Frequently Asked Questions

I can’t remember where I heard it, but the definition that I like for ‘Photogenic’ is when your self-confidence outweighs your insecurities. So basically, when you are being yourself, and not thinking about how you look is when you look the most attractive. Everyone is capable of looking great in pictures, it just takes the right photographer who is willing to push people through the walls they’ve built around themselves.

Absolutely! Most professionals need a headshot, but don’t have the time to come to the studio. A majority of our business is on-location corporate headshot sessions. We can travel to your location and set up in a conference room, or other large space. We bring our entire studio’s worth of gear. You will get the exact same setup and experience you would get if you came to us, without losing as much time and productivity.
Give us a call for a custom quote. 773-999-9981

We are a part of a lot of company’s on boarding processes. Once we have shoot a company’s staff on location, new hires or people who were absent the day of the shoot can come to the studio to get a matching headshot at a discounted rate.
New Hire Session – $175

Yes we do! However, group pricing varies depending on the wants and needs of the group. Give us a call at 773-999-9981 to discuss the different ways we can help that make sense for your budget!

Social media is inescapable, and everyone has the ability to find out who you are with a few simple searches. Having tightly branded images that convey the personality you want is necessity for everyone. If you are an actor, your headshot is your number one marketing material. Your headshot is the first impression people will have before meeting you. It takes less than 1 second for the viewer to make a judgment about who you are, and what you’re like. It’s your headshot’s job to make sure that impression is a positive one.

Liking a headshot photographer’s pictures isn’t half as important as liking the actual photographer. If you and your photographer do not jive, you won’t be able to be yourself around them. That tension will show in your shots. You are trusting them with your most important marketing tool. You only have a few hours to get the shots you need. Take the time to have a conversation on the phone with them, or set up a consultation. Most photographers will do these for free. Ask questions. Get a feel for who they are, and how they work. Find out how they direct their clients. This is HUGE. Chances are, you aren’t a model and have no idea what to do in front of a camera. It’s the photographers responsibility to coach you towards the shots you need.

Your headshot can cost you your reputation. There is a saying that you have to dress for the job you want. If you want to be taken seriously in your field, you have to make sure that you look the part. Take a look at your current headshot and ask yourself these questions. Does this person look confident? Do they look professional? Do you trust this person? Do you get a sense of this person’s personality? Is this someone you want to meet? Would you hire this person? If you didn’t immediately answer yes to all of those questions, your headshot could be holding you back.
It is always better to do things right the first time. Spending money on a quality headshot now could potentially save you thousands in missed opportunities.

Visa, Mastercard, Discover, American Express, PayPal, Check, Cash, or sandwiches.

I went to college as a theatre major. While in school, I bought my first camera to make short films. One of my friends approached me and said, “You have that nice new camera. You should take some headshots of me for this audition I have coming up.” Even as an actor, I had no idea what made a good headshot. My research led me to the work of the famed NY headshot photographer, Peter Hurley. After his personal training, I began to build my headshot business in 2011. I was recently named a Mentor on headshotcrew.com. Out of the 12k+ photographers worldwide on the site, I am one of twenty-three people to have been given this distinction. This means that I get to help other photographers improve their photographs, and help them build their own thriving headshot businesses.

This is where my work separates itself from the rest of the photographers in Chicago. Every single person I have ever shot needs guidance on what to do in front of the camera. Having your picture taken is a very forced and unnatural experience. It’s the photographer’s job to create an atmosphere that you feel safe to be yourself in. I will help take your mind off having your picture taken through my direction, and crazy banter. This will allow us to capture natural reactive expressions. These moments are when you are the most relaxed and honest. This is how we capture your personality. You will leave with the skills to be able to ‘own it’ in front of any camera for the rest of you career.

In a perfect world, everyone we shoot would use our makeup and grooming artists. Everyone can benefit from a little bit of pampering, and some minor appearance enhancements from a professional. Not only will you look great, but it will also increase your confidence before you even step in front of the camera.
Women should come in with their hair like they would wear it for a normal day. No one knows your hair better than you do. Our makeup artists can do minor adjustments during the shoot to make sure the hair stays under control. We will be moving your hair a lot during the session, so it’s nice to have an extra set of eyes on set to take care of any issues. The makeup artists we work with are used to applying makeup for our specific lighting. Headshot makeup is different than everyday makeup. Our lighting and cameras show an incredible amount of detail. If makeup is applied too heavily it will distract from you.
Men shouldn’t wear makeup in their headshots, but it doesn’t hurt to have some professional grooming before the shoot. Our artists will help sort out unruly nose hairs, wonky eyebrows, droopy eyelashes, basic skin cleansing, and minor hair adjustments.
If you are unsure about whether or not you should use one of our makeup/grooming artists, let me know and we can discuss it before your shot.
Makeup For Women – $135
Grooming For Men – $90

All of our headshot sessions include at least 1 retouched image. Don’t worry about that blemish…it can removed with the click of a mouse. Wrinkles can be softened, and any minor imperfections can be taken care of. The key to good retouching is for it to remain natural. We will discuss specific retouching concerns during the session.
Additional Retouched Images – $50/each

The gray background headshot is the signature look I’m known for. It’s clean, simple, and classy. Everything pops off the gray, and it puts all of the focus on the subject. The more simple a headshot is, the more effective it is. Patterned or environmental backgrounds can be distracting, and also look outdated.
We know that not everyone needs a gray background however. We are able to match almost any specifications needed as long as we discuss it before the shoot.

We believe that the horizontal crop is the most modern look for a headshot. The typical portrait orientation for headshots is becoming outdated. The best way to stand out in your field is to look different than everyone else, and to be an early adopter of trends. We believe that this crop draws more attention to the subject and their expression. In the digital age, square crops are the standard format for most website profile pictures. Thumbnails are very small, and you want most of that image to be your face. The wider the image is cropped, the less engaging it will be. While we feel most everyone will benefit from this style, we understand that some clients have certain specifications their headshot has to meet.
We are capable of shooting any desired format, just be sure to mention it before the shoot so that we are all on the same page.

Retouching can take up to 7 business days. The final images will be delivered in an email download link. Be sure to save all files in a safe place. The download link expires in 7 days.
24hr. Rush Delivery – $50/image

Try not to get hung up on wardrobe. (Pun intended.) The most important thing is to bring clothes you love wearing. If you wear something that you don’t feel good in, your discomfort will show in your expression. We can usually tell if something looks good or not within a couple of shots. It is better to bring a few options just in case something doesn’t photograph as well as you thought it would. Avoid clothing with distracting patterns, and overly bright colors. Most jewelry can be left at home as well. You don’t want anything to distract from YOU.
We can discuss any specific wardrobe concerns before your session.

We do not personally print our headshots. The lab we recommend is:
J&S Photo Service
660 W. Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60654
www.jsphotoservice.com
The final presentation is everything. Go to a lab that specializes in printing headshots. You’re only hurting yourself if you don’t. Print matte or lustre, NOT glossy. Glossy will make you look like an amateur from a mile away. Using cheap prints is like taking a 5 star meal that Gordon Ramsay cooked, and serving it on a paper plate.

Your headshot is supposed to be an accurate representation of you. It is a good rule of thumb to update your headshot every year, or anytime something major changes physically.
In order to make that an easy process, we offer all of our previous individual clients a discount of 30% off our current rates.
 
Call us now to schedule your update! 773-999-9981

Don't See Your Question Here?

Mike Sansone Photography – Chicago Headshot Photographer