About the Shoot and Reviews
About the Shoot
I've worked as an actor and photographer since 2001, as well as working as a director and being involved in casting theatre and film productions. I was also a member of a co-operative agency in London for 7 years looking through actors applications and dealing with casting applications - so I understand the pressures of getting a portrait image taken, and also what is needed for a good casting image. I take simple, clear and honest portraits which show you in your best light - and I don't charge if you're not happy with them! If you like the look of my work, head to the booking page and get in touch to discuss a shoot.
How long is the shoot and where is it?
You get a 1 hour session as standard. This includes as many changes of outfit as you'd like.
The shoot is usually at Hidden Heights Studio in Gateshead (although the location is subject to availability). This is a short walk from Gateshead Interchange metro, or there is metered parking at Swinburn Street Carpark (near the Old Town Hall, Gateshead - currently £1.80 for 2 hours) or in the Tesco Extra just a few minutes away (Note during the day parking is free for Tesco customers but you need to validate your parking at the tills so you might need to buy a drink or something in the shop!)
We'll shoot mostly indoor studio shots, and weather permitting we'll also get some outdoor street / daylight images just outside the studio. If you'd like a shoot at your college or place of work get in touch and we can discuss options. I generally don't do home shoots, but feel free to discuss possibilities if you have access or other requirements.
What should I wear?
I'd recommend bringing a small number of items to change into. For men a t-shirt, shirt, and a jacket if you want a more business look, and also consider whether you want to be clean shaven or have some with/without stubble or beard (you can shave at the studio). For women a few different necklines, jacket / shirt for a corporate look if that's useful. Think about whether you want hair up or down, or a combination - and also whether you'd like some with more or less makeup. If you'd like any full length photos also consider options for that, but for headshots obviously you only need bring tops! Plain dark colours are good, and avoid bold stripes, patterns or logos as a general rule.
How many photos do I get, and how do I view them?
On the day we'll shoot over 100 images, which you can preview at the studio (time permitting) on the camera. After the shoot I email you a PDF document "contact sheet" with unedited previews of all the images from the day (though I'll filter out any obvious ones with eyes closed etc) - usually the same day as the shoot. You then select the three you'd like from the shoot and I do a light retouch on the images and send you the high resolution final images once you've paid the shoot fee. You can ask for additional retouching if there are things you'd like tweaking. If you'd like more than three images, additional retouches are £10 each. There's no rush to pick your images, take as long as you like, and if you want to share a shortlist with your agent I can prepare a shortlist PDF to send to them (best to select, say, 12-20 images for your agent rather than send them 100s). If you would like my opinion on your shortlist to help narrow it down I'm happy to give recommendations.
How do I pay - and what is the "Satisfaction guarantee"?
When you book, you'll need to pay the studio fee up front (see prices page for costs). You can pay this to me by bank transfer, or if you don't have online banking you can pay the studio directly by card. We can discuss this at the time of booking (Note the studio fee goes to pay for studio hire and is non refundable)
Having headshots taken can be a daunting idea if you're new to it or even as an experienced performer, so to help take some of the pressure off I keep my rates low and offer all shoots on a satisfaction guarantee: you only pay the shoot fee if you're happy with the images we take. Once you've seen the photos on the day, you can pay in cash, credit card or bank transfer. If you prefer you can wait until you've had time to look at the previews and then pay by bank transfer once you've chosen the images you want. I send you the finished images once full payment has been made.
What happens if I need to cancel?
If we've booked and paid for a studio space and you need to reschedule I will try to get the shoot moved to a new date. Depending on the studio's policy and availability I can usually move the shoot without extra cost if we can rebook within 7 days of the original date (e.g. if your shoot was booked for Monday, if we can reschedule and shoot before the following Monday they won't charge to move the session*). If the studio aren't able to move the date or you just wish to cancel rather than reshedule, unfortunately you'll lose the studio booking fee. You won't of course have to pay the shoot fee.
Get in touch as soon as possible if you think there might be a clash - the earlier I can contact the studio the more likely they are to accommodate a move. (Very occasionally I may need to reschedule a shoot myself - if this happens I will arrange another date with you - and you won't forfeit the studio fee (I'll cover any studio changes incurred if it's my fault we need to move things!)).
Can I bring someone with me to the shoot?
There are always other people in the building (the other side of the building is a hair salon) but the shoot will be uninterrupted. You're welcome to bring a friend or relative or whoever you'd like with you to the shoot if you'd like some support.
Do you provide 10 x 8 prints?
There's virtually no demand for physical prints of photos any more so I only provide high resolution digital versions of your images. If you need to get prints made up I can recommend online retailers who do photo printing on demand.
Are there any discounts?
I offer a very low student rate (See prices page for details) for full time drama or dance students.
I also offer a £15 discount (each) if two people book for the same day - you'd each get a full hour shoot (or you can share a joint 2 hour session if you'd prefer), and you'd each get a £15 discount off the shoot fee. The two shoots would need to be on the same day within a two hour window. Email for more information if you think you have a friend or colleague who might also want headshots.
* Note on studio fees: The fees and cancellation policies of the studios I use are subject to change. I'll only ever charge the Shoot Fee if we complete a shoot and you're happy with the shots. The studio fee goes directly to the studio so I don't have any control over cancellation or refund policy on that part of the fee.
You can find more comments on my work online on social media channels. If you like the look of my work, head to the booking page and get in touch to discuss a shoot.
Well what can I say?! I had a fantastic shoot with Matt. Probably the most fun, relaxed shoot I've ever had! He is a true gent, professional, kind, friendly, funny and incredibly talented. I felt like I had known Matt for years. The pre-shoot communication was excellent.
Tanya Katerina / Actor / Model shoot
Really pleased with the results of my headshots. The service provided was fantastic as a shortlist was available for me to view within hours of the shoot. Moreover Matt's experience as a fellow actor was invaluable as he instantly made me feel at ease on the day of the shoot and he was a fantastic help in choosing my final shots. A great service all round.
Adam Donaldson / Actor
I've done a few shoots with Matt. Really comfortable and relaxed during the shoot and always really pleased with the photos I get back. Would recommend 100%!
Lucy Curry / Actor / Dancer
I strongly recommend Matt for your new headshots. His service is friendly, flexible and very professional. Matt has a unique insight into headshot photography as he is an actor himself!
Katie Tranter / Actor / Musician
Great shoot with Matt - Managed to get some really great shots and I was happy with them all. He was very friendly and had some good ideas. Gave great direction but allowed me to do my own thing also which was really refreshing. Would love to work together again soon.
Emma S / Model Portfolio Shoot
To me it’s important to work with a photographer that allows you to be you and who bring out the best in you. Matt did just that, he made me feel at ease from the get go...I hope to work with Matt again !
Deanna / Model Portfolio Shoot