Things to Know for Your First Shoot P3

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Shouheadshots-by-kemp-practiceld I Practice?

This is a good question that many internalize and eventually try to do in front of their bathroom mirror while their cat watches in embarrassment (you know who you are)…

YES!!! Practice makes perfect, but not in front of a mirror.

“How the heck do I practice then?”

My best answer to this is usually craigslist. Everyone and their mum have a camera nowadays and want to shoot like a Vogue super photog. Unfortunately, not everyone can or wants to put in the big bucks to invest in their photography hobby (and eventual business?). These are the ones you want to use.

Go onto craigslist or and search your area for “free headshots” or “model needed for test shoot”, anything within those terms should get you someone who would like anyone in front of their camera (I know because many moons ago I did the same for practice). NEVER EVER EVER pay them, though. Remember, you are practicing so that your investment in the real deal pays off. You never know, you could get a shot from the practice that is useable!

Here is why I recommend this. Number one, you will get to see how awkward a photo shoot can get. What I mean is that you are putting together two first-timers and the product will be inexperienced awkwardness. This is good. You will realize as soon as you book a session that a pro photog (hopefully) will put you at ease right from the get go. Number two, you are going to be able to see a general idea of how you photograph up close and personal for a headshot. Many of us are detached from our bodies (as Peter Hurley lectures about). A lot of times you can think you have the biggest smile on your face when in reality you suffer from resting bitch face syndrome or RBFS (it’s okay I do). Number three, you will most definitely appreciate the time, experience and passion your future pro photographer brings to the table… okay that’s just a personal opinion, but still.

Now get out and practice!!

Want more tips? Click here for Part 1 or Part two!


Things to Know for Your First Shoot: P2


What to wear for your session…


Black can be great…if your stylist behaves…

This is a simple one and most photographers will tell you the same thing:

“Don’t wear any stripes, polka dots or distracting patterns.”

For headshots this is a key tip and is also a great way of filtering out the “dudes with cameras” from the professionals. If the photographer you intend on hiring says to wear whatever then steer clear.

Fine stripes create odd things in the camera, almost like a fingerprint, it’s never the same. Polka dots and heavy patterns end up moving the attention of the viewer from your face down to your shirt.

Now, if you have one of those nineties-style sweaters with the tri-colored stripes (I have no clue what they’re called but my dad still has a few. He’ll deny it but I’ve seen them creep out of the closet at night…) and that matches your personality or everyday style then by all means wear it.

Avoiding plain white imo is also a good idea. A lot say to avoid solid black but I disagree and find it to be very useful in accenting the face.

Most of the time, however, I tell clients to wear the brightest, solid colored item they have with a higher neckline. The lower the neckline the more skin there is for the viewer to look over, which can be really bad in some cases…trust me (cough cough girls).

Pastels are okay with me, some say nay to them, but I love them especially if you have  lighter skin tones. Avoid highlighter bright clothing though as that can be just as distracting to the viewer as anything else.

All-in-all if you follow these general guidelines you should be set. Wear what accents you and your true personality, not a part you are going for or some trendy fad others may wear (butt-less chaps, really???). If you don’t feel comfortable in your outfit then my lens (or another photog’s) will hunt it out of you!

Tomorrow comes Part 3 a creative tip to help practice for your first shoot! Check out yesterday’s tip in Part 1!


Things to Know for Your First Shoot




She did her own Hair and Makeup.

So you’ve finally decided to have some shots done. Whether it be for your acting, modeling, social profiles or businesses, there’s a lot to think about and tons of online blogs that will tell you similar things on how to prepare or what to look for in a photographer. There are a lot of great tips, however, there’s still a couple of things out there that I just plain disagree with. I’ll be throwing them out there one day at a time!


Number One: Hair and Makeup – Should You Hire a Pro?

A big debate in the photography and fashion world is our current use of technology to photoshop and edit one’s natural appearance to “perfection”. Perfection that really isn’t, real. I personally am against the heavy use of editing software to warp the minds of everyone viewing my images. All my clients are unique in their own way and I want to highlight that, not change it.

Tons of people constantly struggle with not having the perfection they see in photos of models and celebrities. I hate to break it to you but if you are thinking to yourself, “damn they’re so perfect,” it’s most likely fake.

So, for you first-time models out there who are antsy about breaking the camera lens during your shoot, I say no to the $100-$200 extra for hair and makeup. Let’s face it, this isn’t an editorial shoot for a high fashion spread or makeup company. Headshots are about you and for you.

“But for real, why not?”

Let me come at this with an analogy.

Say you’re on Tinder annnd SWIPE, you land on Mr. or Ms. perfect. Everything from their gorgeous skin and hair to their lack of that dreadful double chin. They’re even a charming texter. Pshhhh, well you have to set up a date fersher.

That Friday you’re all decked out in full date night attire and are 10 mins late to the restaurant. You’ve texted your Tinder Perfection and they already responded that they’ll wait for you out front. You arrive, finally (but don’t run and get all sweaty and out of breath), and as you speed walk to the door you realize the sexy and charming date you swiped right on was a sweaty-armpit, double-chinned mess. Oh, hot damn! They’ve got you fooled. Totally tricked you. Best be running the other way.

Now pretend you’re the trickster and apply this to any casting director, agent, unsuspecting client or date. Pretty messed up.

You know yourself best and are probably doing your own hair or makeup every day. Why not keep it that way?

I’ll get a lot of odd looks and grief for this. “Oh you don’t want to bother with hiring someone,” or “You’re obviously not a pro if you don’t use a H&MUA.”. No, I’m just not into deceiving everyone. Even if you have an off-day with a blemish or decide to shoot with a massive rash that broke out from histamine poisoning after eating bad sushi (not likely, I know) then let me take care of that in photoshop. Flyaway hairs? Ya, those happen even with a professional on set so I’ll be taking them out no matter what.

Don’t do yourself a disservice by hiring a pro to do something you do every day!

Check out Part 2 and Part 3!