The Best Way to prepare for your portrait or headshot session by Daisy Rey, Top NY Photographer

Daisy ReyModels and actors need to have professional headshots to help them find work. The headshot is often their resume. Many people also enjoy having professional portraits of individuals or families that can be hung proudly in the home. There are many things that go into the best headshots and portraits. An experienced photographer that has the right equipment is important of course. The location and the lighting of the shot is also very important. If these things are not in place, a picture can end up looking very bad or amateur. It is important to take the time to find the best New York photographer to take your headshots and portraits.

The subjects involved in the portrait photography will also play an important role in the success or failure of the work. There are several things that can be done for a person to prepare themselves to give them the best portrait or headshot that is possible.

Hair and Makeup – Take the time to make yourself look the best. Get your hair done and bring a brush to make sure it is perfect when needed. Pluck your eyebrows and remove any unwanted hair before the shot. Have makeup done by a professional. It is also a good idea to take care of the entire body to put yourself in the best frame of mind. A manicure and pedicure will help you feel more glamorous and that feeling will show up in the headshot and portrait.

Clothing – Clothing is important even in a headshot. Do not wear clothes with logos or branding on them. Choose solid color outfits so as they won’t distract from the person in the shot. Soft colors, pastels, white, black, blue or grey are great choices. Don’t bring only one outfit to the shoot. Bring several outfits to find the one that works best for the camera. Layered clothing is another way to change the look of what is being worn. It is important to make sure all the clothes are cleaned and ironed. A lint brush is a very valuable tool to fix any problems on the spot.

Practice – Photoshop is able to remove any skin blemishes and other imperfections that an individual has. Lighting can hide many problems as can the position of the person. What cannot be fixed is the attitude of the person. If a person is nervous or uncomfortable, it will show up in the pictures. Before the shoot, practice posing and take some time to make yourself comfortable in front of the camera. Listen to some relaxing music before the shoot to calm the nerves.

All of this will help get the best possible headshot or portrait.

Daisy Rey is a French photographer based in New York City.  You can find out more about her via her website at:http://daisyrey.com/

HOW TO KEEP A “STORY” MONOLOGUE FROM SEEMING LIKE A “FLASHBACK” by Brian O’Neil

brianoneilActors are told, wisely so for the most part, to avoid monologues that tell a story.  You most likely know the kind.  They usually start with “When I was seventeen” or “It happened after I left home” or “I still remember the time” etc.  They are usually delivered with a kind of sameness that sucks the life right out of the room in which its being performed.  For the most part, that is. They can sometimes work, if the actors knows how to infuse the necessary drive to carry them through the piece. The reason pieces of the “story” nature don’t usually work is because the reason the character is telling the story is not contained within the writing itself. Another missing component is that we often have no idea to whom the character is speaking. Mother?  Sister? Boyfriend?  Girlfriend?  Most of the time it’s not there, whereas monologues that have immediate and active conflict usually have this component within them and therefore are usually more compelling monologue choices.  The character is telling the other character how he or she wants the other character to change. A clear “fight” is usually present.

However, when a actor performs a story piece that works well, it’s usually because the actor has endowed the need to tell the story with a sense of urgency.  That is, if a character is telling another character a “story”: in a play, and that play is well-written, there is a reason why that character is telling the other character that story at that moment with the express purpose of affecting the relationship.  So when an actor knows what is driving him through the story, the emotional intention becomes as important, if not more important than the story itself.  We, the audience may have no idea why the character is telling the story, but if the actor knows why, he can hit a home run with a story monologue.  Yet, it requires an extra step to create this kind of immediacy.

The “flashback” reference in this article’s title refers to this “extra step”.  I can liken it to the following. Let’s say you ran into a friend whom you hadn’t seen in ten years.  She tells you that she got married ten years ago.  Then she tells you that her husband is now terminally ill.  You would react with strong and immediate sympathy, right?  Now let’s look at a different scenario.  You run into the same friend whom you have not seen in ten years.  She tells you that shortly after she last saw you she got married, but sadly her husband became terminally ill in the first year of the marriage and has been gone for nine years.  Your reaction would not be the same as if her were dying now.  Years have passed. Time has most likely had some healing effect upon her.  Her telling you the story of nine years ago wouldn’t have the same tone either, that is unless she wanted the story to affect her relationship with you right…now!   It’s this emotional immediacy that an actor must create to make anyone who’s listening to a story really, really care about the character, and by extension, the actor who is telling it.

Brian O’Neil  is the best-selling author of Acting As a Business:  Strategies for Success:  Fifth Edition.  A former agent and personal manager he is currently faculty at The Juilliard School and NYU/Tisch School of the Arts.  He is a career coach/consultant and you can learn more about Brian at http://www.actingasabusiness.com