Your photoshoot is over, but the work doesn’t end when the camera stops clicking.
After your shoot, send a thank you email to your photographer and anyone else who worked on set (hair and makeup artists, lighting assistants, stylists, etc.).
Your photographer should send you all your images for selections within about two weeks. These images will likely be watermarked so don’t share them on social media yet (and cropping out the photographer’s ‘tag’ is a big no-no!).
Take your time to go through the whole gallery. It can be overwhelming at first, especially for dancers who tend to be perfectionistic in criticizing every teeny tiny flaw. Not every photo will be a masterpiece—and that’s a normal part of the process. When you try to capture motion in a still image, you’re bound to get some funky photos in the mix!
If you are able, separate your favorite images, add them to another folder so they’re easier to sort through and to compare multiple photos of the same pose to narrow down your favorite shot.
While it’s not a bad idea to get feedback from your best friend, your agent, or your mom, just remember that each person will have their own opinion. Sometimes hearing another person’s perspective can be incredibly helpful. Other times, it might sound different than you had anticipated. At the end of the day, choose the photos that you love.
Once you’ve finalized your list of images, email your photographer the file names of the pictures you’d like retouched (many photographers offer a set number of retouched images in their photoshoot package while others charge per image). The retouching process may take another week or two. Remember, patience is a virtue!
Plan of attack
When your pictures come back retouched and ready-to-go, plan out how you’re going to share them –Will you send them in with your summer intensive submission, post them to your social media channels, print out new headshots, or curate a fresh-looking website? Rename all your files with your first and last name so that they’re easily recognizable for digital submissions and for your own files.
If you choose to post any images to social media, avoid cropping or adding crazy filters to your new photos. Be sure to tag and credit your photographer (and team). It’s also best practice to add photo credits to images on your website (simply use light grey small font under or beside the photo). While you don’t usually include photo credits on printed headshots, it’s always nice to plug your photographer whenever someone compliments your photo, (“I love your new headshot!” “Thank you – It’s by ___. I’d highly recommend shooting with them.”). A good referral can go a long way. And you never know when you might be shooting with that photographer again yourself!
– Send a thoughtful ‘thank you’
– Be timely and professional in your correspondence
– Get some feedback but go with your gut
– Credit appropriately
– Share the love!
Photo: Mirin Hirano (by Rachel Neville)