Eric Dobbs

Photographer of people at the high points of their lives.

Headshot FAQs

What to Wear?

Dark solids look good on everybody. Avoid bold patterns and lighter, pastel colors. They make people with fair complexions look washed out - especially in black and white. Bring at least three tops - more if you like. It is better to have more than we actually use than too few. Consider bringing clothes for different "looks." For example, you might bring business attire as well as the usual more casual outfits. If you want to do some three quarter length shots, the guidance is a little looser. Bring something you like, but again, stay away from bold patterns and things like stripes. If you have outfits specific to a particular sport or occupation, these are sometimes used for three quarter length "character" shots. Stay away from high turtlenecks. They might think you are hiding something.

What about Hair?

The "how will I wear it to the audition?" rule applies here as well. For women, if you often wear it up or down, we should shoot it both ways, if possible. For men, if you have a beard or mustache, and you want to have some shots done with it on and off, it might be better to split the session over a couple of days to allow your skin to settle down after the "shearing."

What about Makeup?

For men, nothing is necessary, unless you have very fair eyebrows, and then just a little pencil can help. Don't worry about temporary blemishes. I will zap them in Photoshop. For women, try to think of what you would likely wear to an actual audition. Maybe just a little extra around the eyes. Some people of both sexes feel better if they engage a makeup artist. I certainly have no objection to this.

What will the session be like?

I work in my home, so the environment is very informal. I shoot digitally, so you will see the results at intervals while we are working. After the first few shots, I will demonstrate the electronic retouching that goes into the finished product. Remember, though, that an actor's headshot should be a really good picture of the way you really look. The pictures start out in color, but you will have the option of having them in black and white as well. Black and white is still the standard of the industry, but color is becoming more acceptable. Digital technology allows me to offer the best of both worlds. Finally, you are welcome to bring a friend or family member to help with hair and makeup or to help arrange your clothing while you are in a pose. Sometimes if you try to straighten a wrinkle yourself, another one just pops up elsewhere. It is not necessary to bring anyone with you, but it can be helpful, especially if this is your first headshot session. Be sure it is someone with whom you will feel comfortable and not self-conscious.