Headshots Q&A

If you like lots of information this is the page for you. The answers on this page primarily relate to professional acting headshots, models headshots and comp cards and professional business headshots.
If you have questions unique to engagement photography, wedding photography, commercial photography or anything else not answered here please use this form or email me at ericaderricka@gmail.com. THANKS!

The Questions


The Answers

What are your rates?

Quick answer: See my menu of headshot packages available on the Rates page.

Longer answer: Different packages are available because each person has different needs. Someone coming in for a simple professional business headshot for their Linkedin profile has different needs than someone just starting out on their acting career, who has different needs than someone who needs photos for a professional modeling comp card.

That's why I offer a whole menu of headshot packages on my Rates. 

Most people are coming to me for a basic headshot photoshoot that includes a range of looks. That would be my Basic Actors Headshot package that includes 2-3 looks over about 2hrs of shooting, and that is priced at $450. I also have cheaper packages available at $250 for people who just need One Great Headshot. And I have much more comprehensive packages too, like my Market Firepower option that includes a ton of marketing value like multiple photoshoots, custom business card design, career coaching and more. So it really just depends on what your needs are. 

Sometimes I offer discounts and promotions, like my low cost Headshot Clinic. If you want to know when I have a new promotion please add your info to my Contact page and keep an eye on my Facebook page.

I also do engagement photography and wedding photography. Here's a sample of my work with Victoria & Gabe. if you're interested in that please email me at ericaderricka@gmail.com with your event date and location and I'll give you more information about my wedding photography services.

If you're looking for something different than what I'm offering in my packages please let me know and I will be happy to create a custom quote for you. Things that will effect your quote are: a) location of shoot b) number of subjects c) number of outfit changes or looks d) usage of final images e) number of final images retouched f) retouching type (for example retouching for HDR real estate images is different than facial retouching on headshots which is different than just a basic edit tweaking colors and exposure)

How do I book a headshot session?

Great question! Head over to the Book Your Headshots page and follow the instructions. You will need to select a time and date from my booking calendar that works for you and then submit a $50 payment to confirm your session.

If you've paid for any portion of your session in advance then you DO NOT need to pay the $50 payment.

What kind of clothes should I bring?

When it comes to clothes for your headshot photoshoot bringing more options is better. Consider in advance what kind of looks or characters you want to portray in your professional headshots and bring a range of colors, styles and layers that communicate these looks. When you arrive at my Boston photography studio we will go through your clothes together and decide what will work best for the images we're trying to create. I recommend that women come wearing a nude spaghetti strap tank top under their clothes, which allows us to change tops more efficiently when outside, which means we can get more looks during your session. 

That's the short answer - if you'd like to see the longer answer visit: "What Clothes to Wear in Your Headshot Photoshoot".

Can we do some 3/4 and body shots?

Yes of course! I will shoot a full range of professional headshot and body shot images that include a close up on your face as well as 3/4 and full body shots that show your body type and stature. If you have a particular type of body shot you like or are looking for please tell me about it. 

Do I get to keep all the proofs from the shoot?

Most of my photography packages (except the Clinic and One Great package) include a download of the full set of lightly edited proofs at low resolution, great for sharing online with your friends and family. If you would like to be able to print the full set of images (aside from the retouched finals) the high resolution set formatted for printing is available for an additional $200.

 

What happens if I need to cancel my booking?

Sometimes life throws us a curve ball and we need to change plans, that's totally ok. If you need to change your photoshoot session I request that you let me know as soon as you think there may be a conflict in your schedule. Rescheduling is fine, however in order to confirm your headshot session initially there is a non-refundable $50 deposit. The deposit transfers if we reschedule within 45 days of your initial booking, however you forfeit your deposit if you do not reschedule within 45 days. This is because I want to make sure that when people sign up for a session they are serious about working with me. 

How and when do you accept payment?

I normally collect payment at the end of the photoshoot, although I also take payments in advance. Paying for a session in advance is a great way to lock in my current rate before my rates go up in the future. If you're interested in this option please email me ericaderricka@gmail.com to let me know.

My top preference is to take payment in cash, the next preferred method is check. I also accept Paypal, credit or debit cards, however I add a 3% processing fee for these services. 

I want to work with you but I can't afford your session fee. Is there anything we can do?

As an artist myself who has struggled through all sorts of financial situations I'm willing to be flexible with people who need and ask for help. But that doesn't mean I can work for free, I believe there must always be an exchange of value. The first option I can offer you is to do installment payments, so for example you can pay $150 at the time of the shoot and then $100 a month for the next three months to cover the cost of the basic package.

Alternatively I am a huge fan of the barter system because money is not the only thing of value. What can you offer me in exchange for my work? Do you cut hair? Are you a licensed masseuse? Are you an excellent writer? Are you a carpenter? Can you build things? Would you come clean my house? Can you cook and deliver food for me? What kind of skills do you have that might be of interest to me? Put yourself in my shoes and think of how you can help me improve the quality of my business or life. I'm a firm believer that getting what you want in life is not a matter of your resources but rather your resourcefulness, and when you focus on creating value for others anything is possible.

How do you provide the proofs?

I deliver the professional headshot proofs to you via a password protected website specifically designed for the purpose of reviewing and selecting the final images. Through this website you are able to select your favorite images which you can share with me or send to anyone else for review and feedback using their email address.

How do you provide the final files? Can I get a version without your watermark? Will they be on a CD?

I will deliver the final images to you via email in different versions: high res for printing and medium res for sharing online. I do not use CDs, in the instance I need to transfer you more files I will use either Dropbox or a Wetransfer link where you can download your images.

For actors I provide a file that is a professional 8x10 layout with your name on it. If you have a font preference please let me know in advance otherwise I will use my standard font. The 8x10s files are meant to be printed, NOT shared online.

I will provide you a medium web resolution file for sharing that includes my watermark. I will give you two options, one with the original rectangular crop and one as a square crop. The square crop is provided as an option to use as your Facebook profile pic so that my watermark is not cropped out. I request and appreciate that you share the images with my watermark on social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. If you share the photo without my watermark I will ask you to take it down and repost it. If you would like I can also provide a web resolution file without my watermark, however this image is by request only and is only for non-social websites like IMDB or Backstage. 

What should I expect to happen during our session? What's your process like?

Expect to have fun! Photoshoots with me are never stressful or uncomfortable - that's because we get the best images when you feel relaxed. A professional headshot photographer isn't just one with equipment and technical proficiency, they are also someone who knows how to make you feel good in front of the lens. 

When you first arrive at my Boston photography studio I like to take a few moments to sit, relax and chat before we start shooting. We'll have a conversation where we'll get to know each other better and talk about many things, including how you want to use these photos and what kind of images you think you need. Based on what I hear from you, what I know from my experience and what I see in you I will also have some ideas about what kind of images I think will best serve you. When we start the shoot we'll both have an idea of what we're looking to create for you during our time together.

The average basic photoshoot will last for 1-2.5 hours, unless you're doing a 30 min session or a modeling comp card, which is normally closer to 3 hours. 

We'll spend our time together visiting different locations in and around the studio with backdrops and lighting while we talk and get to know each other. It will feel very casual and fun, which is why I like to call my sessions a "conversation through the lens". If we weren't already by the time we're done we'll have become friends. Yay!

Also, don't worry about knowing how to pose, I will give you plenty of direction and guidance as we go. It's my job to make you look good in front of the camera, your job is just to show up and be open to my process.

When the headshot photoshoot is complete I'll take payment for our session. After we hug goodbye the behind-the-scenes work starts. I will download and organize your files, spending quality time studying your images, removing any shots that are out of focus, where you blink, are chewing on words, etc. After I narrow it down to your most presentable images I then do a basic edit on each individual photo, tweaking the colors, exposure, contrast, vibrance and other stuff for optimal viewing. This basic edit is different than retouching, which is a more intensive process that comes later after you select your final images. After this basic edit process is complete I will then post these proofs online in a private album for your review. This will happen within two weeks of your photoshoot.

The exception is the 30 min photoshoot, during that session we will review your images immediately after shooting and select your finals for retouching before you leave my studio.

Otherwise, once you have access to the proofs online the selection process begins. I will offer you my advice on which photos I think will work best for your career. However the final images you end up choosing are up to you, and they must be ones that you feel confident in because you will be the one using them.

After you've given me the images file numbers you want for your new headshots I will take them into the retouching stage. I put a lot of time and skill into this stage, which is one of the many things that differentiates me from other photographers.

The approximate processing time for retouching is two weeks, but if you order more retouched images it can take longer, which I will clarify for you before we begin. If you have any special auditions or deadlines by which you need your retouched images please let me know and I will work to accomodate your needs. When you receive your retouched images you can tell me if you would like something altered or retouched differently and I'll be happy to rework the image to your specifications. Your happiness is my goal!

How many shots do you take during a session assuming we do two outfits/looks?

Even though the basic package comes with 2 looks, I like to let you do 3, and sometimes with layering we can get 4 or 5 looks in the same amount of time. I do this because professional headshots are an important investment you're making in your career and I want to make sure you get the most out of it. Another reason I do this is that often the first outfit is like a warm up and the better shots we get show up around the 2nd or 3rd outfit change as a natural result of getting more comfortable in front of the camera. Each session is different but on average I will take about 250-400 images and I will show you approximately 50-80 proofs. The exception is the Linkedin professional business headshot which only includes one look and one final retouched image, and I will show you about 25-30 proofs to choose from.

What if I want to own and print more images than includes in my package?

The package you order includes a set number of final retouched headshots. If you want more they are $50 per image, which includes retouching and printing rights. If you want to be able to own and print the full set of unretouched images the cost is $200. Keep in mind that most packages include ownership of the full set at low res which is perfect for sharing.

Can you tell me more about your retouching process? What does it include?

I will gently remove distracting elements such as temporary blemishes like pimples and skin discoloration, while being sure to preserve freckles and birth marks. Say goodbye to dark areas under the eyes, unwanted stray hairs and unwanted reflections in the eyes. While some photographers do a global whitening of the eyes that can make them look flat and unnatural I have my own technique for bringing out the light in the eyes which make the windows to your soul truly shine. A powerful look in the eyes gives you best chance to capture the attention of potential employers and collaborators!

I'm that confident to say that my retouching is some of the best you'll find on the market today. That's because I've been learning and practicing retouching for going on sixteen years, training with different mentors internationally while developing my own style that you won't find anywhere else.

While the retouching style of some photographers will often yield images that are hardly retouched or not at all, or even worse they seem washed out, blurred skin and eyes that glow like an alien, I pride myself on my technical proficiency and artistic style that shows you at your best, nothing more or less. I might describe my style as "cinematic realism."

Each person will need their own amount and style of retouching (often women need more then men, as well as adults often need more than teens and kids) so I will take into account each client's preferences and needs to ensure that I am delivering the optimal results required for each individual. If you want more or less retouching please let me know!

What if I want to see other shots from the session beyond the ones you show me?

I ask that you trust my eye and experience. After our shoot I've spent a lot of time examining all of your images closely and I'm showing you the very best options to choose from. These are the shots where your eyes are open and in sharp focus, where the lighting is the best, where your personality shines and they are just simply the best overall images. Looking at fewer images helps you to make your decision faster, which means you get your final retouched images back sooner

Will we shoot indoors or outdoors or a combo of both?

My goal is to get you the best range of professional headshots as possible and to do that we can combine both indoor and outdoor shots, unless you prefer with just one or the other. This is one of the advantages in working with a professional headshot photographer who has a studio and a reason why you're paying a higher price than other headshot photographers on the market who only work with at the mercy of the sun and weather. With a studio I can give you more options with different lighting and backgrounds, not to mention a safe place to keep your valuables while we do go outside. If it does rain or snow on the day of your session you have the option to reschedule or to move forward and shoot only indoors, however even if we do stay inside on account of the weather I will still get a range of images using a combination of studio lighting and backdrops as well as natural light/different backdrops available inside where it's warm and dry.

The exception is the basic professional business headshot which includes only one look and one lighting setup.

What is the turn around time between a) shoot and delivery of proofs? b) proof selection and delivery of final files?

After your shoot you can expect to see the proofs within about 10 days. From there the time it will take to select the final images varies person to person because some people respond quickly while others take more time to decide. Once you give me the final image selections it will take about 2 weeks to process your final retouched shots. This turnaround is generally faster for one look Linkedin professional business headshot package, but it can vary on the season as sometimes I'm busier than other times. 

What if I'm not happy with the results of the session or the retouching?

I take the satisfaction of my clients very seriously, and I want every person who works with me to be happy that they did. So if my client comes back to me and is unhappy with the outcome of the session then I definitely want to make things right. However, in my experience there are some clients who don't like the images for reasons that are not due to my skills or my responsibility, rather they don't like them out of their own responsibility, such as, they didn't like the clothes they brought, they didn't like the way they did their hair, or they didn't get enough sleep the night before and didn't like how tired they looked, or maybe after they saw the images they realized that they were looking for a different style of image (for example, a shot looking directly at the camera is different style than a sideways profile shot not looking at the camera). The challenge for me is that I put a lot of time and labor into creating these images and I'm doing everything I possibly can on my end to make sure I can offer my clients the best results possible. So if a client comes back to me and we both agree that the images are not the best they could be under the circumstances then yes, I will be happy to reshoot the session for free.

However if the client does not like the images based on something which was in the client's control (the clothes they brought, or they decided afterwards they didn't like the hair or makeup (in some cases this can be fixed in retouching), or how tired they looked because they were out partying the night before or they realize later they were looking for a different style which they had not clarified to me in advance) there will be a $150 reshoot fee. But if we both did everything we could to make these images the best and we agree that we just didn't get the right shot then yes I will be happy to reshoot the session for free.

So my advice is to be as clear as possible as to what you want to get out of this session, have an idea of what kind of image you are looking for, make sure you approve the hair and makeup style during the shoot, make sure when we select the final outfit that you are in fact happy with it, and give me feedback during the session if there's something you want to change. I will even be happy to show you the images on my camera as we go and if you have any concerns or want to make any changes please speak up, because I would rather you speak your mind during the session rather than get to the proofing stage only to finally voice a preference.

If you do not like the results of the retouching no problem! Just tell me what you would like to have adjusted and I will be happy to make the corrections and send you an updated file. It's really important to me that you are happy!

Still have a question not answered here? Email me at ericaderricka@gmail.com or use this form