What do I do with My Hands?

It's strange, but this is the most common thing people say to me. Maybe it's a subtle Ron Burgundy reference, but I treat all questions as something my clients might have serious concerns about.

On this page I’ll show you what to expect when you come for a headshot or portrait session at my home studio.

If you've read part one, you know what to expect before you come to my studio. Here's what we'll do when you get there.

First we'll sit and chat for a second. This gives us time to break through the initial nerves, for both of us. It also allows my cats and dog time to meet you before they drag their lazy butts back to their beds.

 Next I'll get you to sign an appropriate model release form.   This is a legal document that protects both of us. You can read about it further here: and I'll also go over it in person with you, too.

Then I'll get a confirmation of what you want from the session, what I hope to get from it, and how it will flow.  We'll look at the 6 or so outfits you brought, and probably discard 3 or 4.

Then it's time! I'll take you into my studio, and we begin.

First I'll have you sit and we'll explore how the shadows and light play across your face. I'll decide on the first lighting set up, and while I get ready, you'll change into your first outfit.

"But I don't know what you want me to do, I'm not a model!" 

Good!  That means you'll listen to me. I'll direct you into position, and we'll shoot a few initial shots. I'll tell you where to look, and how to change your face. You'll be able to see what I'm doing, either on the back of my camera, or on a computer screen near by.

After about 10 minutes we'll come up for air. You can take a breather, and we'll review how you your photos are coming out so far. I'll also coach you in ways that you can change your features so that we can get you looking the most confident and attractive. There's even an odd trick with your hands that I have that I will teach you.

The most important thing for me is that you feel confident and have a good time. The photos actually come second, because if you enjoy the photo session with me, you'll love the images we create. So if you aren't comfortable, or have any concerns please let me know. I'm a professional, I can take constructive criticism; it actually makes me better.

 Once we've gone through a few looks, we'll change the lighting and your outfit a few times. We'll review the images and shoot some more. I love this part of the process - the two of us are humming along like a well-oiled machine, and time flies by. This is a great time for experimentation, too. Once we've both gotten what we want, it's time to try something we've never done before. If there are any special requests you have for something a little bit different or an image for your own personal project, this is a perfect time to do it.

Before you know it, our time will be up.

I'll make sure I have your contact information, and then we can do a quick final review of the shots. This helps us both have realistic expectations of what we’ll get out of the final images.

Once you head home, all you have to do is wait for the first proofs to show up - I’ll send you an email with a link and a password. You choose the images you love, up to the amount we agreed upon, and I’ll get to work on them!

So that’s it! For the final step of the process, you'll have to read part 3, coming soon.