Suyama Images | Headshots - What to Expect


This page has been put together to answer some questions and explain my process.




1) Though I am often asked as a conversation starter, what my cost is, I cannot honestly answer without knowing what you need or want. Everyone's needs are different and I can better customize my service for you if you can answer the following questions.

What I need to know:

  • What is your purpose for the headshot? Is it for social media, a website, a business card, a magazine or book, an actor's portfolio? I need to know where you intend to use it.
  • Next I would need to know how many headshot images you need or want. Some people need 1, some need half a dozen. An actor perhaps, wishing to express different looks or emotions may require more headshots, whereas a business person may require 2-3 for various social medias and their website. Still yet an author may only require one - for his or her website and inside their book.
  • Next I will ask what style of headshot are you after? Is it a very traditional or conservative style or a more "editorial" style that is a little less formal? For example:












  • Next I will ask if you want to shoot on location or in studio? This naturally affects cost as it adds time, travel and what not to the equation.
  • Next question is, if we are shooting in studio, what background are you interested in? What color and do you want it smooth or textured? My basic colors are black, white and gray and gray textured. Some colors can be made easier on a computer than me purchasing 20 different colored backgrounds (such as the blue color in the above photo was done on a computer and was originally gray).
  • Finally, if you are a woman I give you the option of using a make-up and hair stylist. While this is an added cost, it is important that you look the best as possible. If you are paying me to have your headshot made, then you may wish to use a professional who can shape your face and hair with the makeup and ensure that it comes out the best in the images. You of course may be confident at doing your own and that is completely at your discretion.

2) Once you have answered these questions. I can give you a proper estimate of cost. If you wish to book me then we decide on a date, time and place.

3) I send you an invoice over email which lays out my terms, conditions, the cost, exactly what you will receive in terms of images, optional ancillary services such as makeup, taxes, and retainer fee. It will state our shoot date, time and location. 

4) Review this as good pointers for maximizing the value of your shoot.


Shoot Day


5) We get right into shooting. You will see that I shoot to my laptop which allows us to review images from our shoot as we go. I will also teach you a bit about how to pose for the camera. This can help eliminate a double chin, find your best angle, the stronger side of your face, etc.

6) We shoot images, then review them on the laptop, then shoot some more. We continue this until we've met two criteria: we've hit the number of headshots called for in our contract/invoice and you are happy about them. Typically I like to spend an hour on a typical headshot session depending on the amount of images you want.

7) Before you leave you pay for the service. This is the invoice cost, minus the retainer which is built into the contract. Retainer fees are always non-refundable even if you cancel before the shoot. They are the fee to book my time, which will be cleared for you at the day and time it was agreed upon.  I can accept cash, credit/debit or paypal. I do not typically accept checks as they add time to the transaction. No images are released to you until payment is cleared. Go here to pay.


After Shoot


8) After our shoot and the cursory selection of images by you on site or at my discretion after the shoot, whatever was agreed upon, I put the images into a hidden file on my website. These will not be all of the images we shot, just the hand-selected dozen or less. These are the ones you can choose from for me to post process. Refer to your contract/invoice and select as many images as was agreed upon. If you wish more, a nominal fee of $25 per image can be paid through paypal. The added image will be processed.

9) After the final selection of images, the ones you have selected will be retouched. This may include cropping and removing blemishes. I do not plasticize skin or erase things that are permanent unless you specifically ask for it (even then I won't plasticize skin). I believe in a more organize approach to retouching. Stuff like a pimple can be removed, as it's not a permanent feature. Lines and crow's feet can be lessened but I prefer not to remove them entirely as it's not you.

10) I then put the high res images back into a folder on my website which becomes visible for general viewing (unless otherwise requested). You are emailed a password to download the images and instructions on doing so. There is no limit to how many times you can download them. They can be accessed anytime, from anywhere. No more lost or broken CDs or flash drives.


And that is the cycle of a headshot. It's an informative and educational experience where you not only get great images of yourself, but also knowledge on how to pose and what your best angle is. This knowledge of course can be applied from here on out in any photo you find yourself posing for!

Here are some real examples of before and after coaching: