Headshot FAQs

Table of Contents

General Headshot Questions

What are the differences between your session types?

There are three types of headshot sessions:

  1. Basic Headshot Session – This is perfect for actors looking to update their headshot, LinkedIn, or profile images.
  2. Standard Headshot Session – If you are looking for a more diverse portfolio or multiple different looks, then this session may be better
  3. Personal Branding/Headshot Combo Session – This is more of a branding shoot with headshots. If you are a dancer, musician, entrepreneur, business owner, or model looking for a diverse set of images and looks, then this is your best bet.

The main difference is time, the number of looks, and the final retouched image count.

If you’re not sure what session would work best for you, email me or call and we can talk about it. I’d love to hear what your needs are and help you pick the right session for you.

How often should I update my headshots?

This is a great question and one that comes up often.

I recommend every time you change your look drastically to update your headshot. You’ll also want to update it every few years as you age and your face changes. If you have the feeling of “It’s time to get a new headshot,” then it probably is!

How do I book a session?

You can book a session directly through my calendar link. If you don’t see the calendar or have trouble with it please email me and I will send you a direct link.

What kinds of payment methods do you take?

I take all credit cards via an online payment and invoice system, personal checks, Zelle, and cash. Currently, I do not take Venmo.

Do you offer loyalty discounts?


I am always honored when clients return and so any headshots or branding sessions beyond your first session will be $50 off the new session or package fee.

Also if you refer a friend who books me before your session, you’ll receive $50 off your session fee. This applies to whatever package you choose! If you refer a friend who books me after your session, you can receive either an additional retouched image or $50 off of your next headshot session.

Can I reschedule my session if something unexpected comes up?

I absolutely understand that life is crazy, and sometimes new jobs and last-minute auditions pop up out of nowhere! If you cancel at least 48 hours before your shoot, your retainer/booking fee can be applied to a newly rescheduled date. If you cancel with 48 hours of your shoot, your retainer/booking fee will be forfeited.

If you have a beyond-the-norm special circumstance arise in those 48 hours, please contact me and let me know!

Hair + Makeup

What about hair and makeup?

My personal opinion is that you don’t have to have your hair and makeup done by a professional for your headshot since it isn’t likely that you do the same for every audition. I subscribe to the less-is-more natural approach.

That said, if it will make you more comfortable during your session then I recommend it. I can put you in touch with a talented and trusted hair and makeup artist that I work with regularly.

Can I bring my own hair and makeup artist?

If you have a long-term relationship working with a hair and makeup artist, I’m open to having them create your look in the studio or before your shoot. 

How should I prepare for my session?

This is a wonderful question. First of all, take care of yourself! Eat well, drink tons of water, and take good care of your skin. Now is not the time to try a new skin treatment or anything overly ambitious with your dermatologist! Stay out of the sun as much as possible, and get a lot of sleep.

If you color your hair or need a cut, now is the time to do that. Make sure that you do this at least a week in advance so that the cut can settle down and the color can settle in before the shoot. Try not to tweeze or do any hair removal in the days leading up to the shoot.

If you plan on tanning, make sure that you are comfortable with the process. Test whatever tanning salon you go to well in advance to make sure that you love the look and that it fits how you naturally look. Tan well in advance as well, in case there are any issues. You also want to make sure the color settles and looks as natural as possible before your headshot shoot date.

Men, if you’d like a clean-cut look, you’re welcome to shave before the shoot or during the shoot as desired. If you want to start with a beard or any facial hair, make sure that you have plenty of time to grow it before the shoot date.

What should I do the night before to prep for my shoot?

NOTHING. The night before is when you should be sleeping, resting, and feeling your most zen. Make sure that you plan for the day well in advance so that you can get a good night’s sleep the night before. Don’t go out drinking, don’t stay up too late, and don’t get too stressed! Go easy on yourself, and don’t overthink the upcoming shoot!

If you want to listen to music during your shoot, we can shuffle my music, or you can bring a playlist of your own. I have a speaker that we can sync with your phone to play whatever you’d like during your headshot shoot.

Drink loads of water, get your directions and your bag of clothes ready, and relax. All of your preparations should be done by now, so there is nothing to do but get a good night’s sleep!


How do I know what to wear? Can you help me choose outfits?

Here are a few tips for picking something to wear for your session:

  • Solid colors are generally preferred.
  • Your best option is dark-colored neutrals in the blacks, greys, browns, blues, and muted colors. Keep it simple!
  • Keep patterns to a minimum. They can pull attention from your face.
  • No visible logos or branding on the clothing itself.
  • Don’t worry about being seasonal. If it’s summer and you want to wear a sweater, bring a sweater. 
  • If you have a favorite jacket or scarf, bring that! While we tend to veer away from accessories, adding a favorite accessory for a few shots can be a nice touch.
  • If in doubt, bring it! We will help you sort through what you’ve brought to find just the right outfit or outfits for your shoot.
  • Prepare your clothes by ironing and cleaning them before the shoot.
  • If we’re shooting simple headshots and not a personal branding session, you don’t need to worry about your shoes!
  • Pack your clothes the day before. Check and double-check. This way you won’t forget anything!

If you get stuck, you can always email me pictures of whatever you think of bringing. I’m glad to help you as much as you need!

Should I bring jewelry?

I recommend keeping your jewelry as simple as possible. Dramatic earrings or necklaces might look amazing, but they will pull focus from your facial features. If you’d like to add them for a few shots, that would be great, but I’d advise steering away from them for the majority of your shoot time as even the smallest jewelry can pull the eye of the viewer away from you and onto your accessories.


What is your turnaround time for proofs?

It takes 48 hours (during the business week) to receive your unedited proofs.

Proofs are just that – a proof set of everything from your headshot session. The images are color-corrected and exposed properly, but nothing is retouched. You’ll see flyaway hairs, etc. in the proofs. They exist to help you choose your final images, and are not meant to be a final product in proof stage – though they’re pretty close!

If you need these proofs sooner than the 48 hour time period, just let me know. We have options to rush your proofs same-day if necessary!

Can you do same day turnaround?

I completely understand that sometimes you need a headshot, and you need it fast. Proofs can be expedited for an additional $100. This would mean that your unedited proofs would be ready within 2 hours of your headshot session.

If you need both proofs and final edited images on the same day or the day after the shoot, it’s an additional $250 to expedite the retouching. In this case, your proofs would be online within 2 hours of your shoot for you to choose what you wanted to be retouched. You would need to let me know your choices by 7 pm at the latest. Your edited, retouched final images would then be ready by 11 PM on the same day as your headshot session. 

How do you deliver my proofs?

I use an online service to house all my images for clients. Once I have uploaded the proofs I will send you a master pass protected link with the proofing gallery inside it. The master link is where I will also upload your final retouched images.

How do I choose what images I want retouched ?

When you access your online gallery, you’ll be able to flip through the images one at a time. Once you’ve chosen your final images, you can email the numbers to me. I will email you back to confirm and then start the retouching process right away.

Retouching - Editing

Can you explain what retouching is?

Of course! Retouching is a part of the production process after your headshot session. I retouch images by hand, in-house. This entails smoothing stray hairs, removing blemishes, lightening under-eye circles, and more.

I strive to keep your images natural, with the retouching extremely subtle. I do not want you to feel like you look plastic or fake! Most normal skin texture must remain on the face for your image to look natural. As it’s imperative that your headshot actually looks like you, you want to avoid any heavy-handed retouching that completely changes the way you look!

If you desire more retouching, give me a call, and let’s chat about your needs!

What does retouching cost?

Based on the package that you choose, you’ll receive anywhere from three to fifteen fully retouched images. Should you desire additional images to be retouched, the rate is $75 per image. You can decide on additional retouched images both before or after your session.

Can I hire someone else to retouch my images?

I have been retouching headshots for years, and have been trained by the best in the retouching business. I am confident that I can retouch your images to your satisfaction. That said, if you purchase your unretouched proofs, you can take them anywhere else you’d like to have more images edited. Once you have purchased those files, they are yours to do with as you’d like.

I would love to first hear about why you’d like additional images retouched elsewhere. I want to make sure that you’re completely happy with your entire headshot process, from start to finish, and that includes the retouching of the images. Have a buddy who is a photoshop and retouching expert? Then go for it! Found someone on Craigslist who can “retouch” for $5 an image? Maybe not. If a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is!

Your headshot is such an important part of your presence, and the retouching is an important part of the process. You want to make sure that is handled by a trusted, trained professional.

Do I get to keep all of the outtakes and unretouched images?

You will always have access to the web-resolution proofs but these sessions do not include all the unretouched hi-resolution files. If you would like to obtain all of your unretouched images from the proofing gallery in hi-res it is an additional $300. After a few years, the online proof gallery may be moved to an archival folder but we don’t ever delete it.

What if I need to rush the retouching?

I do have an option where you can rush the delivery of proofs and/or the delivery of the retouched files. If you can let me know what your timeline is, I can let you know what your best options are for getting your finished headshots in your hands asap!

What is your turnaround time for retouching?

It takes an additional 48 hours (during the business week) to retouch your final images.

How long do you keep the original files of my headshots?

I keep them on file and backed up for about 5 years. 

Will my headshots be horizontal or vertical? Does it matter?

As trends in headshots come and go, vertical versus horizontal also comes and goes. I shoot both ways but mostly horizontal allowing room to crop vertical images as well.

Can I share my headshots on social media?

YES! You can absolutely share your headshots whenever and wherever that you want. If you share them on Instagram, please tag @tracymartinphotography in your post. If you share them on any websites anywhere, please credit tracymartinphotography.com and link back to my site. If you share them in print and have the ability to add a print credit, please credit Tracy Martin.

Thank you!

Where can I get my headshots printed?

I highly recommend that you contact Reproductions to get your headshots printed. They have long been the industry standard in this area for the printing of headshots and comp cards.

At Reproductions, your headshots can be printed in 8×10 format in batches of 25 for a very reasonable rate. I have seen their final products, and they’re beautiful. You can also opt to have your resume printed directly on your headshot, should you so desire.

Their online ordering system is extremely easy, and you will be able to use the retouched high-resolution digital files I provide you to order directly online.

Here are two other printers that are also an option: 
The Actors Photo Lab
Dirt Cheap Headshots

What time and day do you normally shoot headshot sessions?

I am available for headshot sessions in my home studio from 11 am until late at night every day of the week. Generally, my last session appointment of the day is 4 pm, but evening and even late-night hours can be available upon special request if your performance or job schedule is completely crazy!

I am a performance photographer and travel frequently both during the week and on weekends so I don’t have any set days off but it also means that my schedule is constantly changing. That said, I’m sure we can come up with a date that works for everyone!

Do you shoot headshots indoors or outdoors?

I photograph most of my basic headshot sessions outdoors with studio lighting. That said, there is no right way or wrong way to shoot headshots. Some photographers prefer to shoot indoors with artificial light. Some prefer outside with natural light. Some prefer outdoors with artificial light. As you can see, there are lots of ways to accomplish a headshot. My style is to augment natural light with studio strobes and shape it to make it a bit more dramatic than not shaping it.

My extended headshot sessions are both indoors and outdoors with studio lights

Can I shave my beard or mustache during my session?

You can! If you want to shoot with two looks, just let me know. We would start with the look that involves your beard/mustache/facial hair and then shave for the second look!

What about my glasses? Can I wear them? Should I?

If you normally wear glasses, you should absolutely bring them to your headshot session. If you wear transitional lenses, those can be a bit of an issue in the light, so let’s talk about that if those are what your glasses are like!

Glasses are best with anti-glare lenses. If you have the ability to bring the frames without lenses, that is another option. Also, if you don’t always wear your glasses, let me know that as well. We can do some shots with and some without.