Portrait of Justin Woo

Portraits and Headshots

Quick Links

TL;DR
Pricing
How does it work?
Preparation
My Retouching Philosophy
What to Wear

TL;DR (Summarized in a PDF)

How to prepare/Thinking ahead

  • Lots of sleep for three days before our shoot. Heavy on water; light on alcohol.
  • Makeup: Less is more! What works for the boardroom or the boardwalk is too much for my high-detail camera.
  • Clothes. For portraits, bring what makes you feel bold, powerful, and yourself. For headshots, solid colors only, please! Patterns are distracting.

What to practice: Feels weird; looks great!

  • Turtling. To sharpen your jaw line, push your chin out and your forehead down.
  • Squinching. To make you look confident, raise your lower eyelids without lowering the upper ones. Think of it as smiling with your eyes.

What to expect/How it works

  • I’ll coach you through posing; we’ll review the images together, several times during the session, and delete the ones we don’t love. At the end, I’ll retouch your favorite image with your input.
  • My retouching philosophy is simple. With your input, I correct color, remove blemishes, and reduce lines. I will not make you look like someone else.

Pricing

Pricing for individuals is covered here.

How does it work?

Where

My studio comes to you! Most of my clients are more comfortable shooting in their own space. If you’re unable to work in your home, let me know when you sign up, and we’ll find an alternative.

When

I will arrive 20–25 minutes before our session to set up, and will stay 15–20 minutes after to break down. Sessions start at exactly the time we booked, so please be ready. Please do not book anything immediately after our session, as we may want a little more time.

When possible, please set our time aside for yourself only. This helps us keep the energy locked in between us, and decreases your self-consciousness in front of the camera. If your day requires someone else be present, I will make every effort to accommodate them.

What

If you want great images of yourself, get ready to stretch a little—emotionally and physically! I’m here to help you relax and have fun. Fun is where magic happens.

I make torso-and-up portraits. You’re welcome to bring your fancy pants and dancing shoes (especially if they help you feel more you), but know that they won’t be in the shot.

Here’s an overview of what we’ll do:

  1. I’ll coach you into the best body positions for portraits and headshots.
  2. We’ll discuss what’s working and delete everything we don’t like.
  3. Change looks, if you plan to.
  4. Repeat steps 1–3 twice more.
  5. With your input, I’ll retouch your single favorite image from our session.
  6. Later that day, I’ll put the rest of your favorites in a password-protected online gallery. You can choose as many or as few as you’d like for retouching, at $25/image. Images may not be used without retouching.
  7. Within a week, I’ll put these final images in a new gallery, where you can download them, and order fast, high-quality prints.

Why

While some photographers have a vision (or assembly line) you can be plugged into, I see portraiture as a collaboration. After all, we’re meeting to make a picture of you, so why shouldn’t you have a voice in it? Here are a few critical ways I ask my clients to participate in the photograph:

  • When you sign up, I’ll ask you for some images you love. This helps me (literally) see what you hope for from our collaboration, and lets us set our goals appropriately.
  • What do you wear that makes you feel most you? You’ll dress to tell your story—the bold, serious you; the vulnerable you; the curious you; and others.
  • We’ll shoot in your own home, or wherever makes you feel your most comfortable, empowered, and yourself.
  • I’ll design lighting that hews to your style, and your gender expression.
  • While we shoot, we’ll both choose which images we keep, and which we toss.

Preparation

  • I do not provide hair and makeup, so please do your own before arriving. Remember: less is more. Makeup that looks great in public will look overdone under the bright lights of my studio, and high image quality of my camera.
  • If you don’t want to do your own, I recommend the counter at Macy’s or another department store. Do your hair as if you were going to a casting call, or a night on the town.
  • Get plenty of sleep for three days before our shoot. Drink lots of water and avoid alcohol.
  • Bring, at most, three looks. Our time together is valuable, and changing into multiple outfits can cut significantly into it. I recommend two professional outfits, and one casual. A private room will be available for you to change in.
  • For portraits, bring any props you’d like to shoot with. I don’t use props in headshots.

Retouching

I believe retouching should look invisible. Temporary blemishes, such as acne, small cuts or scabs, or stray hairs, don’t define how we look, and I’m happy to remove them. I do not reshape or resize.

Here are a few examples:

What to Wear

If you don’t love it, it won’t shoot well!

Set aside clothes that make you feel powerful, attractive, comfortable, and confident. For headshots, please try to avoid patterns, as they tend to distract from the face. I use neutral backgrounds to place attention squarely on you.