Are you still shooting during covid-19?
I'm planning to resume shoots from mid-may onwards, lockdown permitting. I've written a post about this and how my shoots will be adapted to adhere to social distancing measures going forward: https://www.fayethomas.co.uk/shooting-in-the-time-of-covid/
What is the difference between the standard & deluxe headshot packages?
If you're booking a headshots session: it's the same shoot either way. You can choose which package you want to opt for on the day of the shoot.
The standard package includes a web gallery of everything we've shot which gets uploaded the next working day. You then have 3 retouched images to choose included with the package - when you've emailed me with your retouch requests I will process your images and you'll receive your final high-res retouched images in approximately 14 working days.
The deluxe package includes 8 retouched images and a full edit service which takes approx 14 working days. The edit involves me going through everything we've shot and narrowing them down to a selection of the best ones, then to a shortlist, and a final-list of my favourite images - I then retouch my top 2 images so you have something to use straight away and they also serve as a frame of reference for the level of retouching & postwork - the images are then sorted into different folders (edits, finals, shortlist, selects, everything else) and uploaded to a private web gallery - and the two initial edits will be supplied in high-resolution ready for you to print/upload to spotlight/imdb etc as soon as the gallery goes live. You then have a further 6 images to select for retouching - my shortlist & final-list should assist you in selecting the best shots.
You can also opt for the deluxe package and skip the edit service - in which case your gallery would go live the day after the shoot and you would just select all 8 images yourself. Turnaround on your retouch requests is 14 working days from when you submit them to me.
Equally you can opt for the standard package and add additional images later (the first extra shot is £15 and it's £30 for each thereafter).
If you need super fast turnaround I can sometimes do an express turnaround on retouching - the fee is £50 for next working day delivery of up to 8 images - this needs to be booked in advance, so please check when booking.
How far ahead should I book?
I'm normally fully booked about 5-10 weeks in advance, so if you need the shots for a deadline, I strongly recommend getting in touch well ahead of when you need them. I book dates up to 3 months ahead (no further ahead than this as my schedule changes). I do operate a waiting list for last minute cancellations so if you need an urgent session please contact me and I can put you on stand-by.
If you need shots for pilot season - I actually recommend booking the shoot for September, the light is gorgeous and it's way more fun than leaving it until December and trying to schedule a shoot around the British winter weather.
For drama students - I recommend getting your final year shots done over the Easter holidays - drama schools can be tricky about allowing time off, and I don't accept student bookings after the 31st July as the submission deadlines for most schools tend to be in August and you need to allow 14 working days for retouching turnaround. My availability gets booked up very fast so if your school won't allow you to take a few hours off during term time then I recommend getting in touch with me in mid-January to book an Easter holiday or summer half-term session.
How do you work?
If the weather is good I prefer shooting headshots outdoors on location. Sessions normally take place in North London. Having your portrait taken can be a source of anxiety, particularly if you've spent most of your career trying to avoid looking into the camera - so with this in mind, I like to keep sessions as relaxed as possible - I don't rush, I like to take time getting to know my clients and figuring out how best to shoot you. I schedule ample time for each shoot and we can take coffee breaks as needed. I don't stop shooting until I'm certain we've got what we need. On an average session I shoot between 500-800 images - the best shots are almost always the ones where you forgot about the camera and I clicked the shutter before you arranged your face.. my favourite images are the ones which have a playful, slightly dangerous and engaging energy. If you have any specific questions please don't hesitate to drop me a line!
Where are you based and do you travel?
I'm based in London most of the time - sometimes Los Angeles - and yes I love to travel! I am available for international commissions.
How much is additional retouching?
If you want any additional shots retouched beyond those already included with your package (3 standard or 8 deluxe) this is charged at £15 for the first image and £30 for every image thereafter.
What is your turnaround time?
STANDARD package: Photos will be uploaded to a web gallery and delivered within one working day of the session (mon-fri).
DELUXE Package: Editing of the gallery and 2 initial edits normally takes 14 working days, sometimes less if I don't have a massive edit queue or can be a little longer if it's very busy (April-August tend to be the busiest months). You can also skip the edit service and just choose all 8 shots yourself, in which case your gallery would be uploaded the day after the shoot.
My normal turnaround on retouching is 14 working days, mon-fri, from when you email me your final list of chosen shots. I also work abroad at various points throughout the year, I will let you know any away dates in advance of your booking. If you take more than 6 weeks to select your final shots please be aware that I do have to prioritise editing of recent clients with urgent requests, so turnaround time may be longer if you delay choosing them.
I need the final images urgently - can you do an express turnaround?
Yes, I can sometimes offer an express retouching service for clients needing final shots extremely urgently - this is an additional £50 for one working day (mon-fri) turnaround of up to 8 retouched images as selected by you, but MUST be arranged in advance when you book the shoot - and is subject to my availability.
How many pictures will I receive?
You'll receive a full downloadable web gallery of everything we shoot, regardless of which package you opt for.
STANDARD - Includes 3 retouched images of your choosing, supplied in high-resolution.
DELUXE - Includes 8 retouched images supplied in high-resolution - normally 2 of these are my top 2 favourites which I retouch with the edit so you have something to use straight away, and you choose the remaining 6 - or you can just choose all 8 yourself.
How should I prepare?
When you book - I’ll email you an info sheet with instructions about what to bring etc, but general preparation: Don't be hung over. Go to bed early (for a week, if possible). Drink lots of water. Eat healthily & take vitamins – don’t diet for headshots, it’ll make you look and feel tired. Exercise tends to make your skin glow – I recommend yoga particularly! Have a relaxing bath the night before. Try not to sunbathe or over-tan, burnt skin does not photograph well. Likewise, if you’re naturally fair – please don’t use fake tan. It limits your casting and looks strange on camera. Hair should be clean and styled in way that makes you feel confident. Please don’t do anything crazy with your hair on the day of the shoot - and if you're getting it cut or coloured, PLEASE do it at least a week before so it has time to settle (or so we can reschedule if you have a hair disaster!)
What is your cancellation policy?
Auditions and medical ailments can come up at short notice and I'm pretty understanding, but as I don't ask for a deposit and I always have a waiting list of other clients who need urgent sessions; I ask that you give me as much notice as possible so I have time to find someone to take the slot - if you cancel with less than 72 hours notice it is my policy to charge a 20% cancellation fee (£70). If you cancel with less than 24 hours notice it is my policy to charge a 50% cancellation fee (£175).
If you think you're getting ill or there is the smallest possibility that you might have a meeting that will clash with the session please let me know immediately by phone and email so that I can try to switch you with another client or put someone else on standby incase you do need to cancel at short notice. I hate having to charge cancellation fees and I will do my best to accommodate you if you can give me sufficient notice.
Do you do split or shared sessions?
Yes for creative portfolio shoots as this is a full day, but never for headshots. I find that the amount of time and energy I give to each client is necessary to get the best results. Splitting this is impossible, and would compromise the quality of work that I do for each individual client.
Do you retouch?
Yes. Blemishes get removed and under-eye shadows reduced a little if necessary. I also fiddle with the exposure and tone of the shots (darker, lighter, warmer etc) - the digital equivalent of a dark room. I will not make you look plastic - headshots need to be an honest representation of you and recognisable as the person who walks into a casting, airbrushing to magazine standard or removing all lines and the interesting parts of your face will just annoy casting directors and goes beyond the remit of appropriate retouching for headshots - so I try and keep it as natural as possible..
Can I come with a beard and shave half way through?
Yes - just make sure you have a *fully charged* battery powered trimmer as I often work outdoors on location and there are no power outlets. There is bathroom if you're wet shaving - but I only recommend doing this if it's something you do regularly, as it tends to leave skin a little raw. Also worth bearing in mind that it cuts into the shooting time and breaks up the flow of the session - so if you're primarily a stubbly person I would advise sticking with that look as it's a good middle ground between cowboys & executives (and stubble enhances your jawline & cheekbones), and just getting a few clean shaven shots at the end if you're also going up for 16-25 roles.. Also - chat to your agents before the shoot to discuss what looks would be the most useful for them, in terms of the roles they're putting you up for.
Can I curl/straighten my hair half way through?
Only if we're shooting in studio. I work primarily outdoors on location and we won't have heat-styling facilities. I recommend coming however you're most likely to attend an audition - and if you have long hair and you're undecided between straight or curly I recommend using a wand for LA style beachy victoria-secret-esque waves; it gives your hair natural movement and volume without looking overly styled... and we can always brush it out and add serum to get a more sleek look during the session. (more advice on this upon booking)
Can you recommend any hairdressers or colourists in London?
Note: If you're getting a cut or colour please do this at least week before the shoot so it has time to settle (and we have time to reschedule incase of a hair disaster).
For reliable and affordable BLOW-DRIES I recommend Brooks & Brooks in Holborn (30 mins from location): https://brooksandbrooks.co.uk
The most amazing COLOURIST in London is John Clark (@johnclarkhaircolour on instagram) he works at Nicola Clarke at John Frieda - https://www.nicolaclarkeatjohnfrieda.com
And for an an affordable BLOW-DRY on the morning of the session - Hobs Camden is 10 mins walk from where we'll be meeting:
What makeup do you recommend for headshots?
More on this upon booking - but generally; I recommend coming with minimal makeup - think glowy & fresh like a skincare commercial.
Skin: Cleanse, Tone, Moisturize - I recommend a hydrating & calming moisturizer like Clarins multi-active or Lancome Hydra-zen.
Primer & Base: If you want to use a primer instead of a foundation Charlotte Tillbury's wonderglow is great. I can recommend Armani silk foundation for light coverage glowy foundation or Lancome teint idole ultra for more coverage.
Face: Highlighter - Charlotte Tilbury 'hollywood flawless filter' is amazing for a dewy glow, also Charlotte Tilbury's 'Beauty light wand - spotlight' is a fantastic liquid highlighter. Benefit highbeam is also very good. And bare minerals do a powder highlighter called 'queen phylis' which is excellent too. Finish skin with a very light application of blush and/or bronzer along cheek bones. Please avoid heavy contouring! Make sure that the skin on your face matches your neck & collarbones!
Eyes: Keep it minimal, a little gold or pink eyeshadow (Charlotte Tilbury, Bobbi Brown, Urban Decay all do excellent natural & glowy eye palettes), if you normally use eyeliner keep it very natural, and no liner on the lower-lash line. Bring a khol brown or grey pencil for blending & definition if you want to add more during the shoot. Use a defined mascara on your top lashes. Keep brows as natural as you would for a meeting.
Please don't powder your skin - it shows up in the pores and is hard to retouch. I'd rather you were dewy and a bit shiny than flat & matte.
Top tip: If you're not great with makeup I recommend booking in for a tutorial appointment at a John Lewis makeup counter (Charlotte Tilbury is particularly fun) - and you can redeem the cost of the appointment (normally £30-65) against products. Do this a few days before to try out some different products. If you like the look and have time on the morning of the session you can book in for a makeup application (1 hr) - just make sure they keep it *really* natural.
Can you recommend any makeup artists?
I preface this by saying that I prefer clients to be as natural as possible - headshots are a representation of you as you would go to an audition, so professional makeup is not really necessary (and you can also swing by the counters in John Lewis on Oxford St and get your makeup done for free if you buy products..). However, if you just can't deal with the hassle and would definitely like to book a professional makeup artist I can recommend the following excellent and super talented ladies:
Elaine Lynksey - http://elainelynskey.com
Nina Sagri - www.ninasagri.com
Emma Turle - http://emmaturle.com
Charlotte Yeomans - www.charlotteyeomans.com
Their rates vary and they are all in high-demand - once you've secured a session date you can contact them directly through their websites to check rates & availability if you would like to book them for the shoot.
Will I get to see images during the shoot & What if my agent doesn't like them?
We will take breaks to review images on-camera during the shoot to make sure you're happy with the look and the way that I'm shooting, and you'll get the opportunity to sign off before we finish the session. I don't stop shooting until I'm certain we've got what we need!
In the very rare instance that an agent is not happy with the images then it is my policy to offer you a complimentary reshoot - you're welcome to come back for another session, free of charge - as long as you haven't already asked me to start retouching your images. Please note that with the exception of weather related rescheduling, session fees are non-refundable.
What are the image license terms of your headshot packages?
Images included with headshots packages are licensed for standard headshot usage in your personal portfolios on spotlight, IMDB, Agents websites, Personal websites (inc social media accounts) and in-house production materials (theatre programmes & websites).
All images MUST be clearly credited to 'FAYE THOMAS' wherever they are used. If sharing on social media please credit @fayethomasphoto in both the tag & the image caption.
Headshots are also licensed for usage in the following Film & Theatre trade publications: Deadline.com, Variety Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, Backstage, Screen Daily and The Stage on the condition that I am clearly credited wherever they appear. Copyright clearance and/or licensing fees for ANY other use (such as mainstream news publication, magazine editorials, merchandise, CD sleeves, production bill-boards) MUST be negotiated and approved prior to publication. All supplied images are remain the property and copyright of 'Faye Thomas' and are protected under United Kingdom & International copyright laws.
If you're interested in licensing images for press or any other usage beyond the standard headshot terms outlined above please contact me for a custom quote.
If you have a publicist who may be planning to use the images for a campaign please ensure they are also aware of the copyright terms. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.