Headshot Q&A with #NickJamesPhotography

blog for actors

After an exciting weekend working for

Pearson Casting in London for the Norwegian Cruise Lines

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@pearsoncasting & @norwegiancrusielines 
I thought I would continue the headshot Q&A series with one of West Ends Finest Photographers!
NICK HAS BEEN IN THE BUSINESS FOR OVER 10 YEARS AND HAS SET THE MARK FOR ACTORS HEADSHOTS. I  REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I SAW NICK JAMES PHOTOGRAPHY WAS AS AN INTERN IN PIPPA AILION’S OFFICE LOOKING AT LUCY MAY BARKER’S HEADSHOT and thinking – “wow, this shot is THE BOMB!”. I’VE KNOWN PERSONALLY OF NICK’S PHOTOGRAPHY SINCE UNIVERSITY AND ARE AWARE THAT HE IS THE HIGHEST RECOMMENDED PHOTOGRAPHER TO CLIENTS. THROUGH PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION I WOULD SUGGEST ‘ABSOLUTELY’ GET YOUR SHOTS DONE BY HIM!
SEE BELOW SOME STRIKING EXAMPLES OF HIS WORK: 
*Note – Nick offers discounts to students and returning clients*
Information on prices is available on his website HERE.

nick james photography

Top Left: Sheridan Smith / Top Right: Alex Hammond / Bottom Left: Dwayne Walcott / Bottom Right: Gemma Panzanelle

Q&A

  1. Instructions on Clothing: Do you provide the clients with any ‘heads up’ on what to wear?

I do, I send out a three page letter on everything, what to do prior to the shoot, clothing, hair, make up, you name it it’s in there.

  1. In your opinion what do you think is best for a client to wear in a headshot? Colours, prints, solids, etc… – and is this based on their casting type?

I normally suggest solid colours, black or white and look more at the necklines, as we are moving very fast into colour it is good to use it providing it’s not pulling focus from the face.
  1. From a casting point of view, a lot of actors have headshots that make them look glamorous but doesn’t look like them in everyday life or when they walk in the audition room. What kind of advice do you provide when the session is over in terms of picking the one?

To be honest I think most actors these days that go to a ‘head shot’ photographer tend to turn up looking very much as they do in real life, it’s then using PhotoShop to try and cover these blemishes, bags etc.
  1. Do you suggest for men to come unshaved & then do various shots after shaving?

If they can grow a good beard and it suits their casting then absolutely more looks the better.
  1. For women do you suggest them to go with their natural hair or multiple hair looks?

If this works for their casting then yes they need to get over what they are right for.
  1. What is the average amount of shots you take in a session? Does this range on the client depending on how photogenic they may be?

For a standard session I will take around 900 and for the shorter session 400-500 depending on how many looks we are going for.
  1. Do clients still want B&W headshots or is this completely out of date? Do any artists desire landscape photographs (similar to US headshots) or is it all portrait in the UK?

A few still require b/w mainly students but most agents have moved over to colour. The landscape is more a personal choice in this country, I photograph many American actors and actors that work in the US and they all still ask for the standard 10×8. Spotlight also still uses this format.
  1. Do you do your shots inside or outside? What difference can this make for the client?

I mainly work indoors with either natural light or flash, both lights I try to make it look as if we could be outside if they want that. The main reason for not going outside so much is too many distractions, ie the weather, too cold too hot, too windy, too wet, too dull, too many people watching, no where to change, no where to check the hair the list goes on. I think most actors who book for outdoors forget all this until they are there on the day and then they are distracted so much it’s really hard for the photographer to capture them.

 9.When you edit the final shots, what kind of edits to you do to the image?

That’s one part of the job I farm out these days to an editor, he is brilliant and give me far more time for shooting.
  1. What has been your favorite shoot to date?

Impossible to answer, I have had so so many!
  1. Who would be your dream client to photograph?

This is a hard one, I would love to photograph Judi Dench or Julie Walters for an actress and an actor Mark Rylance or Tom Hardy.
And that is a wrap! Nick James as expected you are fantastic and thank you for getting back in touch with me. I recommend him to any actor looking for some new shots and please find his details below. Prices etc listed on her website. Thanks again NJ!
Website: http://www.nickjamesphotography.co.uk

(Make sure to stay tuned for 1 more exciting interviews this week)


Hearts & Flowers,
HCx

#HEADSHOTS #ACTORS #CASTING #PHOTOGRAPHY #NickJamesPhotography
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