No time for chocolate this weekend

Had a visit from the lovely Penny this weekend at my studio, We had a fantastic shoot and she left with great new headshot images for all her social media platforms.

Penny- Headshot photography in MK DW Images Photography, Milton Keynes, London, Buckinghamshire, Actors, corporate, Social Media Headshots


Headshot Lighting Set-up For Small Spaces

As a photographer I am constantly playing with light trying to get the best out of it. As my work is headshot photography its crucial that my work looks consistent on my website, so my clients know what they will be getting when the step into my studio space.

My studio space is not the biggest in the world but nor is the space I get to set up in at my clients, so I have been developing a lighting set up that works for me. That’s the important bit “That works for me” this is because I need a go to set up to give the best to my clients when I’m in a tight spot. I shoot my headshot’s with strobe and this can be a disadvantage in small areas, even if they are turned to the lowest power setting the light can and will spill into areas of the shot that you don’t want it to. You can use flags and screens to modify the light, but I want to be able to go to clients with minimal amount of kit to get the job done and done well.

I have now developed a 3 light set-up, which works. Sometimes when shooting male subjects I introduce a 4th light called a kicker. The kicker is there to highlight jaw line and add and extra dimension to the shot, it’s a little more masculine.

My original set up was a four light set-up, the traditional high key lighting set up. Two background lights and two front lights, with a reflector used as a fill light Fig 1. In a small space this set-up will cause you problems if like me you want a 100% white background. For this your subject needs to as far from the background as possible or those background lights will spill over you subject and bleed them into the background. I want to get my backgrounds correct in camera I don’t want to waste time in post correcting the background, so I had to come up with other ideas.

Headshot Photography Studio in Milton Keynes - DW Images Photography Fig 1

I tried different ways of flagging the light in my studio to get this set-up to work, but this need to be a lightweight portable set up. When I’m shooting at my clients I don’t want to be transporting extra stands and sheets of polystyrene to modify the light. I tried other set-ups using one light on the background Fig 2, this worked a little better. But with a reflector dish to modify the light I was getting a hot spot in the middle and fall off on the outside of the image. This meant I still had to waste time in post. I could add more power but again in a small space even the single light will bounce its light around and spill and wrap around the subject.

Headshot Photography Studio in Milton Keynes - DW Images Photography Fig 2

As this set-up was sort of working I needed to make some fine adjustments. I needed to create an evenly lit background so I tried different ways and found that a strip box on a floor stand gave me the best results. I tried different modifications of the soft box including an egg create modifier. But over all the best results I was getting using the strip box with front removed. Fig 3

Headshot Photography Studio in Milton Keynes - DW Images Photography Fig 3

The images below are from my studio set-up.

Photography in Milton Keynes DW Images Photography Studio, Headshot, Product and Lifestyle Photographer Photography in Milton Keynes DW Images Photography Studio, Headshot, Product and Lifestyle Photographer

As you can see from the out of camera shot below there is a nice even white background giving the subject the correct amount of separation from the background.

Corporate and acting headshot studio in Milton Keynes - DW Images PhotographyCorporate and acting headshot studio in Milton Keynes - DW Images Photography

I’m not saying this is the only way to do this, this is my way and it’s the way that works for me. I just hope that if you are having the same problems I might have helped you on your way to getting the results your looking for. You can see more of my work at

Corporate and Acting headshot studio in Milton Keynes – DW Images Photography

Learn How to Take a Headshot Even if You’re not an Actor

Learn How to Take a Headshot Even if You’re not an Actor
By Mike Cernovich

Headshots aren’t just for actors and models. If you have a marketing page, online dating profile, or even a social media account, chances are you’ve posted your face online.

Are you putting your best face forward?

Judging by head shots I’ve seen, you’re probably not. And that’s totally cool.

The great thing about the Internet is you can learn anything. There is an expert out there scaling his knowledge to improve your life.


Milton Keynes Headshot Studio – Actors and Corporate Headshot Photographer

Things To Think About When Deciding On Your Headshot

It seems obvious but you do need to have a good think about why you need a professional headshot long before you have your professional headshot taken. Not only will these be helpful for you but they will also help your professional headshot photographer. The things you should thinking about are:

  • Why you need a professional headshot? (new website, new opportunity, social media presence, press release, recruitment i.e LinkedIn)
  • When do you need a professional headshot by?
  • What brought this on?
  • Where else do you intend to use your headshots? (i.e. website, business card, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, one pager biography, press releases, book cover, products, roll up banners, email signature, a copy for your mum?
  • What are the main messages you would like your professional headshot to communicate? (i.e. confidence, approachability, trust, professional, caring, fun, quirky)
  • Whats the very best thing that can happen as a result of having a professional headshot?
  • What will achieving that result mean to you?
  • What are your/your companies core values?
  • Who is your target audience or ideal client you are looking to attract?
  • Are you thinking of writing a book or launching any products (CD, DVD etc) in the near future?
  • Have you seen any professional headshot photos that you particularly like the style of? (take examples to show your professional headshot photographer)
  • Do you (or any of your staff) have any particular worries or concerns about being photographed?
  • Would you like to book a professional hair and make up artist for your shoot?
  • Would you like professional image advice?

Other things your professional headshot photographer will need to know…

  • What are your current brand colours? (logo, website, etc)
  • What style of photos do you like? (studio, location, posed, candid, colour, black & white)
  • Are you working on any other branding?
  • If it’s a company team headshot shoot, is there anyone in your company that may need a greater selection of images? (i.e. Senior Execs, company spokesperson)

Headshot photography studio in Milton Keynes – DW Images Photography

Comparing London Headshot Photographers

Headshots can cost anywhere from £50 to over £500, but how much should you pay, and what’s the difference anyway? Michael Wharley takes a good hard look. Plus: Casting Call Pro headshot survey and the most expensive shoot in London…

The good folk at Casting Call Pro got in touch recently to share the results of a recent broad survey of members, and the headshot results were fascinating.

Best Deal vs Best Photos?

It’s no surprise that the survey revealed a desire to get the best deal for the best shots, but when members were asked how much they’d be comfortable paying for a headshot session, there were surprising results.

Roughly 30% said they’d pay up to £100. Around 30% would be pay up to £150. Some 25% would pay up to £200, while only 12% would pay £200-£300, and a tiny 5% over £300.

Or viewed another way, nearly 60% of CCP users expect to pay less than £150 for a session, and over 80% expect to pay under £200.

That’s surprising, because on the basis of my own regular market research, to get decent session time with a well-regarded, largely actors headshots-dedicated photographer, the price range is more realistically £150-£250.

What do you get for your money?

Prompted by that disparity, I thought it might be interesting to take these price distinctions apart, and see what – and who – you get for your money.

So, I looked at 50 headshot photographers, covering everyone from established ‘names’ to total newbies and here are the results (As a note, these results are shared in the spirit of fun, of course there will be exceptions and variations in such relatively arbitrary price brackets).

Under £100 – short, sharp and selective

What you’ll get: around one hour (sometimes more, sometimes less), 2-3 changes of clothes, probably indoor OR outdoor, roughly 2 retouched prints (with extras £10-20 pounds).

Who will you get: established photographer offering cheaper package for clients on a budget (e.g. Koval, Rosie Still, Me), studio-based company with a schedule to fill (Actorsonestop, Noho Talent Studios), photographer specialising in another discipline like editorial or fashion who also takes headshots (Paul Harrison, Mario Schwartz).

Watch out for: a) hidden cost of extra prints. b) At this sort of price level the photographer commonly has one studio lighting set-up or outdoor location and won’t vary, which can minimise the differences between outfits. c) Time is at a premium – may be a more conveyor-belt approach. d) Headshots are a very specific form of portraiture and photographers who don’t specialise MAY not produce industry-ready shots.

Can you get good photos? Yes, but you need to do your research carefully and don’t be seduced justby the price.

£100-£150 – a little more time but how much difference?

What you’ll get: 1-1.5 hours, sometimes 2 hours. 2-4 clothing changes, probably indoor OR outdoor, 3-4 changes of clothes, 2-3 retouched prints (with extras £10-20 pounds).

Who will you get: established photographer with a pricing model fitting this bracket, often studio outside central London (Graham Bennett, Rosie Still), established photographer offering cheaper package for clients on a budget (David Price), studio-based or headshots/voicereel/showreel company able to offer rates on economy of scale (Eamon Kennedy, Koval)

Watch out for: Choosing a shorter package from an established photographer can mean you need to be prepared to get the most out of a session. There’s probably a reason they like to spend more time with people.

Can you get good photos? Sure, but paying this sort of money does not guarantee it – you still need to do your research.

£150-200 – in the ballpark

What you’ll get: most commonly 2 hours, 2-6 (sometimes unlimited) clothing changes, probably (but not always) indoor OR outdoor, 3-4 retouched prints (with extras £10-20 pounds).

Who will you get: Well-established, well-known photographers pitching at the middle of the price range (Pete Bartlett, Vanessa Valentine, Gemma Mount, Nicholas Dawkes, Matt Jamie), photographers on the up (Luke Varley, Vincenzo photography, David Price, Michael Wharley)

Watch out for: This is a common price bracket for commercial studios with a shooting schedule to fill to enter the market at, so be careful your photographer knows headshot trends and techniques.

Can you get good photos? Barring disaster, your agent is almost certainly going to be comfortable with the results – there are a swathe of photographers in this price bracket, all of whom have sound reputations and produce excellent headshots. They may have been in vogue in the past or be coming into vogue, but they will almost all take great photos.


What you’ll get: 2-5 hours (with exception of John Clark), 5+ clothing changes, probably indoor AND outdoor, 3-4 retouched prints (with extras £10-20 pounds).

Who will you get: Long-established photographers with a good industry reputation, probably a comfortable choice for many agents (John Clark, Steve Lawton, Simon Annand, Sheila Burnett, Nicholas Dawkes, Harry Rafique)

Watch out for: £200-300 most often means nearly £300, with the exception of John Clark, who only offers 1-hour sessions and charges £250

Can you get good photos? Yes. At this level, it’s ALL about the service and the time dedicated to you – you’re paying a premium for the freedom to relax into the shoot, but also the photographer’s reputation and experience.


What you’ll get: either 1 hour or 3 hours plus, 5+ clothing changes

Who will you get: Long-established photographers with a great industry reputation, probably the default choice for many agents (Nick James, Fatimah Namdar, Catherine Shakespeare Lane, Charlie Carter), portraitists and artistic photographers with a solid headshot practice (Clare Newman Williams).

Watch out for: Session time and extras can often (though not always) be reduced at this level – the extra money being a premium reflecting the photographer’s reputation and skill. So if you find it hard to relax in an hour, this isn’t necessarily the best choice for you.

Can you get good photos? Undoubtedly, but whether they are better than photos in a lower price bracket is up to you to judge. It’s your preference for their photos and a feeling that they will get the best out of you that will make you cough up the sum!

Last but not least: the prize for MOST EXPENSIVE headshot session goes to Clare Newman Williams, who charges a whopping £480 +VAT. Let me know if you find higher…

Original Article At The Actors Guild

Milton Keynes Photographer – DW Images Photography – Head Shot, Product & Lifestyle Photography.