Being that headshots are typically used to further one’s career, I hear a lot about people’s jobs. What they do for a living, how they got into it, and what they like/don’t like. One thing I’ve learned is that a person’s overall happiness is definitely affected by whether or not they enjoy job. Here at the studio we’ve encountered people who are getting headshots because they are going down a completely new path, with a different career in their future. Here’s an inspiring story about how it’s never too late to follow your heart.
When I first started working here at City Headshots, I met someone who’s story has always stuck with me. Louise Heller came in looking for some headshots, and I had the opportunity to do her makeup and work with her on her shoot. As I was doing her makeup, I began asking her about her acting career. It turns out that Louise was on her sabbatical - she’s an English professor here in New York. She told me that when she was growing up she loved acting, and wanted to pursue it as a career. Her parents, on the other hand, urged her to look into a more conventionally successful career that would offer a bit more stability. Louise followed her parents advice and said that although she enjoyed teaching, her passion has always been acting.
She told me that while on her sabbatical she was really diving into acting, and following what her heart has been telling her this whole time. It was so refreshing to hear her story; there are so many people who fall into a career just because they hear “the money’s good.” Forget the money. Forget the plan everyone else has for you. It’s never to late to change your path in life.
What's on your bucket list? Comment below or tweet us @mjbhomeent!
I’d say about half of the time, when a client first stands in front of the camera they ask “Am I supposed to smile?” or, “What should I do with my hands?” It’s funny to me, because they don’t realize that in a minute we are going to give them so much direction that they know exactly what to do. Here’s a short list of things we adjust throughout the shoot:
We show you the images as we’re shooting so you can tell us “I like this one… let’s go more in this direction.” Don’t be afraid to experiment in your headshot session. At the end of the day YOU get to choose the final image (and you’ll have a TON to choose from). Speak up if there is something you’re not crazy about, but also be willing to go out of your comfort zone to get what you’re looking for. It might feel weird/silly/strange, but you’ve got to trust the process! We’re not happy until you are.
"New York, I love you, but you're bringing me down."
There are days for us city-goers when life can feel overwhelming. I take head shots for all kinds of different people, from real estate agents to stage actors to linguists to non-profit organizers to CEOs to writers to engineers. When I speak to them about living and/or working in the city, I hear pretty much the same thing from most of them, and it goes along the lines of "Man, New York is so great, but sometimes..."
We all know what that "but sometimes..." can means.
Sometimes long hours.
Sometimes crowds, sometimes tourists.
Sometimes rough times with friends or coworkers.
Sometimes the hardship of being away from family.
Sometimes mice found in apartments.
Sometimes rude people on the subway, sometimes not enough sleep.
Sometimes the cold, the heat, the rain, the noise, the lights.
Sometimes that question in the back of your head, "what's so great about [enter personal lifelong dream]? Is it worth all this? Why don't I just move back to [enter home state] and work a normal job and watch normal shows before I go into my normal bed? Why don't I live somewhere where I can see the stars?" (This is what they look like, in case you forgot.)
But then we go go go, we keep going and keep pushing and don't say no and never stop because we're New Yorkers and this is why we're here and we're fighters and we'll make it work, just make it work, just keep going.
I watched an extraordinary independent horror film called It Follows last week. It's the story of a supernatural being that will literally never stop following until it catches up with you. You can run, you can hide, you can drive to somewhere all you want, but eventually, it'll find you.
What an amazing allegory for anxiety. For sadness.
No matter how hard we work, how hard we keep pushing ourselves, those thoughts, those "sometimes" and "what ifs" will catch up with us. If we don't face, if we don't deal, they will become as scary as the "thing" following the characters in It Follows. Anxiety and sadness sometimes exists, it won't just go away.
So what if we acknowledged it?
I love New York. I love my life here. I consider myself lucky to work at City Headshots, to do what I'm able to do and be who I am, however imperfect that is. And because I love it, believe the Art of living in New York includes acknowledging the moments when it's hard to love. Not pushing through the moments, not soldiering on, but taking a second to recognize that to be brave is to be present, not to be fearless.
When we don't acknowledge the difficulties within ourselves, we become less sympathetic to the difficulties of others. Then we contribute to a New York that brings people down.
We can be compassionate in this city by being self-aware and self-caring. By never losing our sense of humor. I genuinely wish this on every headshot client that comes in looking a bit tired, a bit worn-down, a bit strained from the pressure of being a New Yorker. I genuinely wish this for you.
Now here's a clip of Elmo in Hamlet. You know you're not too busy to watch!
x Lee Ann
As a makeup artist, I can never look at a movie, TV show, magazine or photo the way that others do. The first thing I see is the makeup application and what is either great or not so great about it. I’m constantly analyzing my work along with other artists. Everything from the eyeliner to the undertone of the foundation… and I’ve been seeing one face in particular that I’ve been meaning to chat about.
One person I’m fascinated with in the public eye is Donald Trump, and his signature orange skin tone with the pale white underneath his eyes. He almost feels like a caricature because his look is so… unique. Now, a makeup artist in show business only has a couple of minutes for “male grooming” which is basically just a more masculine way of saying “camera-ready makeup and primping for men.” I’m talking 10 minutes to get the job done, only equipped with as many items you can carry in your little on-set bag. Often times you’re also stuck doing makeup in dark, uneven lighting backstage.
Some people have speculated that the “oompa loompa” look that the presidential candidate sports is due to relentless tanning bed visits, some say it’s a consecutive bad makeup job. I’d like to believe the former. Regardless, I’d like to talk about how to correct it using color theory.
Here’s what you do: take a look at the color wheel to find the color that is opposite to the color you want to get rid of. You can cancel out or neutralize any color by applying the opposite color right on top of it. In Donald Trump’s case, he has a bright organge/red tone to his skin. I would mix some blue/green into his foundation and lightly apply enough to neutralize the skin. To even out the eyes, I would take a concealer that matches his skin tone (not the stark white naturally found underneath his eyes) to blend everything together. Either way, his look is very signature and memorable, which maybe works in his favor as someone in the public eye.
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After a cold New York City winter us New Yorkers come out of hibernation and find that we fall in love, once again, with the small and overpopulated city we've all chosen as our home. In the winter photos are isolated to holiday events all indoors and all bundled up. When the summer sun re-enters our orbit we're all outside taking selfies pretty much anywhere, occasionally hitting someone in the head with our selfie sticks and blocking the way for the endless crowds that are constantly rushing to get to some unknown destination. Doing makeup and styling for headshots in the summer can be a blessing and a curse. Shooting outside in the summer provides bright vivid backgrounds, full of green foliage and bright blue skies.
However, as I'm sure you know, summer in NYC can get too hot very quickly and it can show in your headshot've noticed many of our clients often show up drenched in sweat caused by waiting in the sauna that is our Subway system and the constant level of heat and humidity caused by the skyscrapers that surround our location. I thought I'd include some tips to look cool, and keep cool, when getting your headshot and hopefully your can apply them to your summer selfies as well!
1) Bring your outfit with you.
This is a big one. Try wearing something comfortable to your session and bring the clothes for your headshot with you. This way the clothing stays crisp and clean and you don't have to worry about any sweat stains showing up in your headshot. This is also a good way to keep cool as wearing a suit in 90 degree weather is a nightmare.
2) Blotting Papers/Powder
A great wear to keep down the shine is to have powder or blotting papers. Powder can help to "mattify" the shine caused by sweat and make sure you look dry and cool in your headshot. Sweat can cause white "hotspots" on your skin that can be distracting and are often a little more difficult to get rid of in retouching. We have a lot of powder here in the studio so even if you haven't booked a stylist on your shoot you can always ask us for some!
This applies to your selfie game as well. Many women keep powder on them and while it can be a little daunting to the fellas out there. You can pick up blotting papers, these are thin sheets that when pressed to the skin can soak up grease and sweat, at any drug store and just use one if you're feeling a little greasy. These are also a great way for ladies to keep their makeup looking fresh without overpowdering.
3) Keep your hair out of your face
For ladies you may be getting your hair blown out prior to having your done and while it may seem silly, a hair net may be your best bet of keeping your curls without them falling due to humidity or heat, if you have more of a straighter styling you may want to clip the hair out of your face, avoid using elastics to keep the hair out of you're face as this can cause and indent in your hair.
For the fellas some of this applies as well, if you are comfortable, try to keep to your hair slicked back and out of your face. This will also help with keeping cool. Also the more contained the hair look, the easier to maintain during your shoot. We can always dab off any sweat around your hair line, but sweaty straggly hair does not look good on camera.
How do you stay looking and feeling cool in the summer?
Comment below or tweet us @mjbhomeent!