frequently (and not so frequently) asked questions
In what format do you shoot?
All sessions are shot digitally. I shoot with a Canon D5 Mark II, probably the best DSLR full frame camera on the market and I use top of the line Canon L-series lenses. For those who are familiar with the gear, you know the type of high quality images you'll take home with you.
Do you shoot outdoors or indoors?
I shoot exterior - with natural light - in an outdoor studio built in my house. So, although the setting is outdoors, it is still a very private and intimate setting.
What does a one-on-one consultation prior to the shoot consists of? And, is it free?
This consultation takes place on the phone and it's free. It will consist in narrowing down what you're aiming for and what you want to get out of this session.
Is there anything I should do to prepare for my session?
Yes, in addition to prepare the right choice of wardrobe, you need to be and look well-rested and the only prescription for that is going to bed early the night before your shoot. More detailed information about this can be found on the prep page.
Is there anything I should do before I book a session with you?
Yes, in addition to looking at the portfolio, I suggest you to read the métier, prep and faq pages in their entirety. This way, you will be well aware of details and we'll make more effective use of time during your session.
What services do you offer, what are your rates?
What are the forms of payment?
All sessions require a 50% deposit at the time of booking, so I can effectively lock the date/time for you. Deposit can be done via Paypal (click here for paypal) or you can call and pay your deposit with your credit card. The 50% balance can be paid via paypal or you can pay your balance cash or credit card here prior your session. Unfortunately no checks can be accepted the day of your session. Deposits are forfeited if you cancel your session with less than a 48-hour notice.
Do you offer make-up?
I tend to be a naturalist, so general rule for me is "be very light on make-up". Why? My camera and my lenses pick it up and where it is easy to remove an imperfection that was not covered by make-up during post (retouching), it is impossible to remove make-up on post. Having said that...
I definitely recommend portrait make-up - which is often not your every-day make-up. This may depend exclusively on what you are trying to convey in your images (whether they are commercial or theatrical shots). Some clients do their own, however I recommend doing hair and make-up with a make-up artist before you come to the shoot. The make-up artist can also give you advice on how to re-touch on your own, if you need it.
I try to steer guys away from make-up when I can. Some men do just well without make-up (with just powdering their shine-off) but depending on their complexion some may need light make-up in order to subtly balance skin tone and work under eyes if needed, and of course, other minor circumstantial cosmetic issues (i.e. blemishes, irritations, etc.) but again, general rule for guys: no make-up.
Remember, if your pictures show a little bit of make-up you already have too much of it. And if we see your make-up, we don't see you.
Why don't I offer hair and make-up on site or why are not make-up artists allowed during the shoot? The same reason why don't shoot two people in the same session (unless is a group, band or family portrait). This is a very personal, intimate process for me. I intend for my client to experience the same level of privacy and complete devotion from me; that's why I choose for this time and space to be shared just by the three of us (you and me and the camera).
What is a "look"?
A change of "look" (for actors) essentially stands for a considerable wardrobe and/or location change. This means that getting a jacket over what you were already wearing on or putting a hat on or a scarf doesn't count for another "look". So, within a "look" you have a couple of variations that do not require a significant interruption.
Do you do re-touching?
Yes, as an additional service, I do perform light re-touching on pictures of choice for minor cosmetic issues that make-up and/or lighting could not have resolved or foreseen.
A word about retouching.
My philosophy when working with your images, and particularly your face, is the notion that the best retouching is light, specific and subtle retouching. In other words, invisible. Detectable only after scrutinizing the “before” and “after” images along side for a few moments.
First and foremost, your headshots should look like you. And second, any other enhancements to the image, whether that is recomposition (cropping), adjusting color or temperature, should only be geared towards putting you in the foreground without distraction; just as the principle behind choosing your wardrobe for a photo session.
I do perform "artistic" and "glamour" re-touching on other types of photos such as when I shoot children and family, product, still-life objects and portraits for artists or individuals other than actors. This re-touching consists of filters, gamma, grains and different polishes and finishes and cropping (re-composition) to create a desired aesthetic effect.
I do not dictate that you retouch and/or correct or prep you image/s with me. There are retouchers everywhere. However, my rates for image correction and retouching are on par or below many retouching services out there. That way, I also have the chance to preserve and respect the nature of my work, since there are professionals and individuals that will go beyond the acceptable line for correcting a photo (whether that is retouching or recomposing). My images are very specific and it is very easy to know I shot it by simply looking at the settings and surroundings. I do my absolute best to show you in the best light and get you images that will bring you in the room. I would you ask the same camaraderie when working with the images post-shoot. Additionally, Argentum is a great lab and their retouching and recomposition services are great. Also, in addition, I request my client/s to properly credit the images when uploading anywhere online or onto any and all social networks with:
"images by www.mamoodvegaphotography.com"
Do you assist in selecting favorites?
Yes, as an additional service I would spend time with all your pictures and make a suggestion list that can then be further looked upon by you and/or your representation to make the final choices for retouching, printing or electronic upload. Additionally, I offer my services to set-up the headshots, which consists in re-composing the selected images and placing them on a white or black digital canvas with the actor's name and prep them for print and/or online upload.
Can I bring my own favorite playlist on my mp3 player?
Absolutely. Music is often the best element to help you start the journey I talk about on the prep page. It carries emotion while allowing you to be present and NOT in your head.
Is there any difference between headshots set-up for print and those for online casting?
Yes, there is - a big difference. And no one notices dull, bland headshots, online or on print. Online casting is only going to get better; which in this case means efficient for both, actors and the casting community.
Today, a vast majority of submissions (commercial and theatrical) are performed online - if not all. Actors are showing up at commercial casting offices with a scannable barcode in the wallet more than a headshot in their hands
The first online weapon in the actors arsenal is not their headshot, but the thumbnail (representing that headshot) which is going to be shown on screen before their headshot is actually opened. It better be great and it better pop. Nowadays, headshots need to be shot and composed with those factors in mind if they are going to separate themselves from the rest of the herd. This means appropriate resolution, contrast and color temperature, the right depth of field, correct backgrounds, allowing eyes and faces to pop and skin tone and hair color to feel alive. In short, what I call "the right life" in the headshot. Your printed headshot should also pop, but the finishings required for both are different.
How quickly can I receive my photos?
In an effort to remain as sustainable and LEAN as possible and decrese the output of waste in the environment, I will send you a unique link (via www.yousendit.com) in order to download a folder containing all your "as-shot" photos in their highest, original resolution within 48 hours. Of course, I can and (per your request) I will burn and mail you a DVD with all your "as-shot" images but I will leave that decision up to your conscience.
Where can I print my headshots?
I recommend Argentum Photo Lab. All my clients get 20% off on online proofing and the same discount for their printing services. I will provide you with a promo code after your session.
Argentum Photo Lab
6550 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
What's the best and most effective way to let my reps look at all my images online?
In addition to sending you a personal link to download your folder into computer, I can also zip and send your folder to Argentum Lab. Agents and Managers love to look at the photo there (online proof sheet) where they can discuss choices with you from the convenience of their computers. At the end of your shoot you can let me know if this is what you want and I can upload them. PLEASE NOTE that Argentum will charge you $10 for 300 images for 30 days online. THE GOOD NEWS: all my clients get not only 20% off at Argentum for online proofing but they also get 20% off on any and all printing services using my promo code with Argentum Labs (I'll give it to you at your session).
What are "as-shot" pictures?
These are original images as they were shot. Image re-touching, re-composition and headshot set-up (unless otherwise indicated) carry a different delivery time and rate.
Do you keep a back-up copy of all my photos?
I keep a folder with all your photos on an external hard drive for one year, only. Then the hard drive gets purged. I suggest that you copy your photos to your computer and/or external drive and, if on a DVD, then keep that disc in a dry, cool place and away from sunlight.