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Frequently Asked Headshot Questions

Do you have a makeup artist? How should I do my makeup?

Lots of headshot clients do their own makeup. But if you want a professional, our makeup artist Kelli does an amazing job with makeup. You want to look like your headshot when you walk into an audition, so do your makeup as naturally as possible. Each of the pictures you choose will be professionally retouched so that you don’t have to worry about little blemishes and imperfections. Men generally do not require makeup.

You include 4 “looks” in a photo session. What is a “look”?

A look is a change of clothing, hair, and/or makeup.

How long does a shoot take?

Shoots generally take 2-3 hours. Men usually shoot faster than women since clothing changes are quicker and we don’t have to worry about hair or makeup.

Where do your shoots take place?

My shoots take place outdoors in natural light in various locations throughout New York City. We choose our locations based on what's going to complement a persons "look".

When/how do I pay you?

Payment is due on the day of your shoot. We accept cash or check. Or credit card via paypal (add $25 for the processing fee).

Why do your rates keep increasing?

Our business is constantly growing. One great headshot session often turns into referrals from friends, family, agents, and managers and Dennis is only one person with a limited amount of time and energy. We prefer to work with professionals who are commited to being working actors and who recognize that what we do here is actually a relatively small investment in what is arguably the single-most important tool in one's career as an actor.

Look at it this way. Headshots are like skis. if you were a professional skier, you wouldn't look at ski prices. They are the tool that is essential to your profession. You buy and use the skis that allow you to perform at your best. Without them, you will literally just be standing still. Or you could use your really old wooden skis (your yucky old headshots) and move along at a glacial pace while everyone laughs at you. Sure you can and should invest in coaching, physical training, networking, etc.... but if the talent is there, your skis are the only thing you really need to get to the Olympics.

How do I prepare for my shoot day?

First of all, relax. It’s not a stressful experience. It’s easy and fun. Know the types of roles you plan to go out for. Know your type. (Leading lady, best friend, villain, inept office intern, math genius, etc.) Have your clothes prepared. Get a good night’s sleep. Don’t get mauled by a lion. If you’re running late, don’t worry. We’re used to lateness and we’d rather have you late than sweaty and frazzled. Speaking of sweaty and frazzled, splurge on a cab...schlepping your clothes across town on the subway is a great way to get you sweaty and frazzled before your headshot session. With all that said, it's pretty awesome when you're on time.

When do I get my proofs?

Proofs are generally ready within 48 hours of your shoot. If you need them rushed, just let us know and we will work with you to get your pictures finalized as quickly as possible.

Are prints included?

Prints are not included, though we can arrange to have your prints laid out and ordered for you at rates cheaper than most reproduction houses and shipped directly to your doorstep.

Do I get a CD?

All your photographs will be available in a custom-made gallery just for you. They’ll be viewable in full-size and will be online for all eternity.

Why can’t I have a CD?

We keep the pictures confined to your photo album and release only retouched pictures not to be jerks but for quality control purposes. Any picture you end up using professionally needs at least a tiny bit of retouching/color correction before you should start using it. Way too often we see people posting unretouched photos on their casting websites/facebook/etc and it's not flattering for them or for us. Submitting an unretouched photo is the equivalent of sending out the rough draft of a resume without any proofreading... you just wouldn't and shouldn't do it!

Check out our retouching gallery and you'll see what a difference these little tweaks make!

Once you’ve made your retouching selections, we fix those up and send those over to you as full-size versions for printing as well as web-sized versions for easy emailing etc.

I still don't get it. Why are you being such a jerk?

Ughhhh. Ok. So basically. Take the Mona Lisa. If you had multiple copies of the Mona Lisa. Or multiple drafts of the Mona Lisa in slightly different poses, that one iconic painting of the Mona Lisa would be worth a whole lot less and would not nearly be as special. The same kind of logic, to a lesser extent, applies to your headshots. These are headshots for PROFESSIONAL use and you should only be displaying and submitting those few photographs that capture your essence perfectly. The other unfinished works should stay locked away from public view. Just like a singer wouldn't want the public hearing their unfinished vocals or you wouldn't want potential employers judging you by your unpolished outtakes. Now we're not saying that our work is even comparable to that of Leonardo Da Vinci... I mean, we're talking about the most famous painting in the world here...how can you compare that to some silly headshots by some stupid photographer...but...well...you get the point. Hopefully.

Again, your pictures will be online and viewable in a gallery FOREVER, so you'll always be able to access them and view them, and should you decide later on that you want to try submitting to jobs with different shots from your shoot, you can pay the relatively small retouching fee of $35 (or $100 for four) to have additional pictures retouched and released to you.

Why are my headshots so important?

A professional headshot tells people that you are a serious professional and take acting seriously. A crappy photo says you're an amateur, aren't really taking it seriously, and thus people won't take you as seriously. When a casting director is flipping through a pile of hundreds of headshots, you have about 2 seconds to catch their attention. A striking DK Headshot does just that.

Do you guarantee your pictures? Do you offer reshoots?

Obviously we want every client to be 150% happy with their pictures...who wouldn’t want that? Most of our clients are...just check our Google or Yelp reviews. But there are never guarantees. Maybe you’re having a bad hair day. Maybe you’re really stressed and can’t shake it. Maybe you just realize you feel weird being photographed by a giant jumping Asian. Dennis is very easy to work with. Nobody wants unhappy clients running around town badmouthing them, right?

We guarantee that we will work with you to make sure that you are happy with your photographs, but we ask that you remain flexible and open-minded as well. If reshooting is absolutely necessary, then we do it. But there is always going to be .01% of people who are extraordinary difficult to work with and will always be unhappy no matter how hard you try to appease them. Hopefully you're not one of them...but you might be, and there's not much we can do about that!

What is the difference between New York headshots and Los Angeles headshots?

Headshots in New York City are and headshots in Los Angeles are similar, but NYC is often a little slow to pick up on LA trends although it inevitably does usually. Having spent half a decade shooting primarily in LA, our headshots are more "LA-style" headshots. If you look around, you'll notice that most New York photographers shoot in a studio and those pictures tend to have a stiffer, more-posed feel. LA Headshots, or at least DK-style LA Headshots, have a more cinematic feel. We try to shoot pictures that look as if they are single frames lifted right out of a film. This, in our opinion, creates a much more striking photo, and also helps viewers to envision the subject in whatever project they are trying to make.

What's the difference between shooting in studio light and natural light?

Headshots taken in a studio tend to look a little stiffer, since the studio environment is such an unnatural one where you have no choice but to get all up "in your head" while waiting for lighting etc to be set up. Whereas natural light headshot subjects tend to look a little more relaxed, since in an outdoor environment people can focus many other things and really like they are part of a scene or setting. The other problem with studio light is a limited number of backdrops and lighting setups. Your photos will probably look like the photos of hundreds of other people, when the point of your headshot is to make you stand out. Also, different faces require different light setups in order to highlight one's best features. In a studio, most people tend to be shot in the same way, and one particular light setup probably isn't the best for everyone. In natural light we move and adjust and can experiment quickly to figure out what light works best for your face.

How do you shoot outdoor headshots in NYC in the winter??? I don't want to freeze!

Clients for headshots in NYC may have to deal with some seasonal inconsitencies, such as colder or warmer weather in the winter and summer, but after doing this for years, we have our process down and, in addition to being transported from location to location in a private vehicle, have several climate-controlled indoor locations and to try to keep you as comfortable as possible during the course of your shoot to achieve all the looks you need, regardless of weather. But the look of our shots is primarily achieved using natural outdoor light...so again we ask that you trust us and our process, because we've done this long enough to know what we need to do to get the results you want.

What are corporate headshots and how do they differ from actor/model headshots?

Corporate headshots are generally for businesses and are typically less involved than headshots for people in the entertainment industry. Photo shoots for corporate headshot clients are still a fun and enjoyable experience, but we conduct them with efficiency in mind and a great shot can be achieved in as little as 5 minutes. We want to get you in and out, since we understand that you actually have a job to do. Corporate headshots can be conducted in the place of business or elsewhere, depending on what our clients is looking for, while our actor headshots tend to take place in several tried-and-true locations.

What is the pretty music playing in the background of your website?

It is a loop of "Latika's Theme" from Slumdog Millionaire. If you haven't seen the movie stop what you're doing right this second and go watch it!

How did you get to be so tall?

No idea. Won the genetic lottery I guess. :-)