FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

(click to expand for answers)

  • Where abouts are you based?
Camden and Highgate, North London. I normally work outdoors on location. Full details on receipt of booking. I'm also available for comissions abroad.
  • How long is a headshots shoot?


This varies immensly client to client. I leave minimum 2-3 hours per session, but can sometimes be longer depending on how much coffee I've had.. give yourself a good 4 hour window incase we run late. If you have anything else scheduled on the day, let me know before the session as I can work very efficiently to a time limit, but equally it's nice to pause for caffeine and have a chance to scan through the shots mid-way.

  • How far ahead should I book?

I'm normally fully booked about 4-8 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).

If you need shots for pilot season - I actually recommend booking the shoot for September or early october, the light is better and it's way more fun than leaving it to the last minute and trying to schedule a shoot around the December/January weather. Likewise, it gets extremely busy in Jan/Feb ahead of the actresses' spotlight deadline in April, and the weather can still be pretty temperamental. And I also recommend that second year drama students get them done in the easter holidays - drama schools can be tricky about allowing time off, and they have a habit of giving you surprise headshot deadlines, so it's much better to have them ready for school brochures etc than leave it until summer holidays and have a last minute panic to get them done in time. The blokes spotlight deadline is around October - I'd recommend booking for August/September.

  • What days & times do you work?
I shoot Monday to Saturday (although I don’t really like working Mondays, and only do the ocassional saturday…) Sessions times vary depending on the season and light – but normally I do a morning session that starts 9.30am, and an afternoon session that starts around 12.30. Email me and I’ll send you a list of my available sessions.

  • 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 normally have a waiting list of other clients who need urgent sessions and can take a slot - if you cancel on me at very short notice (less than 3 working days - mon-fri) I reserve the right to either charge a cancellation fee, or not book you back in... pretty straight forward! If you think you're getting ill or might have a meeting that will clash with the session please let me know immediately so that I can have someone else on standby incase you do need to cancel.

  • How many photos do you take? And can you shoot in a mix of colour and b/w?

I shoot on digital, so there is no limit. In an average headshots session, I probably take between 500-700 shots - in a variety of different styles. I shoot until both of us are satisfied with what we’ve got. And until I’ve exhausted all the possible different ways I could photograph you. And I shoot in colour, converting to b/w later if needed - unless asked otherwise.

  • 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. Get a good nights sleep (for a week, if possible). Drink lots of water. Eat healthily – don’t diet for headshots, it’ll just make you tired and irritable. Exercise tends to make your skin look good – 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 you feel comfortable and confident. Please don’t do anything crazy with your hair on the day of the shoot - and if you're getting it cut, 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 happens after the shoot?

Depending on which package you go for (basic, premiere or creative: see my rates & services page), I upload all the images to a web gallery - you then choose your retouch requests and I retouch and email these back to you. You can then upload your shots straight to spotlight & imdb or order prints via Visualeyes: http://www.visualeyes.co.uk

  • What’s your turnaround time?

For the basic option, your web gallery will be uploaded within one working day. You can then choose your retouch requests and email me a list. Retouching takes around 14 working days, depending on how busy it is and whether or not I'm in the UK (please check my contact page for availability notes). For the premier & creative package, my turnaround on the edit is normally around 14 working days. If you have a deadline I STRONGLY recommend getting in touch well in advance of when you need them to avoid last minute stress.

  • Do you offer discounts?
Yes, to drama school students and clients of certain agencies who forward lots of clients my way.

  • Suppose my agent doesn’t like them?
This rarely happens, but if for any reason you or your agent are not satisfied with the images – you’re welcome to come back for a complimentary reshoot, providing you haven't already asked me to retouch them. Totally fine.

  • Why digital instead of film?
The advantage of using digital means that we have that freedom to experiment a little, and aren't limited by the expense of film. It also means that we can review the photos as we go. This eliminates the chance of one tiny, unchecked thing spoiling all the shots (a hairstyle that you hate, bad makeup, weird lip tension etc) - and allows me to make sure that we're working on the right tracks to get what you're after.

  • Do you retouch?
Yes. Blemishes get removed and eye-bags airbrushed/reduced 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 - so I try and keep it as natural as possible..

  • How many repros can I get?

As many as you want. I don’t do prints myself - for this I refer you to Visualeyes: http://www.visualeyes.co.uk or for cheap previews: photobox.co.uk


  • Do you do split or shared sessions?

Yes for creative shoots as this is a full day session, 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.

  • I'm completely broke, but I desperately need publicity stills - is there any way we could work out some sort of skills exchange?
Possibly. I’m always interested in working with creative people.. particularly musicians & composers..

  • I’m a producer with no budget and I desperately need someone to take some production stills for a show … would you be interested?

Possibly. Email me with the details of your project. I’m also happy to shoot in exchange for VIP tickets to festivals - specifically latitude festival or secret garden party... :)

  • Do you do any other sorts of photography – Weddings, gigs, exhibitions etc?
Yes. But only by special arrangement. Email me to discuss...

  • Are there any makeup products that you particularly recommend? And also what makeup should I wear for the shoot?


Yes. Benefit ‘high beam’ is great for illuminating cheek bones and brow bones. And anything from the 'bare minerals' cosmetics range photographs beautifully. Mac ‘strobe cream’ is a lovely moisturiser for glowing skin – or the body shop’s ‘vitamin e illuminating moisturiser’ is fantastic. They also do some great anti-aging eye-creams (and may give you free testers if you ask nicely). Pure aloe vera oil is also lovely to use around tired eyes and tea tree oil on a cotton wool pad is good for getting rid of blemishes – both available from health shops. And personally – I recommend Lacome’s ‘teint idole ultra’ as a very smooth, light foundation - make sure to get the right colour. Kerastase’s ‘Oleo-Relax’ hair serum is also fantastic for smoothing down frizzy or static hair. But don't worry too much about makeup or blemishes - I can retouch these very easily.

Ladies: For the actual shoot, come with minimal makeup on - if you need it; foundation, concealer, a little eyeliner and mascara - up to you (try to avoid putting too much on the lower lashes). Also, bring with you a slightly dark or stronger red lipstick/gloss. Come how you would come for an audition, only a little more understated but sexy - accent your best features.

  • Can I come with straight hair / no make-up / a beard and curl / straighten my hair / apply make-up / shave my stubble half way through?


Yes. Unless we're shooting on location - in which case I will of course let you know in advance. And even then, shaving is ok as there are various facilities we can use - but there's no where to plug in a hair straightener.. so choose your look carefully! (If in doubt, go for a casually wavy hollywood-esque blow-dry - there's also a good salon right next door to where I meet clients, so you can always get a blow-dry & style (NOT A HAIRCUT!) in there if you're worried about doing hair yourself...)


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Other Advice: Enjoy the shoot. It’s a fun experience. Try not to stress about it. The more relaxed you are, the better the photos will be. It's just you, being yourself. There can be snacks and coffee on hand. If you have any more questions about the way I work, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Further info can also be found on my about and rates pages.

© Faye Thomas 2005 - 2017. All photographs, artwork, text & website design are the property of FAYE THOMAS, and are protected by Copyright. Reproduction without express written permission is strictly forbidden.  Unauthorised use will result in legal action.