Frequently Asked Questions

Our most frequently asked questions about getting your headshot taken.

Do you shoot in a studio? 

How do you get ‘that look’ in all your headshots?

In our experience outdoor natural lighting is the most flattering for photo shoots, and all the headshots you see on this site were shot in this manner. We work out of the Ballard neighborhood, using the great backdrops in the area, and constantly moving from place to place . This allows us to provide a range of quality backdrop options in a short period of time, keeping you loose in a way that a studio never could. We’ve found that it’s basically impossible to stay nervous when you’re moving your body and making adjustments, so it works towards our goal of getting the best possible photos out of our session.

We’re famous for relaxed and natural headshots, and it’s through over 18 years of experience we discovered the best methods to achieve this. Over this time we’ve come to sware off studio headshot sessions as too limiting and canned- Clients with studio sessions never really got out of their shell and showed off their true self!

For the average person, a studio session is going to only have a few looks and it will feel like a dated photo session in your end result. With our natural light method, we strive to capture an idealized version of you- or how you feel on those days where you wake up, look in the mirror and think ‘Wow, I look amazing today!’. The goal in my opinion is to make you look approachable, fun to be around, and someone a casting agent/manager/recruiter/etc. would want to hire over another who just sent in a selfie. This goes for actors, business professionals, or people just looking to get back into the dating scene [we love to help everyone!].

Our natural light method opens up even the most nervous subjects. I hear ‘I’m horrible at photos’ or ‘I’ve never taken a good photo’ all the time, only to do our session and have the client follow up with ‘that was actually really fun, thank you!’. I look forward to capturing the best you, please click the book now link to take the next step.

Headshot photo of a Seattle woman

What is the process for getting headshot photos taken?

How long does it take? How many photos do I choose from?

After our photo shoot we go through the roughly 150-200 images and pull your 30-40 best shots. We then deliver a range of lightly edited photos for you in a proofing gallery [approx. 3 business days] from which you then select your top choices, and notify us of your selection. The final selection photos are sent out to our retoucher who puts a final polish on the images, taking out skin imperfections, stray hairs, and making you look your best. Finally I get the photos back and create both web and print ready images with the traditional border/name [for our acting clients] as well as non-bordered versions.

Your final digital-download will contain all this plus all the unretouched images as well.

What happens if it rains!?

We do live in Seattle after all...

If you want a good laugh, you should see the weather apps on my phone. I’m constantly checking the hour-by-hour forecasts and radar reports to keep an eye on Seattle’s notorious weather. The good thing is rescheduling isn’t that big of a deal if we get ‘rained out’. Cloudy weather is great for natural light headshots like we shoot, but rain has a way of messing up hair and just not playing nice with photo sessions. I try and keep you up to date on your session’s weather report so if things are looking dicey the night before we can simply reschedule our session. In rare circumstances, the weather can shift overnight and I will do my best to contact you with as much notice as possible. When in doubt, please contact me.

An example of a "before and after" photo with retouching 

We are able to clean up hair, lessen wrinkles and create an image that best represents you!

Before and After retouched photo
Before and After retouched photo

I have a business partner- can we do a joint session?

Business associates/real-estate partners/co-owners

Good question that comes up frequently. Please contact us for our custom packages for business associates which feature individual and combined photos with the two of you.

For sessions with three or more people please contact us for studio rates as we can do a backdrop setup in your business. 

We look forward to creating amazing portraits with your company!

Should I have professional hair and makeup done?

Do you have any you’d recommend? Should I have this done prior to our shoot?

Hair and makeup should be complete prior to our shooting start time. You can meet the hair/makeup artist at a location of your choice ahead of time, or you can arrange to meet them at our shoot location with enough time to complete the processes. You should ask your hair/makeup artist how long they expect to take since this will vary for men and women as well as what you have done.

Please see the Hair and Makeup resources page or contact us for more information.

Portrait headshot of a young woman

How else can I prepare for the shoot?

What should I bring? How do I get the best possible photos?

Check out our preparation tips page for more great ideas to get you ready. The biggest pointer we have is to come with a goal in mind. Are you an actor hoping to land dramatic roles with your headshots? Are you a public speaker looking for promotional photos that make you look like a qualified and approachable expert? Keep these goals in mind and practice poses or expressions that help project your end result.

When getting ready for your shoot it’s better to be over prepared than under! Feel free to bring a number of outfit choices- I’ll take a look at your wardrobe before we begin shooting and suggest the best options and combinations. Always bring the outfits that make you feel your best!

As far as other things to bring, be sure to come with plenty of grooming supplies! Sometimes hair can fall out of place, so a comb or brush can be very useful. Blotting sheets can be handy if you tend to sweat a little bit. We’ll do our best to keep an eye on you during the shoot and suggest when it’s time to do a touchup.

How often should I get headshots done?

Career changes, style changes…

How often you update your headshots depends on how you are using your photos, but it’s a good idea to update them every one to two years. People can change a surprising amount in a short time, so having current dynamic headshots is important.

In addition, your goal for using the shots may have changed. Perhaps you previously used images for dramatic acting auditions but you are now seeking comedic roles. New headshots allow you to approach your new goals with a fresh look.

How do I book a session?

What kinds of payment do you accept? What if we need to reschedule due to weather? 

How do you handle no-shows?

We’re excited to work with you! We have a fantastic ‘all in one’ headshot package that is like the Goldilocks of photo sessions. Not too short or too long, just the right amount of time to get a wide range of great photos.

When you’re ready, simply click the schedule your session link and you will be able to chose the ideal date and time for your shoot. We require a purchased session to hold your appointment. Upon receiving your booking information, I will confirm your shoot date/time, location, and we will be good to go. If you don’t hear from me within 24 hours, please double check your junk mail folder.

We currently accept credit card, cash, and check for payments. Checks with insufficient funds are subject to a $25 returned check fee.

I want you to look and feel your best on the shoot day, so if some out of your control circumstances present themselves please let us know. We’ll be happy to rebook you. Cloudy days are fantastic for headshot sessions, rain however is not. If it’s looking dicey out there we’ll make the call with enough notice to reschedule.

If you don’t show up to your session, show up to your session and decide you don’t feel like shooting [funny, but happens from time to time], or cancel within 24 hours there is a $100 cancellation/rescheduling fee. Please note if we reschedule you due to weather, this does not apply.  We want people who are excited to work with us and as committed to your success as we are.

Any questions before booking? Please feel free to contact Ian on the contact us page.

“Really fantastic experience working with Ian. Incredibly nice, and very responsive”