About My Headshot Sessions

And what you can expect from me
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The Who

Just a little about me (and possibly a little about you?)

Hi! I’m Stephen Gaskell owner/operator of Skyhawk Pictures and Skyhawk Pictures is all about using imagery to enhance your brand. Our motto is “Now is the time to show the world who you really are” and I truly believe that great images can set you apart from the crowd.

I’m a member of the well-known Headshot Crew, the school of photography founded and run by New York guru headshot photographer Peter Hurley and I make it my mission to get each and every one of my clients, the very best shots I can.

Once upon a time it was only actors that required headshots.

Then there came the authors, entrepreneurs and chief execs.

But believe me when I say that, these days, we live in an image-based world and it’s becoming a minimum standard for everyone to have a great headshot to go with your resumé or CV, your LinkedIn profile and your company’s intranet. You don’t want to be leaving it blank.

If your reading this, you’ve already decided that you need to invest in your future and take the next step. That’s a great decision and it would be our privilege to take great care of you. I believe that your success is our success and we will stop at nothing to get you those killer shots.

The What

What is a headshot and why you need to think about a specialist headshot photographer?

Yes a headshot is a portrait, but it’s a specific kind of portrait. They’re not generally used for hanging on walls or putting in photo frames. They are used in such a way that the viewer or recipient of a person’s headshot will get a sense of that person. Consequently, the approach to photographing them is different and you need a photographer with the appropriate skills.

Like it or not, in this day and age, the world is run on images and when people see an image of you, they make judgements about you. It’s involuntary…we all subconsciously do it.

Your portrait photographer will take amazing pictures of you like the one above, that can show exciting and vibrant locations and use dramatic lighting to produce fantastic, moody and emotional shots. That’s great, but it’s not what a prospective employer wants to see. She wants to see you at your very best, confident, approachable, no frills, someone that engages with them from the moment they look at the image.

So you need a specialist – that’s what Skyhawk will give you and what we’ll achieve in our session together will be stunning.

Rest assured, you’re in good company. 60%-70% of people actively avoid cameras and hate the thought of being in front of one….and you know what else? I’m like you too!

But I understand what’s going on. You don’t in fact look weird. We all walk around everyday without even thinking for a moment that our faces or expressions look weird, right? Our face responds at a subconscious level to the feelings we are expressing and we don’t even know it. Its automatic.

It’s only when someone sticks a camera in your face that you suddenly become acutely aware of your face and try to control it “on manual”. And frankly, most of us are no good in manual mode. My job is 30% photographer and 70% psychologist and I have the skills to get your face back where it should be, onto autopilot, and get the best out of you. We’ll work together as a team, exploring the best ways to make you look great.

The How

All about the photo shoot and what you can expect.

Many of my clients are busy, but if time allows, I usually like to spend the first 5-10 minutes having a chat with my clients over a cuppa. This allows us to break the ice and I can tell them about my process.

I operate a mobile studio which gives me and my clients flexibility –
I can come to your address or you to mine – so I’ll need a few minutes to set that up.

After I’ve set up my lights, and as I often wont know what the location will be like, I will spend the first few minutes of the actual shoot taking test shots so that I can fine tune everything and so that you can acclimatise to what’s going on.

Once we’re into the shoot, you will know exactly what to do…because I will tell you everything you need to know.

You can rest assured that I will make my instructions clear, precise and simple – it really will be a walk in the park.

If you hear me say “smile”, “say cheese” or “please relax” then you have my permission to come over and bop me on the head.

I shoot tethered. This is a fancy way of saying that my camera it attached to a computer and the computer shows the shots as we take them, in real-time.

During the shoot, we will take frequent time-out’s to look through the shots so far, together we will identify your best side, earmark ones we like and throw away ones we don’t.

You get the opportunity to see how you are doing and what is working and what is not. This process gives us insights into where you look your best, and allows us to explore those angles further. It’s a feedback loop where you gain reassurance on what has gone before, which in turn increases your confidence level, which in turn results in better shots when you go back in front of the camera. We improve as we go.

When we’re finished, we will have taken a lot of shots. We will sit down together and go through them all and we will agree on the ones that haven’t made the cut and which ones haven’t. As a rule of thumb, you can expect about 10% of the shots to be bankable and 90% to be deleted – if that sounds like madness, it isn’t. We have to be brutal and only keep the very best of you. But don’t worry you will still have plenty to choose from!

The ones we’re keeping will be uploaded to you own personal, password-protected on-line gallery for you to look through in your own time.

Then when you are ready, you can purchase the ones you want retouched. See the pricing page for further details.

Retouching happens after the shoot. I take the images you want to keep and I tidy them up.

The Skyhawk ethos is to do the bare minimum to make you look your best. I get rid a stray hairs that may cause distraction, remove any unwanted blemishes (e.g. acne), make sure your skin is as natural as is can be.

What I don’t do is over process. Unless you specifically ask for it, I won’t remove naturally occurring skin features like moles, freckles or birthmarks, and I won’t smooth out your skin texture to the point where you look like a china doll. Our aim is to make you look like YOU, but you at your very best.

The Where

Where the magic happens!
I find that my clients like the convenience of me coming to them, so I have a lightweight, mobile studio which I can bring to you. However, some people do like the “full studio experience” and we can set that up on request.

Ready to book or perhaps have more questions?

Book my free consultation