A Story Without Words...

… but with a title.

Osag Na mara, Friendly Boutique Bed and Breakfast on Skye

And then a contact button…

This website will have some words, useful information, a little detail but the main job will be done by the photographs which take you to this lovely holiday place and let you feel what it would be like to be there.

Marking Time - photographing the slightly older actress without retouching

Sharon Lloyd-Lewes is an experienced actress and she is no longer twenty five. The signs of this on her face are helpful when explaining who she is to those who might want to cast her.  Wiping those signs off in post production, is not.

I photographed this incredibly bubbly, extremely attractive actress on a bright, sunny day in a shadowed corner.  The brightness of the day filled the shadowed area with soft, reflected light. We added a little reflecting panel under her chin, which she held.

That's it. There is no retouching in this photograph. The light is enhancing and any dark, potentially ageing, shadows are taken away by the gentle, diffused light in the shadows and a reflector held by Sharon, at chest level.

Beautiful, but honest. How we like it.



Sharon Lloyd-Lewes can be contacted at  shazzalloyd@gmail.com

Actress Sharon Lloyd-Lewes

Aside from a camera, the most important bit of kit you can have for taking portraits

Silver photographic reflector

The reflector.  Mine have been with me all my photographing life (and they look like that have). I would be lost without them. On tricky light days they even out skin tones, soften the skin, brighten the eyes, most of which is desirable when photographing to please.

Get one.

Showing her to use a reflector in portrait lighting by Katie Vandyck

The late afternoon light here was fairly soft but the reflector took any shadows away from these (admittedly unflawed) young faces. The resulting evenness in tone makes the faces look even fresher. Thanks to the girls at Axtell Hairdressing in Lewes. 

4 Station Street, Lewes, East Sussex BN7 2DA
01273 479677

Live Action - There's nothing like it

What people need to know is what it feels like to work with you. Text works well, carefully chosen words will help give a feel for what you're about. But photographs do it instantly. 

Vox Coaching photographed by Katie Vandyck at 100Designs

The vitality of these photographs reflects the hugely positive energy of the Vox Coaching team which they bring to their work. 

If you need to know more contact Pete Bailie at Vox Coaching to find out more about they do.

Actresses Headshots - Making a statement

Every actor has to choose what he or she presents to the world. Our personalities are so complex it is impossible to put all of it into one shot.

So choose. An empty page is just that, empty. Casting people need something to work with so allow your headshot to tell a story, commit yourself to a feeling, an emotion or an energy, and let them do the rest.

With many thanks to Esmeralda Dabson for lending her beautiful and versatile face to my blog.

Contact Esmeralda at esmedabson@googlemail.com

Don't give it all away - David Annen headshots

Represented by Grantham Hazeldine - Suite 427, Linen Hall, 162-8 regent Street, W1B 5TE, Tel 0207 038 37 37

Ambiguity works. This is a highly succesful shot of this versatile actor because of its versatility. Any label will work here, "kind dad", "best friend of hero", "suspect in murder investigation".

We don't know quite what's going on here with this man and it's that mystery which makes the photograph interesting.  It also makes it stand out from other photographs where the message is more obvious.

We don't know what to make of him, we want to know more.  That's good.


Actors Headshots - Why the truth works

Represented by Grantham Hazeldine - Suite 427, Linen Hall, 162-8 regent Street, W1B 5TE, Tel 0207 038 37 37

Represented by Grantham Hazeldine - Suite 427, Linen Hall,
162-8 regent Street, W1B 5TE, Tel 0207 038 37 37

Stephanie Jacob has a lovely face. She is twinkly and she is warm. She's also funny, articulate, bright, has good sense and is well read. You can tell a great deal of this from her photograph. 

She doesn't normally wear make-up so didn't for the shoot and there is no photoshop 'make-up' at all.

When Stephanie turns up for her next audition, the one where the casting people asked her to come along on the basis of this photograph, they will be delighted and relieved that what they saw, was what they got.

Therapist headshot - Integrity

Mark Vahrmeyer needed headshots for his Brighton Psychotherapy practice website. We covered a range of expressions, many of them showing him as friendly and approachable which is generally considered a good thing for a therapist. 

But this is the shot I liked the most. He's a serious man who thinks profoundly about his work.  

By cropping everything away, the emphasis of the shot is his eyes. We are left with an impression of intelligence, thoughtfulness and focus. It's a powerful and unusual therapists headshot.

Getting the chiselled look - outside

Laurence Brown's session was partly for his modelling portfolio and partly to get some headshots. It was about 9.00am in the morning, bright overcast (perfect portrait light) and I posed him by some black shutters outside a bookshop.

You can see how his jawline and cheekbones have a very pleasing definition, thanks to the large expanse of black next to him.

Laurence Brown By Katie Vandyck

In contrast, placed next to a white wall the effect is lighter, softer and more youthful.

Thinking about colour in a headshot - Sian Edwards, Conductor

Colour is much more challenging in a headshot so range of tones need to be limited.  

Aside from being one of the nicest people around, Sian has ageless skin and wonderful coppery hair.  The colours chosen for backgrounds make the most of her colouring, they're either complimentary or contrasting colours or, in the case of the last shot, no colour at all.

Tips on making people look confident in a headshot

Many people become very self-conscious when the shooting starts. This is a natural reaction to the intense scrutiny of the camera so it is essential that you distract them from themselves. Keep up a constant stream of directions, reassurance, flattery, whatever you can come up with, but don't let the flow stop

Keep their posture strong.  Straight back, long neck, relaxed shoulders. I like people to look straight into the camera, as they would in a real life conversation. Turning the head to the side may work for modelling shots but it's artificial. If you want real, it's best avoided

Make them feel good
The most important one. Enjoy them. Very often photographers are being asked to bring out the best in their subjects.  Find that.  The beautiful jawline, the twinkly eyes, that they are funny, or interesting, or being brave. There is always something to like about someone and when people feel liked, the grow in confidence and it shows

There are so many ways to do this but here's five essential ones to start off with 

Look like you know what you are doing 
Be totally in charge of the technical stuff. Work out things like lighting and location before they arrive. Your confidence in your operations will give them confidence

Listen to them
There is nothing more calming and reassuring than being properly listened to.  Good, steady eye contact. Time for them to talk, not rushing them. Showing genuine interest in who they are


Eye, Eye - you look like you know what you're doing

One of the main jobs of a skilful photographer is to make you look like you know what you're doing.

If this doesn't happen, it doesn't matter how beautiful you are or how clever the lighting is, people just won't buy it.  Whatever it is.

It can also be the hardest job, so many people really don't like being photographed.  But it's essential and it's the photographer's problem, not yours

And of course it's all in the eyes.

My next post will be on how to make people look confident.   Five top tips.

Headshots simply have to be good - Therapists

If you're on the web because you have something for which you are asking people to hand over their money, whether it's goods or services, you need to look trustworthy.  To look trusthworthy, you have to look real.  

This is particularly true of a therapist.  Any kind of person who is offering personal help for money needs to make us feel that they're not just doing it for the money, they actually care about their work, they are genuine and they care about the people who come to them 

A therapist headshot needs to be open and honest, it needs to be warm.  It needs to be real. 

Many thanks to the therapists at Cliffe Complementary Health Clinic in Lewes for allowing me to use their headshots taken yesterday in Lewes