The Mercer Report
A former improv teacher, artistic director and theatre owner, I knows what casting directors look for in an acting headshot and how to direct you during your acting headshots session. For a photographer, I have an unprecedented amount of experience directing and coaching actors and comedians. I understand the casting process from the actor's point of view, and I know what casting directors are looking for even before you walk into the room. Can they picture you in this role? My job is to get you in the door, by making them think "YES!"
For new acting headshot clients. The complete actors headshot photo session lasts 60-90 minutes. We will shoot headshots in studio and/or cinematic environments with no limit on looks and changes. You keep your acting headshot proofs, plus you get three finished, retouched headshots.
For 15 and under only. Depending on the age of your child and their field of performance, they may just need straight acting headshots or they may also require full body photos. I shoot to your specific needs for your agency. You get three finished acting headshots and/or comp card images.
For previous acting headshot clients only. If you need to update your acting headshots due to a change in look or appearance we offer all our previous acting headshot clients an awesome discount. We love working with you and want to keep you coming back for all your headshots.
Prices do not include makeup artist or HST. Experienced makeup artist can be provided for $150 extra. HST is inescapable.
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The Mercer Report
After your session, within 5-7 days, I will upload unretouched proofs of your acting headshots to an online photo gallery. The number of headshot proofs varies from photoshoot to photoshoot, but you can expect 50-75 acting headshots from your session. You can select and save your favourite photos from your session.
From your acting headshot proofs, select three (3) images that best represent you and your types. Consult with your agent if you are having trouble picking your favourites from all your headshots. Time permitting, I will recommend my top three picks from your photoshoot.
After you make your selections, I colour correct and retouch your selected headshots to remove any blemishes, flyaway hairs, etc. Donb't worry, I won't remove identifiable marks, such as moles, birthmarks, smooth skin, or dramatically reduce wrinkles in a way that alter your appearance. Casting directors don't want to be catfished! Show up, look like yourself, and land the callback!
Your headshot session includes a license to use each image in perpetuity for self-promotion and publicity purposes, as outlined in the terms of our agreement.
The two most important things you can bring to your headshot session are a positive attitude and energy. Prepare for your headshots the same way you would for an acting audition. Leave your worries and woes at the door and think about having a fun, positive experience, because that’s what we're going to try to achieve.
Everything else is technical. That stuff is important, though, so let’s address that now.
We love to play music during our headshot sessions and you are more than welcome to suggest anything that gets you going. We subscribe to Spotify and have a number of playlists we love and are open to listening to anything you want. Just let us know what you want to hear when you get here.
When it comes to acting, what separates the professionals from amateurs is preparation, in auditions, callbacks, on screen, and onstage. So, when it comes to your acting headshot, preparation separates a good image from a great image.
1. Define Your Characters. Know your roles — not only the types you get cast in, but the types you want to play. Do your research. Define your characters. Solidify their ideologies. When you get in front of the camera, play your roles. Chose a variety of characters, so you have some variety to chose from in your headshots.
2. Make a Connection. You can say more with a single expression than you can with a whole page of dialogue. Internalize. Look at the gallery art for movies. Can you tell what the character is thinking? Can you tell what kind of person they are? Confident? Strong? Vindictive? A survivor? If you've defined your types, this part should be easy.
3. Act. Most people think a headshot session is just posing for the camera. It's not. You're an actor. I'm going to ask you to act. To play roles. Take on personas. I'll be the director of your one-person show while you're with me. I'll coach you through the shots. You're going to look great, but more importantly, you're going to look the part.