What makes a good headshot?

  • Great eye-contact!  
  • Clear and creative direction
  • Custom lighting technique
  • Professional & discreet post production retouching

Working in a safe, comfortable environment is very important in a portrait session. You will receive advice and assistance throughout your experience. You should expect variations in lighting, background and poses. Your ideas are welcome.

Studio or natural light…is one better than the other?

Both can be most effective if controlled and used creatively. Studio lighting is beautiful because it is set up to show off your best assets. Cheekbones, chiseled jaw line, clean, sharp images that are "cinematic" because you are lit in much the same way you'd be lit in a flattering manner on film and in theater.

  • Natural light is soft even light that fills in all the shadows and gives the illusion that "what you see is what you get." This is not entirely true, of course. Even outdoors you need some controlled light in the way of reflectors or supplemental light. Natural light images and studio images can both be part of some sessions. They are different and you should have the option to use either or both in the many venues where you are now able to show off your photographs.
  • We can do both in the standard session, weather permitting. 

How have head shots changed?                

Head shots are not just for "identification" anymore. They are intended, as they have always been, to show the "real" person as they currently appear and reflect their best qualities. Now there are many venues where headshots and video can be combined to promote unique qualities. The "neutral expression" headshot is still an important tool for performing artists but there should be a variety of expressions and styles that can be streamlined to "fit in" with the specific needs of the entertainment industry and used in other promotional channels, especially on-line.

What is a headshot session or video session like and how long is it?

The actual session is the best part of the day for all of us, your stylist, the studio assistant, the photographer and especially for you.   We sit down together after their clothing is unpacked and have a cup of tea and talk about what we're going to do that day. We pick out some music they like and put it on and, if they are having hair & make-up, the stylist takes over and many clients say it's like a spa treatment to have their hair and make-up expertly and gently arranged and applied.

  • Once we're ready to begin I take a few shots and we look at them on the computer to check lighting, background, clothing, hair and make-up. Then, we're off into our first set up. We're talking about everything from music and movies to what they are doing and current events.
  • From time to time I will explain something I'm looking for and give specific direction or suggestions to help my clients get it. We are looking for variations in body language and eye contact. ….whatever I think looks relaxed, attentive and flattering. Looking for, as Henri Cartier Bresson called it, "the decisive moment." Capturing unique qualities is the job of a good portrait photographer and it is the main goal of the session. There are lighting changes and movement encouraged. At some point I'll shoot candid responses to direction or conversation and before they know it, we have a good select from the first set up and are ready to try the next thing.
  • We work for about 2-4 hours, depending on the session package with occasional breaks for hair, make-up and clothing changes. 

Will I be able to review the images during the session?

Yes, you will see everything before the session is over. We stop from time to time and review what we've done and plan the next set up.

How do I receive the images to edit?

The night of the session you will receive a link. When you click that link you will navigate your own personal gallery that includes all of the the images from your session.   You have the option then to download the images for yourself and/or share your "favorites" gallery with whomever you'd like before making your final choices. The

link remains active for 1 year. 

What about retouching?

Depending on the session you choose there are 1-6 photos retouched for you. (See Fee Packages) These images are retouched, cropped, color corrected, re-sized for both print and internet. They are sent to you for approval and are ready to be downloaded.  Additional retouched images are $10-25. 

Should I have a stylist present and how much is it?

Hair and make-up assistance and guidance is very important in these image-driven times. To get the most out of your session for both photographs and video, for women in particular, we recommend you have someone present throughout your session to help you with hair and make-up choices and changes. This way you'll end up with a variety of images for multiple usage on the internet and in hard copy.

  • We use 2 of the most experienced and talented hair and make-up artists for "beauty" or headshot photography in New York City. Their work is represented in the portfolios here and on the covers of magazines and on film and television shooting sets in New York and other locations.  Both are kind, funny, knowledgeable and imaginative. They will keep you feeling relaxed and looking your best throughout the entire session.
  • Make-up & Hair - Cash only and paid directly to stylist at session

  • Basic and Standard Sessions:

  • Women -     $175  |   Men - $125

  • Corporate Sessions:  

  • Women - $95  Men - $95

  • Full PR Session:

  • Women - $275  Men - $225

  • It is suggested that women have a stylist present because we are then able to achieve a good range of looks throughout the session. The stylist is available for consultation before the session. If desired, after each hair/mu change you are photographed and shown an image for approval before we start shooting that set up. 

  • We don't suggest hair/mu for men unless you have long hair and don't feel confident about managing it. Otherwise, it is better to clean up skin, razor burns, etc. in Photoshop rather than deal with make up problems on male skin. Remember that almost anything can be cleaned up at your discretion. Lines, circles, skin problems, stray hair, eyes different sizes…anything you require can be done and sent to you for approval.

What is a comp card and how is it useful?

A comp card is a compilation page of 2-4 images of you that shows at once your range of looks and types photographically. It is designed with your name on it and is prepared for reproduction and web-upload.

What happens after I choose my final photos?

The images are retouched and sent to you for approval. Once approved, they are uploaded to the lab of your choice and you are sent the email link to begin your correspondence with the lab and you can, at that time, download the full resolution final retouched images for yourself.  They are also archived for up to 7 years by this studio. 

Is there a cancellation policy and deposit on the session?

Please check with the info for the session you are booking for deposit information. day A 3-working-day cancellation is requested.

Where does the session take place?

Depending on the session scheduled you'll be coming to one of the following addresses:

  • The Weber Studio - 225 W. 28th Street - Studio 2 or The Mirabeau  165 W. 91st St. #2B

What is a video headshot and what is the session like?

Please contact for links to view video profile samples:  tess@tsteinkolk.com

  • A video headshot is a moving portrait.

It is a 1-2 min high definition video with state-of-the-art lighting and audio and includes a short interview and/or reading, some studio and location video and incorporates your still head shots along with your "moving" images. THE VIDEO HEADSHOT the future of self-promotion and gives you the chance to show how you look, sound, move and interact. It's a kind of screen test in which agents, managers and others can see the animated you along with your still head shots. For casting agents it is like an initial audition or meeting. They see exactly the person they will meet. It's a chance to show your best self and it's a film that can be sent or uploaded anywhere you'd like. Read what Michael Patterson of Steele Heroes Entertainment in Los Angeles has to say about the usefulness of video:

"Video headshots is a concept that will revolutionize how casting agents view actors and performers. While they serve an identical intent with traditional headshots, they add the benefit and depth that delivers a more complete image of what a person is in his or her physicality, presence and personality. The future of marketing, as few would contest, is video. The market place for actors and performers is becoming ever more competitive. Video headshots offer a competitive advantage in displaying and marketing actors and performers by way of its portability and impact."

The session is very much like a head shot session. It will be about 1-2 hrs longer if you are doing a standard head shot session at the same time. You'll be directed through some set ups for different looks and, at the same time, you'll be filmed talking, joking around, answering questions about yourself and your training, possibly doing an audition piece and generally…being yourself.

At your request, our video is automatically uploaded for you to www.reelact.comwww.actorintro.com and www.utube.com or any other site you chose and we have lists of those sites for your convenience.

You will be advised on each and every step of how to use this powerful tool in self-promotion.

Great lighting, direction, editing and tech support from start to finish are guaranteed. You have between 10-20 seconds to capture attention before the escape key is clicked. Our job is to make everyone want to watch the entire film, your short personal introduction is your first impression. We want to leave them wanting to see more.

Will I receive preparation advice and technical support before, during and after my session?

Yes, you will receive a detailed list of possible questions and ideas to make the video interesting.

Can I review my video during the session?

Yes, you will see everything before you leave.

What payment methods do you offer?

Visa - MC - Paypal - Check