Best Headshot Photographers New York .pdf
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Process of Headshots by
Todd Estrin Photography
My name is Todd Estrin. I am a photographer from
Brooklyn, New York specializing in headshots for
actors. Here is my process.
First off, I hate the word “headshots.” It immediately
signals to the actor, “I am looking for a result. Time to
be confident/dramatic/commercial/sexy.” This is the
opposite of what I am trying to do. In my sessions we
explore, and through this exploration of self we find
you. Not the “you” that you wished you were, but
rather who you truly are.
Actors are constantly told who they need to be, who
they look like, or what their essence is. This is all
done in the name of getting work, but the big
problem is that nobody can tell you who you are. You
are perfect exactly the way you are. Let go of who
you think you need to be and the world will fall in love with you.
This all sounds very seductive and romantic. Practically
speaking, however, it all starts with a willingness to be
seen. I define this willingness as a desire to have your
inner life, in the present moment, seen. This means that if
you feel sad, you explore that sadness. If you feel angry,
you don‟t judge that anger; you walk directly into it. If you
feel confident, you own that confidence. This is the start
to exploring you.
Actors have trouble being seen for a multitude of
reasons. However, when you stop judging how you feel
and just walk into it, two incredible things happen:
1. You become extremely present, curious, and
grounded in the moment. Nothing matters except
what is happening right then in that moment
between you, me, and the camera.
2. Your energy and state of being will transform.
Sadness can turn into confidence; anger can
become open heartedness. If you honor and respect
where you are, if you can stop fighting with or judging
yourself, you will find yourself in a new state of being.
You can‟t be present and simultaneously hold onto
moments at the same time. That just isn‟t how it works.
What does it mean to explore self? This might seem like
a mystical, hippy-dippy question. There is an actual
tangible way to do this, however, and it starts with the
heart. The heart is the brain of your inner life. It will
provide you with everything you need to be fully alive
and authentic; you just need to listen. But how do you
listen? Start with slowing down and allowing yourself to
be curious. If I asked you to explore the word „mother,‟
you might imagine your mother, you might even try to
picture her in your head, and you may find yourself
asking, “How do I feel about my mother?” This is not,
however, what listening means. Listening is feeling into
your heart and trusting whatever comes up.
Maybe it‟s the smell of that specific rose perfume
she always wore, or that memory of her making
Thanksgiving dinner in your childhood home. Or
maybe it is just a feeling of warmth in your body.
This is your heart speaking. If you don‟t judge what
comes up, your heart will provide the fuel that will
bring you alive. So this work becomes a dance
between a willingness to be seen and an exploration
During our time together, I will shoot roughly 1,500
to 2,000 pictures of you. Yes, that is a lot. I do this
because you never know when we are going to find
that one image where it all connects, all the stars
align, and you are truly captured by the camera. The
great news about shooting so much is that if we love
only .5% of your photos that means that you will
leave with six to eight beauties. Not a bad shoot.
The point here is there will be a lot of bad pictures;
let go of that need to nail them all. If you notice
your mind is drifting, or you‟re feeling disconnected
from your true self, that‟s okay. This is how
exploring works. I don‟t want to see 2,000 shots of
you trying to be perfect. What I want is just YOU:
authentic, in whatever form that takes.
A huge part of being authentic means letting go of
who you think you are or how you want to look. I
don‟t care how Robert Dinero expresses power, or
Viola Davis‟ version of sorrow. Stop trying to do it
how they do it. Take a chance, let go of how you
think it should look and be the only thing that you
can be: you. Authentic, spontaneous, and full of
surprises. To quote the wonderfully inspiring Brene
Brown: “Let go of who you think you‟re supposed to be and embrace who you are.”
I tell people that I am 10% photographer, 40%
acting teacher, and 50% therapist. During our
session together I will offer all kinds of techniques,
exercises, and suggestions. These are all just
different ways for you to explore self by using your
body, your senses, and your heart. If you explore
with those three things, I promise that you are
going to be extremely happy with the results.
I have discovered in my life that it is very easy to
hide. I have also discovered that we all want to be
seen. This work is very personal and important to
me. I absolutely love what I do.
If you‟d like to schedule a session with me, please
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or
About Todd Estrin
Located at Adams Street in Brooklyn, New York, Todd
Estrin is a photographer who specializes in headshots for
actors. He discovered his passion for portrait photography
while working with a group of kids in Madagascar. While
there Todd learned the extraordinary gift and power of
seeing someone and capturing who they are with a
camera. To experience simply being yourself in front of the
https://www.toddestrinphotography.com/ or email him at:
85 Adams Street Suite 11C
Brooklyn, NY, 11201