Headshots for Footlite Musicals


Updated: 05/2019:

As a part of your participation in this Footlite show, you will have a professional headshot taken of you to  be encased in the lobby. In some cases, it may also be printed in the program, and used in online promotion of the show. Actors are required to have a headshot taken by me. Sorry, but submitted headshots will not be accepted. As an added bonus,  staff, orchestra and crew are welcome to have a headshot taken after all actors have been shot. These persons have the right to purchase their headshot at the same rate as actors (see below) but they are likely to not be used in the promotion of the show.

Being the staff photographer/videographer for this production, it is my job to help streamline the headshot process while maintaining the quality of every image or video used to promote this show.    This process have been sanctioned by the Board of Directors of Footlite Musicals, Inc. Please see below for details:

  • Please be prepared to shoot on the arranged time (Typically, this is during your first meeting with the entire cast, or the “Meet and Greet.”)  Unless I or your production team tell you otherwise, the shoot will be held in the lobby of Footlite.  I will do my best to get through everyone as quickly as I can, but I will not compromise your look.  To streamline the process, I will be making the final choice for the headshot to be used in the promotion of the show. You have the right to buy the digital headshot (see below) if you wish to use it for yourself.
  • I will expect everyone to attend unless other arrangements have been made through the show’s Producer or other Staff. You may be asked to come back at a later date, or if easier, you may visit my studio on your own time. However, please speak to your producer/staff first. They will contact me directly.
  • You are allowed to wear any color of shirt you wish. All photos will be displayed in full color.  Avoid any shirt that has large logos on it, or bold/distracting patterns. The focus of the photo should be your face and eyes, and not your clothing. Plain colors and layers work best.
  • I will be using a “ring flash” for each production. Please see attached image.

    Click thumbnail for larger image

For tips on getting a better photo:

  • *NOTE* This flash can cause certain undergarments to show through if the shirt you are wearing is too thin or has a loose weave to it. Please, plan accordingly.  Color matching undergarments or t-shirts are highly suggested. 

  • On the night before and the day of your shoot, avoid drinking alcohol or smoking.  Drink plenty of water. Alcohol and tobacco can alter your look.
  • For ideas on colors to wear to best compliment your eyes, consider the following: Eye color: pale blue, wear: lilac or pastel pink.  Eye color: light brown, wear: honey brown or green.  Eye color: dark green, wear: plum or peach.  Eye color: mid-to-dark blue, wear: gold or peach. Eye color: pale green, wear: lavender or blue-gray.  Eye color: dark brown, wear: olive green or camel brown. Eye color: hazel, wear: moss green or purple.
  • Please be photo-ready when you arrive. Dressed, hair, makeup, etc.
  • To keep shine down, please wash your face prior to shooting. Using facial wipes is ok, but be sure your face is dry before you are shot. Excessive shine will significantly alter this type of photo. Consider a light application of an ultra-fine translucent powder to help with shine (women or men).  Lightly applied makeup is best. Do not use “highlights” or glitter in any makeup. Both of these will show drastically! For any minor blemishes, use a LIGHT amount of concealer. Foundation on your skin may show up very clearly, so please be careful in your application.  No stage makeup, please. If you are not familiar with this type of makeup application you should practice beforehand or ask for help.
  • Every photo will retouched slightly for minor blemishes. You will look like yourself, and not a glossy, perfected version of yourself.
  • If you choose to wear glasses, make sure the lenses are cleaned very well.  Smudges WILL show up in these photos and cannot be retouched!
  • Be sure that your clothing is wrinkle-free and clean.  Even small wrinkles or stains can show up easily with this type of photo.
  • Consider the use of accessories! A scarf (for men or women) can often amp-up a person’s looks. Jewelry should be complimentary but not distracting.  Don’t be afraid of trying something new.  But, keep in mind: if you are uncomfortable in your clothing, it will show in your photo. Be comfortable, but remember these photos represent you as a real person. These are not supposed to be “perfect.” They should show your personality and who you really are.
  • I will be shooting approximately 10-12 photos of each of you in various poses. I will shoot everyone in the same poses and in the same order for continuity and efficiency.  I am open to your suggestions; however, these photos will be from just below your chest up only, please.   I will choose the final image to be used for the show.  The printed photo will be yours to keep as my gift to you. Please keep in mind, this photo cannot be copied or reproduced in any way (including posting a cell-phone photo of it on Facebook) without written permission from myself. You can take it home, frame it, or use it for your next audition!

How to purchase your headshot, if you wish (not required!):

Update (5/2019): After seven years, I have changed my Footlite headshot policy:

  • I would be happy to offer your single headshot to you for only $25.00. For that price, you will receive the single headshot used in the promotional of the show, edited, color corrected, lightly retouched for blemishes, and a partial copyright release so you may do whatever you wish with your photo. As a professional photographer, and a person who works heavily in community theatre, I believe having professionally-taken headshot is incredibly important for actors, even in all-volunteer community theatre. They help you stand out from the others, and tell a director that you take your acting seriously. I have been a part of several staff teams for community theatre productions, and I believe in this!  I recommend your headshot to be re-taken at least once a year (if you are 18 or younger) or every two or three years thereafter. If your look changes, consider having them taken again.
  • To pay for this photo, you have several options. You may drop off a check (written to Gary Nelson) or cash in a sealed envelope with your name on it, into the red dropbox in the show prep area (also called the “Coke” room). It is on the wall next to the hallway heading to the boardroom.  You are welcome to give the payment to me if you see me at the theatre. Or, if you prefer, you may send your payment electronically by going to my Square page: cash.me/$photogary If you are paying electronically, I ask that you add an extra dollar (total: $26) for electronic processing fees. To pay electronically without a fee, add me as a contact on your Facebook messenger. Open up a conversation with me (I am listed as Gary Nelson) and click on the $ sign. It is very easy to do, safe, quick, and again…is free! Sorry, I do not accept Venmo or PayPal at this time.
  • Keep in mind, this is an agreement between you and I and not the theatre so therefore, please do not ask your production staff to take the money.
  • As a courtesy to my customers, I also provide a lifetime replacement guarantee. If for any reason you lose your purchased digital image, simply contact me and I will replace them for you, free of charge. Remember: Purchasing photos is NOT a requirement at Footlite!
  • Payment may be made by cash (preferred), check, or credit/debt card. If you know you might like to purchase these photos, go ahead and order them at the time of the shoot. You can pay me then or later! Money is not required up front. Digital copies of your photo will be sent to you before the end of the run of the show or slightly thereafter, and only after payment has been received.  Take note: this incredibly discounted price (My studio charge for headshots is $150) is only available during this production time and I will not guarantee this price past the date of the last performance.
  • If you have any questions, please find me on Facebook, in the show’s Facebook page, or contact me here.