*PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING CAREFULLY. ALMOST ANY QUESTION YOU MAY HAVE WILL BE ANSWERED HERE. EVEN IF YOU HAVE SHOT WITH ME BEFORE, PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE EVERY PRODUCTION YOU ARE IN. MINOR CHANGES TO THE PROCESS MAY OCCUR AT ANY TIME*
Updated: 05/2019: As a part of your participation in this BCP show, you will have a professional headshot taken of you to be used in the program. In some cases, it may also be used in online promotion of the show. Actors are required to have a headshot taken by me. Being the staff photographer/videographer for BCP, it is my job to help streamline the headshot process while maintaining the quality of every image used to promote this show. All headshots will be shot in the exact same manner for continuity and only by me. Sorry, but submitted headshots will not be accepted. If you are cast in more than one show for a season, you are not required to attend this session, but you must clear this with Scott Robinson. Your photo from the previous show will be used in place unless you wish to re-shoot. All changes to this process have been overseen and sanctioned by the Board of Directors. Please see below for details:
Please be prepared to shoot on the arranged time as assigned by BCP. I will expect everyone to attend unless other arrangements have been made through the show’s staff (typically, this is done through Scott Robinson). Please do your best to be available on the arranged date and time. Rescheduling can be very tricky, and the date arranged by your staff was made with great care to minimize any wasted time on your part (or mine). Unless I or your production team tell you otherwise, the shoot will be held in in my home studio located at 6817 Minnow Drive, Indianapolis, IN 46237. This is a two story white house, typically with a blue truck out front. Please feel free to ring the doorbell and just come in. The studio is located on the second floor of my home. I highly suggest carpooling from the theatre to save time/space. I live a few short minutes from BCP. Once you have had your headshot taken (unless otherwise directed by your show staff) you will be free to go. The process is relatively quick! Often this happens right before a rehearsal, so please check with your staff about what you should do. Some actors will be required to stay afterwards for promotional images, but your staff will inform you of this.
I will do my best to get through everyone as quickly as I can, but I will not compromise your look. To streamline the process, I will be making the final choice for the headshot to be used in the promotion of the show. You have the right to buy your digital headshot (see below) if you wish to keep it and use for yourself. After everyone is shot, I will post directions on the show’s Facebook page on how to view your proof should you wish to purchase it. Keep in mind, these will be proofs, and will not be edited prior to viewing them. The final image will be more polished.
You are requested to wear either black, white, or gray colored shirts/tops. The pants you wear will be irrelevant. The photos will be black and white in the program, but the final images, if you wish to purchase them (see below) will be in full color.
I will be using a “ring flash” for each production. Please see attached image as an example:
Click thumbnail for larger image
For Tips On Getting A Better Photo:
On the night before and the day of your shoot, avoid drinking alcohol or smoking. Alcohol and tobacco can alter your look. Drink plenty of water.
*NOTE* This flash can cause certain undergarments to show through if the shirt you are wearing is too thin or has a loose weave to it. Please, plan accordingly. Color-matching undergarments or t-shirts are highly suggested.
Please be photo-ready when you arrive. Dressed, hair, makeup, etc.
To keep shine down, please wash your face prior to shooting. Using facial wipes is ok, but be sure dry your face before you are shot. Excessive shine will significantly alter this type of photo. Consider a light application of an ultra-fine translucent powder to help with shine (women or men). Lightly applied makeup is best. Do not use “highlights” or glitter in any makeup. Both of these will show drastically! For any minor blemishes, use a LIGHT amount of concealer. Foundation on your skin may show up very clearly, so please be careful in your application. No stage makeup, please. If you are not familiar with this type of makeup application you should practice beforehand or ask for help from someone more experienced.
For hair, try not to significantly alter or cut your hair for a week prior to your photo. Humidity can play havoc with your hair, so consider using a ultra-hold hair/finishing spray. For excessive fly-aways, you might try using a light amount of hand lotion and applying it directly to your hair to smooth it out. I use this in the studio and it works very well!
Every photo will retouched lightly for minor blemishes. This doesn’t include wrinkles! (sorry…I believe in being real in our images) For more extensive retouching, please talk to me directly.
If you choose to wear glasses, make sure the lenses are cleaned very well. Smudges WILL show up in these photos and cannot be retouched!
Be sure that your clothing is wrinkle-free and clean. Even small wrinkles or stains can show up easily with this type of photo.
Consider the use of accessories! A scarf (for men or women in the coordinating black/white/gray) can often amp-up a person’s looks. Jewelry should be complimentary but not distracting. Don’t be afraid of trying something new. But, keep in mind: if you are uncomfortable in your clothing, it will show in your photo. Be comfortable, but remember these photos represent you as a real person. These are not supposed to be “perfect.” They should show your personality and who you really are.
I will be shooting approximately 10-15 photos of each of you in various poses. I will shoot everyone in the same poses and in the same order for continuity and efficiency. I am open to your suggestions; however, these photos will be from just below your chest up only, please. I will choose the final image to be used for the show.
How To Purchase your headshot, If You Wish (Not Required!):
Update (05/2019): After many years, I have made a policy change for my theatre headshots:
I would be happy to offer your single headshot to you for only $25.00. For that price, you will receive the single headshot edited, color corrected, lightly retouched for blemishes, and a partial copyright release so you may do whatever you wish with your photos. As a professional photographer, and a person who works heavily in community theatre, I believe having professionally-taken headshots is incredibly important for actors, even in all-volunteer community theatre. They help you stand out from the others, and tell a director that you take your acting seriously. I have been a part of several staff teams for community theatre productions, and I believe in this! I recommend headshots to be re-taken at least once a year (if you are 18 or younger) or every two or three years thereafter. If your look changes, consider having them taken again.
To pay for your digital image, you have several options. You are welcome to pay me at the shoot via check (written to Gary Nelson only, please) or cash, sealed in an envelope with your name on it (this helps me tremendously). You may also bring the payment to the theatre and give it directly to me. I will be at the theatre just before the opening night for archival images and again for the archival video shoot (I also try my best to hand deliver the videos before the end of the run of the show) Or, if you prefer, you may send your payment electronically by going to cash.me/$photogary If you are paying electronically, I ask that you add an extra dollar (total: $26) for electronic processing fees. To pay electronically without an additional fee, add me as a contact on your Facebook messenger. Open up a conversation with me (I am listed as Gary Nelson) and click on the $ (or the +, depending on your app/website) sign. It is very easy to do, safe, quick, and again…is free! Keep in mind, this is an agreement between you and I and not the theatre so therefore, please do not ask your production staff to take the money.
One other way to obtain a single headshot would be to purchase the electronic scrapbook through the theatre’s “production resources” page. Everyone who orders this scrapbook will find a single headshot of themselves within it. This shot will be the image that was used in the program.
Payment may be made by cash (preferred), check, or credit/debt card. If you know you might like to purchase your headshot, go ahead and order them at the time of the shoot. You can pay me then or later! Money is not required up front. Digital copies of your headshot will be delivered before the end of the run of the show or slightly thereafter, and only after payment has been received. Take note: this incredibly discounted price (My studio charge for headshots is $150) is only available during this production time and I will not guarantee this price past the date of the last performance.
If you have any questions, please find me on Facebook, in the show’s Facebook page, or contact me here.