we want to suggest and support with wardrobe and not detract. Make notes about the clothing that you think would look good on you and fits the types of roles you should and would go out for on a casting. Also look at clothing retail websites/catalogs - this is a great reference for how to put together a "finished" look and see what layering might work for you. If all this feels a little stiff or stilted, remember we want to reflect your personality so what you normally wear is always a great starting point. However, if you are mostly in your sweats or pajamas at home, but you know you should be playing intimidating lawyer or professional types, your going to want to bring a suit and other upscale business attire instead ;-)

I think this is the part that tends to be most stressful for newbies and pros alike - what to bring. I always like you to bring more rather than less but don't feel the whole closet has to come with you! Two or three choices per look you want to shoot so we have a couple of options within each look to choose from...and we'll discuss together before we shoot. We can always do a test in an outfit and if we don't like it we change to the other option. Options are good!

Who are you in this market? are you the young dad? the soccer mom? the busy-body neighbor? the sympathetic nurse? an impatient clerk? the good or bad cop? the do-gooder who means well but always seems to create chaos? Understanding your type is important for more than just the headshot session.

05

How many looks do I need?

I'll refer you to FAQ 03 above...it depends on your marketing strategy, your type, what your agent wants or whether you are looking for representation. Seasoned actors tend to know what they need to cover but even the pros re-invent themselves and evolve over time and seek to better target particular roles.

If you have an agent or manager, consult with them about what looks they want for you. Make sure you cover all of the looks they want. If you want a look they don't, we can always add that to your session but I always recommend getting what your reps request. That certainly doesn't prevent you from adding to the session looks that you want for direct submissions or theater auditions.

If you are seeking representation, you need at least a solid staple commercial and theatrical shot. If you want to do lifestyle print you may need a 3/4 or full body shot. The commercial and theatrical can span a range of types but we try to keep it straight-forward and simply YOU in casual or upscale casual wardrobe that is pretty simple as well. Maybe a professional or business look if it fits.

Kids usually need one great commercial type shot to get started. But I always like to get something with is different than just a nice smiling shot - showcasing personality and range. Some of my favorite shots of kids are the ones that are not that commercial but more theatrical that have a different emotional depth. Not all roles for kids are about juice boxes, birthday parties and video games!

Teens I always try to cover a range and go for both theatrical and commercial, even if you only have a rep for commercial you might as well have theatrical look ready to go without having to book in another session. So generally 3-5 looks.

When you are seeking representation, I suggest not over doing it with looks as the agents and reps almost always want more or different looks once they've decided to represent you. Not always. If you have a very full portfolio that cover how they want to market you and they like the style of those shots, you may not have this experience. But getting 4-5 looks to start out with is a reasonable number that should give you a good range.

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© Melissa Kolaks Broaddus / melissa.k.broaddus (at) gmail.com

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