There’s some unwritten rule on the internet that blog posts are supposed to be super insightful and amazing and stuff. As a photographer, sometimes there’s nothing to share except the images from a kick-ass headshot session for a talented actress. I’ll try not to brag on Kayleigh too much (a seriously tall order).
An old acting contact connected Kayleigh and me. The bit I got was, “She’s probably a little nervous- her first real professional photoshoot, but she is very directable with a boatload of talent. She’ll respond well as an actor” What. An. Understatement.
Super easy to work with, a killer sense of humor, with a quiet determination that’s almost palpable; Kayleigh killed it. She’s a senior in high school and looking towards some stellar universities to continue her acting career. As I’m writing this, she just managed to take home the best-supporting actress award in a one-act competition. Crazy talented!
The Headshot Session
We shot in Downtown Alpharetta; it’s a small-town urban area with lots of texture and shade that’s great for on-location photos. Our session was at 2 PM in September in Atlanta, Georgia. Not the best for staying cool, and the lighting was tricky since the sun was straight up, but with some fun maneuvering of a reflector and the help of all the available awnings, we knocked it out. Sweat and all.
The funniest bit about the session to me was how much she really did not like doing a closed mouth grin, AKA The Smize. The what, you ask? The Smize – not your typical grin without showing off those pearly whites. Nope, it’s a look with attitude, that’s borderline devious and helps bring a viewer’s attention to the frame. It’s one of my go-to looks for headshots, especially for an actress headshot. Kayleigh wouldn’t believe me, but hers was killer. I made sure to crack plenty of jokes about our mutual friend and the theater world in general, which got her relaxed and in the zone. She nailed it.
To wrap up our session, I took advantage of her acting chops and did some creative portraits. Not your standard headshot material, but undoubtedly cool images to use elsewhere. It’s a chance to mix things up for my clients and me during sessions, and ultimately my way of saying, “Thank You” for the trust and for hiring me.