f.a.q.

Does it hurt?

Nope.  In fact, many people feel great at the end of the process!  Everyone is nervous and self conscious at first, but I will put everything I’ve got in to helping you get the best images you’ve got.  A leap of faith is repaid with empowerment and pride.

How much does it cost?

Probably the biggest question on your mind!  I will work with you to meet your needs within your budget.  If you don't see something which fits your needs, please get in touch and we may be able to find something that's right for you!  Some headshot photographers in this area charge more, some less.  However, most of them will spend less time with you, and only deliver one final shot.  I’ll spend more time so you’re comfortable and confident in the process, and you can have all the “keepers” from the session.  Please head over to the rates page to get an idea of what my prices are.  

Do you offer any discounts?

Yes! I offer discounts for students, referrals, and repeat customers.

Why do I even need a headshot?

You need a new headshot because you’re a professional.  Because you have something to say.  Something to present.  Something to sing, write, do, or show.  You need a headshot because you have a job, or a passport, or a social media account, or someone who loves you and wants a great picture.  You need a headshot because you’re interesting.  You need a headshot because you’re beautiful. 

Who will you shoot?  Do I have to be an actor?

Absolutely everyone is welcome!  Get in touch, and we can talk about what you’re looking for.  If your needs and my skills aren’t a good match, I’ll refer you to some shooters that may be a better fit. 

Can I have a colored background? 

Sure.  I recommend some shade of white, black, or grey background, but colors are totally doable.

Do you only do headshots?

No!  I shoot portraits of all kinds.  I'm very eager to do more portrait work outside of headshot-ville, so please let me know what you're thinking!

Where do we do this?

Probably in my studio. I rent a space in East Boston, right next to Logan Airport.  I will also shoot outdoors, weather permitting, however that poses unique logistical challenges, so please get in touch and we can discuss options beforehand.

When will we meet to take photos?

As much as I’d love to do this full time, this is Boston and the rent is too damn high!  I have a 9-5, so weekends are by far the most workable.  Evenings can be done in a pinch.  As I mentioned above, I prefer to book a couple hours so we don’t have to stress and can take some time to really get it right.

What do I wear?

I'm not that concerned what you wear, as long as it's something you are comfortable in, is attractive, that doesn't call too much attention to itself.  Generally, solid colors, simple patterns, and light, simple jewelry, but nothing is set in stone.  Just think "clean, simple and elegant."  If possible, bring a few items and we can shoot as many as we like.  I want you to wear what you want to be seen in, but there are technical considerations, so having options is super helpful.

What about professional makeup?

Ladies, do it.  Seriously.  The difference professional makeup makes is astonishing.  It takes a huge amount of stress off the day, and tends to yield more “keepers.”  It does cost a little more, but it’s so worth it.  Also, you’ll be more comfortable in front of the camera when you see how amazing you look once the pros go to work on you.  There are a few makeup artists I work with, but if you'd prefer someone you know, that's fine too.

What about retouching?

Retouching is an integral part of digital photography.  Generally, the RAW photo will look good, but retouching takes it from “good” to “pro.”  Normally, I do my own retouching, which is largely a cost consideration.  Honesty, simplicity, and elegance in my work are extremely important to me, so my retouching is very light.  I can't make you younger or thinner.  What I will do is that final polish to make you look your best.  It’s more art than science, but the guiding principle is remove the blemishes, not the features.  Generally speaking, I will remove pimples but not freckles, veins but not scars, if you get the idea.  It’s a fine line between making you look your best, and making you look fake.  I also apply basic exposure corrections and general darkroom type fixes to make sure the light and color read properly.  The example below is a sample from an actual shoot.

The RAW file is ok, but the color is off, there's some minor blemishes and flyaway hairs, there's a light in the top left corner...  It needs some work.  The basic edits fix the color, clean up some blemishes, and get it most of the way there.  Then that final edit is all the subtle tweaks to the shading and contrast, fine detail edits, all the little stuff that really adds up.  But as you can see, the shot hasn't really changed, it's just been polished.

(Click to enlarge)

What if I hate my photos?

If you can’t find any photos that you absolutely love, I’ll either refund you or re-shoot it for free.

What should I do to prepare?

First, contact me and we’ll discuss what you’re looking for.  If we go ahead with a shoot, I’ll answer any questions you have at any point, and I’ll also send you an email of tips, recommendations, and even more FAQ’s to help you get ready.  I am here for you, every step of the way.  And always remember that the quality of your photos is every bit as important to me as it is to you.  Crappy shots are of no use to anyone!

What’s the actual shoot like?

Probably a little intimidating if it’s your first, but I’ll give you all the details and what to expect well ahead of time.  Just know there’s a lot of big fancy lights around you, and I’ll probably shoot a lot more than you’re expecting.  I'll do a lot of coaching and chatting, you'll probably feel awkward, but with a little trust and some time, we'll do great work.  Also, we laugh a lot!  It's hard to stay feeling awkward when you're laughing.

Can I bring a friend or family member?

Absolutely.  I want you to feel 100% safe, secure, and confident.  If you want someone along with you, by all means.

What happens after?

You get to carry on with your life.  I however, will be working on your session.  First I upload the entire session to a private online gallery for you, and you choose what you like.  Usually, only about 1-5% of what we shoot winds up making the final cut, which is why we shoot so much!  Once you've made your selections, I'll retouch them and deliver the full resolution files to you.  That usually takes about a week (I do have a day job, after all.)  

Do you offer printing services?

No.  But I can recommend some excellent print shops.

How do I pay you?

We start with a deposit,  I'll send you a receipt and confirmation, along with a contract and release form that you should read carefully.  Once I've received your (non-refundable) deposit, and you verbally agree to the terms of the contract, you're good to go and we schedule the shoot.  The remaining balance for your session, and your signed contract, are due in full on or before the day of the shoot.  I accept cash, check, and online forms of payment such as Venmo, Apple Pay, etc.

Um... did you say "non-refundable deposit?" 

Woah, that sounds serious.  Yes, it is.  And I am, and you should be too.  I’m happy to reschedule and work with you if you can’t make it, but I’m not comfortable (nor should you be) with no commitment whatsoever.  We'll go over this in your consult so that we are 100% on the same page before any money changes hands.

What kind of gear do you use?

I shoot exclusively Nikon cameras and lenses.  Currently, my primary body is a D810, and my preferred studio lens is the Nikon 105mm f2.8 Micro.  It’s exquisitely sharp and has a beautiful bokeh and falloff.  I have a full complement of lenses, flashes and modifiers, seamless backgrounds, and over 20 years experience in photography and lighting, all of which I will use to make you look fantastic.  It’s that last bit, the experience, and not the gear, that matters, btw ;-)

Do you shoot kids/families/couples/pets/groups/events?

Well, it depends.  I do shoot "groups," if you mean headshots for a whole company or team, but they are best done as a series of one on one shoots.

Though I will occasionally shoot couples, I'm best at working with people one on one.  I don't shoot kids, pets, or events.  I do know some photographers who do excellent work in these areas, and I'd be happy to refer you.

Still got questions?

Of course you do.  I'm happy to answer whatever you've got.  Don't be shy, no question is too silly or too far fetched.  Like they say, the only stupid question is the one you didn't ask.  Use the link on the contact page if theres anything I can help make sense of!