Finchley Thompson | Headshot And Portrait Info

Headshot Information & Pricing


What is a headshot or portrait?

The difference between a headshot and portrait is mostly determined by the end use. A headshot is a photograph which will be used to show a persons head and shoulders to casting agents for acting and modelling work. A headshot needs to be well lit to show the persons features, it should have a clean background without distractions and should have minimal editing. The subjects face should have a neutral expression or a natural smile unless they have a specific requirement for a particular role.

A portrait is usually a bit more relaxed and can include some of the environment in the photograph. Perhaps a chair the person is sitting on, perhaps their office. It could also include a more personal style and show elements of hobbies 

Where does the shoot take place?

Sessions can take place in my studio located near Watford at the North West of London or if your needs require something different I can travel to your chosen location (may require extra fee). Each look consists of images from one scene with one outfit. 

What do I wear for my session?

You should bring plenty of options to the shoot, we will go over it before hand but here are some pointers for you:

  • Always bring clothes that match your style and personality.
  • Stay away from clothes with busy patterns and logos. Solid colours work best and are even better if they are not too bright as they can distract from your face. Think about matching your eye colour and skin tone.
  • Make sure any clothes that you bring are clean and neatly pressed. This is especially important for collared shirts and suits. Don’t forget the tie!
  • Jeans (blue or black) always look great on camera, not too grungy and torn. For headshots your lower half won't make it in to most of the pictures, but don't neglect to pick out some good trousers for the shoot.
  • Make sure to dress comfortable but smart, shirts with or without v-neck jumpers or cardigans are great. Stay away from clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable.
  • If you are looking to apply for modelling jobs for sports and swimwear then athletic clothing is essential. Still keep clear of logos.
  • Be rested and drink plenty of water the day before your shoot, it is amazing for your skin.
  • Discrete jewellery; the shoot is all about you, not accessories.

What about hair and makeup?

Hair and makeup is NOT included in the session fee.

A lot of guys think they don’t need make-up and a lot of girls think they can do it themselves, but we all can look our best with the help of a professional. No one is blemish free and proper makeup is the foundation for proper retouching. Great make-up done once is much better than fixing several images in Photoshop. Hair styling may not be necessary for shorter haired males, but changing a hair style and make-up between looks is highly recommended for females.

You can bring your own makeup artist to the shoot, or I can provide a HMUA that I work with all the time and love!

My studio is open for you to have your hair and makeup done before your session, just make sure to let me know when you schedule your appointment.

How long does it take to get my images?

For most headshot sessions my turnaround time is three business days to get your gallery of images. Once you make your retouching selections it is typically another two to three business days before your final, edited images are delivered to you. If you have a deadline and need something even faster, be sure to let me know when you book.

How much retouching do you do?

The aim is always to get the best possible images while shooting. I’ll take plenty of shots and once they are transferred to the computer I’ll filter out any with closed eyes or wayward hair etc.

The remaining images have a simple colour correction and crop at which point I’ll share them with you online. You can then choose the images you want retouched to remove any blemishes, stray hairs and other distractions.

I will do up to three rounds of editing on each image. Additional rounds of retouching will be priced at £10-£30 depending on complexity. Keep in mind though that headshots should be as natural as possible and not overly edited, you don’t want them to look like fashion or beauty shots. The video below explains what casting agent are looking for.

Once all the retouching is complete I will deliver the hi-res images online in a private gallery on my website where you are free to download them at your convenience.

What about prints and Compcards?

Prints are available from any final high-res image and can be selected and ordered directly from your private gallery.

A compcard is an A5 card which works best when three or five images are selected. It consists of one full size image on one side of the card with the remaining two or four images on the reverse with your stats like height and contact information. The purpose of a compcard is to give clients and casting directors an idea of how you look closeup, full body, smiling and not smiling.

What kind of shots do I need?

For a business person one great head and shoulder shot with a smile should be great for your website, LinkedIn profile and email signature.

As an actor, the type of shots you need is going to be determined by a few factors

  • You should always consult your agent on what you need. They have experience in the industry and more importantly, they know what you need to book more jobs.
  • If you don't have an agent yet then by default you want to get a clean, simple, commercial headshot. Basically a smiling, looking-at-the-camera head and shoulders image with minimal retouching to show potential agents and casting directors what you look like.
  • Remember that the majority of casting for film and television, at least in the early stages, is done online. Casting directors look at an array of small thumbnails to determine the initial round of auditions so it's important that your headshot is impactful and close up. A small thumbnail of your whole body from head to toe will make your face a lot less visible at that size.
  • Don't worry too much about specific character shots unless directed by your agent. Your two basic looks will be commercial (upbeat and happy) and theatrical (more dramatic).

Models should also have a full length shot and possibly more looks to show their versatility.

What can I use my images for?

Your images are licensed for personal use which includes using them for social media and promoting yourself on websites. What you can’t do is sell the images for other people to use to promote their products or movies etc If you want to do that come and talk to me and we’ll sort out the licensing.

My Packages

Basic Headshot: £120

  • Basic head and shoulders shot suitable for actors, models and business people

  • One person, one outfit/look

  • One high-resolution retouched image

Standard: £250

  • Full length, 3/4 or headshots

  • One person, Up to three outfits/looks

  • Four high-resolution retouched images

Deluxe: £350

  • Full length, 3/4 or headshots

  • One person, Up to five outfits/looks

  • Six high-resolution retouched images

Additional Services

  • Professional Make-up

  • Professional Hair

  • Additional Images 1-5 £30 each, 6-10 £28 each, 11-20 £25 each, 20+ £20 each


Composite Cards (requires standard or deluxe package)

  • PDF only £50

  • PDF with 50 printed cards £100 

  • PDF with 100 printed cards £125

  • PDF with 250 printed cards £175

  • PDF with 500 printed cards £220