headshots of a woman for opera audition

actor headshot of a woman 3/4 profile actor's headshot of a woman in dc for opera audition actor headshot close-up of a woman smiling

after over a week in the doldrums I was pleasantly surprised to receive payment notification from paypal. when someone pays a deposit before contacting you, it means that they’ve already decided that you’re the right photographer for the job. she followed up with another email confirming she needed actors headshots and requested makeup. I responded with a few shooting dates and waited to hear back from her. I then contacted a mua on facebook to ask about her fees and availability.

then on thursday I received a call around 1pm from the client. she left a message to check if I were available to shoot later in the afternoon at 5pm. that put me instantly on crisis mode. I called back and left a message explaining how hard it would be to contact a makeup artist on such a short notice. she said she sent me email to confirm the date but I never received it. the challenge now was to find free studio time that was convenient to all parties. she stated that the photos needed to be sent abroad as prints instead of digital pictures.

marathon then began. between chatting with the makeup artist about her availability, checking the studio calendar for free times, calling studio manager to reserve slots and talking back to client, the issue was quickly settled. with all the conflicting schedules, friday was the least inconvenient. it was almost a tour de force to pin the makeup artist to agreeing on a 2pm call time, getting the client to confirm. They had to report to the studio at 2 and I would join them an hour later.

I was meeting the client and makeup lady for the first time. after introductions, I complimented them on the look and proceeded to drop my bags, camera, laptop and ease up for a minute. camera test for color balance and just wait for them to finish. when the studio manager failed to show up on time, a couple of angry calls got me info on where the remote was located. I had only a main light and hair light. so I started using the beauty lighting setup. the lady felt very comfortable and was very cooperative. I had to get a better idea of how she was seeing herself. to know what people’s best angles are, just ask them. they talk to their mirror more often than you can imagine. she didn’t want to show below her chin. I needed to be perched so I could shoot from a high angle.

when the guy showed up, I requested another light to be used as a fill. then changed the lighting setup to use it. I did a few creative variation of light positioning and intensity to create the right light and dark effect on some of the photographs. she was liking quite a few of the pictures. the shoot went very fast. before you know it, it was already past 4 o’clock. I decided to add a few more minutes due to the fact that we were delayed.  by then the memory was already full. I had to delete a few to make room for a final set. from the number of times she said ‘I like that one’ I was pretty sure there was more than enough in the box. I promised to send her the link to the image files no later than 10 o’clock that evening.