Jun 22

‘People, Faces, Castings’: 15 minutes with actor Jason Eddy

He’d play a dead body in a moat to get on Game of Thrones, but his Grandma saw his acting potential early; recent client, experienced Bermudian-born actor Jason Eddy, shares some of his career highlights, lowlights and insights, to begin my new ‘People, Faces, Castings‘ series.

Headshot for actor Jason Eddy.

Jason Eddy ©Michael Wharley 2016

Name:

Jason Eddy [Agent: Natalie Ball at Noel Gay, Spotlight]

Training:

I trained at The American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York, New York and then The Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London.

How do you get work?

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Jun 07

People, Faces, Castings; spreading some new-job joy

Explaining why the ‘getting to know you’ of a headshot session makes friends of clients, and celebrating some of their recent casting successes.

© Michael Wharley Photography 2014Working with an actor in the headshot side of my photography life means that I tend to spend a couple of friendly and chatty hours with a new face, and then a couple more looking at that face finalising shots in post-production.

It might seem a workaday scenario, but in fact it’s often a sort of fast-track, mini friendship.

Safe room

That’s partly because for an actor, being yourself for camera, rather than acting a character, can be a nerve-wracking prospect. Not to mention one wrapped up in tender issues like a change in casting type, pressure from an agent, or simply seeing how time has changed you. The truth is, to do well in a shoot, clients often need space to be a little vulnerable and feel safe.

I think any good portraitist reading this knows exactly what I mean, and knows how they create a supportive environment. And I’m sure any actor who has enjoyed a shoot, will have experienced that feeling of support, spoken or otherwise.

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Jun 01

How to Pose for Actors Headshots: 9 Pro Tips

Terrified before your actor headshot shoot? Don’t be! The next in my ‘Take Control of our Headshots’ video series, looks at how to relax and ‘act’ yourself for stills.

Watch 'How to Pose for Actors Headshots'

Watch ‘How to Pose for Actors Headshots’

 

Terrified of the stills camera? Finding it hard to relax in your headshot shoots? Feel like you’re not sure how to use your acting skills in a photo session?

I think the skills that make a great actor on stage or screen are just as relevant to creating great headshots, so this practical video aims to help you relax, pose naturally & communicate more effectively with the stills camera in your next shoot.

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Feb 01

Think Like a Casting Director at Surviving Actors 2016

Learn to think like a casting director in a special seminar, free Headshot Healthchecks, plus discounts & freebies galore @ Surviving Actors 2016

This weekend, I’m back at Surviving Actors for the fifth year running. 

With an excellent programme of seminars, workshops and 1-2-1s, not to mention an array of service providers on hand – from publishers to photographers to showreel people – to cater every acting need, I think it’s one of the very best events for actors going,  

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Nov 27

Do You Need 3D? Headshots spun the CCP way…

Getting in a spin over 3D headshots and wondering who benefits most from the revolutions?

Giving it some: CCP 360 states its case

Giving it some: CCP 360 states its case

Last week, Casting Call Pro made a big, slightly breathless, announcement to its members – perhaps you got the email – about a “radical” new development. One it is trailing in various ad banners and emails as a “revolution,” both “the future of online casting“, and that will also “change the future of online casting“.

Momentous stuff, eh?! Well, the product in question is ‘Headshot 360’ a 3D headshot, so let’s forgive a little enthusiasm in the sales pitch – more on the sales bit below – because that is genuinely pretty cool.

An actual 3D headshot! Proper, bona fide, living-in-the-future cool! “Look Hubbards, the back of my head! Say, when is the next Bourne Casting?!”

 

Casting Software Stagnation Set Aside

Joking aside, as a former actor, current photographer and a longtime (often frustrated)  observer on the casting tech area, it’s very good to see one of the main casting software providers exploring new possibilities.

Given that Spotlight STILL doesn’t work properly on an iPad or tablet (come on guys, it’s 2015, where do all those subs go and why can’t I zoom in on a photo?), any advance at all should be encouraged, especially one that is aimed at helping actors give a more accurate self-preview to employers and casting professionals.

Quite whether all the photographers who pay to advertise to CCP’s members on its websites would agree with CCP’s announcement in the advertising copy that,  “headshots are… one dimensional” is questionable.

For a start, to be precise they are two-dimensional (do check your copy,  CCP marketers!), and secondly, most professional portraitists would argue that a well-lit portrait contains subtlety, nuance, and a sense of facial topography through careful use of light and shade.

3D in 2D, if you will.

That aside, the ability in a 360 Shot to scroll around 360 degrees of an actor’s visage in the horizontal, including the full-gamut of profiles and straight on looks, is a new tool and can’t fail to be of some use in the casting process, so you can see why CCP is keen to offer it to members.

A Totally New Dimension?

But is this tech as groundbreaking as trailled? Well, check one out here, but perhaps not.

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Nov 06

Silver surfing to an Awards win

Checking out a beautiful range of work & winning Silver at British Institute of  Professional Photography South East Awards 2015.

 

Silver-winning 'Stealth' © Michael Wharley Photography 2015

Silver-winning ‘Stealth’ © Michael Wharley Photography 2015

This Tuesday gone, I whizzed along to the annual British Institute of  Professional Photograph (BIPP) South East region awards, held this year at the Camera Cafe, close the the British Museum.

The awards recognise the quality and diversity of work within the BIPP’s membership in London and beyond, with categories covering everything from science to fashion, from fine art to wildlife, from wedding to portrait photography and beyond.  

It’s a great chance to catch up with friends in the region, but just as importantly, to celebrate the quality and variety of fellow BIPP members’ work, not to mention appreciate other peoples’ aesthetic, eye for composition and technical skills.

I was a twinge sad to hand over my title from 2014, but Photographer of the Year 2015 couldn’t have gone to a more deserving winner than the brilliant Dave Wheeler, whose wedding work – and Gold-winning image ‘Fields of Gold‘ – is simply sublime.

Check him out at www.davidwheelerphotography.co.uk, and everyone else’s winning entries on line at The BIPP website, or in the flesh for the next few weeks in Central London. Details below.

Scoring Silver…

Smug, moi?!

Smug, moi?!

As you can see, I was pretty smug/delighted to score a merit for one of my landscapes, but also a Silver Award for ‘Stealth’ in the Non-Commissioned category, featuring actor and model David Gant.

What a face, and what a composed manner in front of camera.

It’s the first in a series called ‘The Attitudes’ that I’ll be working on in the next 12 months, with the aim of also using it as a Fellowship qualification project.

A timely boost then, to get such good feedback as we all head back in the world of work after such a lovely pause.

06/11/2015 MW

The Exhibit

12186503_10153715215158522_4494210617846475543_oOnline: click at the link

Where: Camera Cafe, close the the British Museum and Tott Court Road, until Tuesday 17th November

Jul 15

Choosing a Headshot Photographer; what should actors consider?

Another in my ‘Take Control of our Headshots’ video series, looking at what to consider when you’re deciding which photographer should shoot your next headshots.

michael-wharley-choosing-a-headshot-photographer-youtube-web-series

Watch ‘Choosing a Photographer’

When the time comes to choose a headshot photographer, the possibilities can be bewildering …

There are hundreds of us  in the UK, but which is the right one for you, who is any good, and can you risk that £50 cheap session to fill a gap?

Well, it’s down to personal taste as much as anything, but  I run through the factors I think are worth considering when you’re deciding who’s going to take your next set of  shots.

Including: price, session length, colour vs B&W, natural light vs studio light, and much more…

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Jun 09

The River Told Me…Water & the Landscape exhibit at Make Space Open Studios 2015

 A landscape photography display on the theme of water in the landscape is my contribution to Make Space Open Studios 2015 at Waterloo, as 50+ artists open up their working homes to the public.

Tologa Bay, NZ © Michael Wharley Photography 2015

Tologa Bay, NZ © Michael Wharley Photography 2015

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May 09

Art, Advertising, Fashion & More: qualifying with the AOP

Fulfilling a long-held ambition in qualifying with the prestigious Association of Photographers (AOP).

Check out Michael Wharley's portfolio on the AOP site

Check out my portfolio on the AOP site

Happily, I fulfilled a long-held ambition in the last few weeks.

After working hard over five years of professional practice, I felt that my photography had reached the point where I had a realistic chance of joining the Association of Photographers (AOP). ‘Why join another organisation?’ you might reasonably ask, and as a already-qualified Associate of the excellent British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP), it wasn’t for ongoing professional development or a sense of professional community. BIPP provides those things in abundance.

THE Association

No, the AOP, is a group I’ve always aspired to join as long as I’ve been a photographer, because it has been a hallmark of quality in the advertising, fine art, editorial and fashion photography worlds since its creation in 1968.

These days the AOP’s mission statement is:

[important]”…to promote and protect the worth and standing of its members, to vigorously defend, educate and lobby for the interests and rights of all photographers, especially in the commercial photographic industry.”[/important]

And more than that, its reputation is a byword for excellence and creativity with commercial and art commissioners.

Playing Hard to Get

Wind © Michael Wharley Photography 2015

Wind © Michael Wharley Photography 2015

No surprise then, that the entry requirements are so stringent.

Qualifying as a Full Photographer, requires submitting a portfolio of work showing the quality of your photography, as well as 15+ examples of the work in use, and other evidence including contracts & references from existing commercial, fashion, or creative clients.

I was almost surprised they didn’t check my teeth and hooves…

All of that evidence is scrutinised by a panel of members, who deliver the verdict. In this case – very happily – a yes!

Of course, it doesn’t create work or change the way you shoot, but it is a hallmark of quality, and – for me – feels like both a fantastic promotional tool, and an indication to clients of my commitment, expertise and ability. Especially in pursuing the sort of film and theatre advertising and poster work I want to shoot more, I think it’s going to be invaluable.

M

 

09/05/2015 MW

Apr 10

Casting takes Centre Stage; my work in The Photographer magazine

Feature on my work and route into photography, in the new edition of The Photographer, magazine of the British Institute of Professional Photograph (BIPP).

 

905721_10153127983043522_7795762315069063951_o A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be the subject of a full-length feature in the British Institute of Professional Photograph (BIPP)‘s quarterly magazine ‘ The Photographer.

10931020_1030542500295049_6889337821851200316_oEditor Jonathan Briggs came to visit me at the studio in January, the day after I got back from a month in New Zealand, and somehow managed to piece together a coherent 13 page article from the stream of mumbling I gave him in response to his insightful questioning.

As well as 10 beautifully-printed images, covering the span of my practice – from headshots to theatre and film posters, to personal projects – the article also covered my route into photography and the way my business has developed in the last five years

bipp-cover-michael-wharleyIt was a honour to be featured in the mag, which I’ve read throughout my career as a photographer, often enviously viewing the beautiful work of other photographers.

And if, as a portraitist who spends a lot of time quietly assessing clients to put them at their ease and get the best shots, it was an unusual experience to have the tables turned, it was still fascinating to see how the business looks to an outside eye, and definitely made me take a step back to plan my next five years.

10/04/2015 MW

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