Mike Canale Photography

1569 Sherman Ave. Evanston, IL.

Downtown Evanston, 1 block from CTA & Metra train stops.


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Your image is your Brand!
I have extensive experience working with professionals as diverse as administrators & artists, authors & actors, conductors & consultants, dancers & doctors, singers & satirists, writers & realtors as well as musicians & MBAs. Enthusiastically, I look forward to working with you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long does a headshot session take?
  2. MCP Headshot Session format - when do I get my photos?
  3. What is a Finished image?
  4. Do I need a hair stylist and makeup person?
  5. What should I wear - can I change what I'm wearing?
  6. Do you take ¾ length pictures?
  7. If I need a quantity of my headshot, how is that handled?
  8. Do you put my name on my headshot?
  9. Your price is comparatively low, does this mean I'm getting an inferior product?
  10. Some photographers charge much more - won't their photos be better?
  11. Some photographers say they shoot large numbers of images, doesn't that increase the odds I'd get a better headshot and therefore justify their extra cost?

Mike Canale Photography, providing best quality audition and publicity headshots for: actors, singers, models, dancers, film, casting, television, industrials, extras, performers, fashion, voice-overs, stage, entertainers, talent, commercials and theatre. View Mike  Canale's profile on LinkedIn

How long does a headshot session take?

A headshot session typically will take between 1½ and 2 hours.

You will achieve your best results if you fully immerse yourself in the experience, and so I suggest that you pre-arrange to arrive on time, stress free, and with enough leeway in your schedule so that you may remain relaxed in case your session runs a few minutes longer.

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What is the format for a MCP Headshot Session & when do I get my photos?

1. Upon your arrival you first settle your items in the dressing room and we plan the shooting order. Then, before taking any photos, I offer some suggestions and tips on how to project effectively for still images; these techniques empower you with precise control so that as we begin to shoot you are focused, up to speed and communicating effectively.

2. As we shoot, the images are immediately uploaded to my computer; as the session progresses we pause every few shots and evaluate our efforts on a large, high quality monitor. I delete any images that you deem unmarketable and save the images that you like. Once you feel you have enough expressions to choose from we then move on to your 2nd look. The Session will result in the capture of as many as 30 photographs (session maximum) to choose from. All photos in which the subject is blinking or otherwise not projecting effectively are deleted and are not included in the total count.

3. At the end of your session, you leave my studio with a proofing CD containing internet resolution (72ppi) files of all those saved images – no waiting for images to be uploaded to 3rd party websites, no passwords to deal with, no links to send and no surprise, hidden costs associated with downloading, printing or using your images.

Important Note: When you have your photos taken by Mike Canale Photography, your usage rights are not limited to only your finished headshot file; you may also copy, print and distribute any of the images on your proofing CD – these images contain enough resolution for internet use and to print good quality prints as large as 4x6 inches (note: the images on a proofing CD are not retouched).

4. At your convenience, you select which image I should finish as your headshot. Once you inform me of the frame # of your selection, I will email you the finished file attached to an Invoice & Usage Rights email. Maximum turn-around time for finished files is 3 full working days from the date you place your order.

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What is a Finished image?

A Finished Image is your master file of the photo you choose as your headshot. This file should be stored safely on your hard drive and only copies of this file should be altered or sent way to auditions, printers, etc.

It is a high resolution (300 ppi), 8x10 inch, digital file that is color corrected as needed, retouched, cropped and if you specify, laid out as a headshot with borders and your name in the bottom margin (the "border/name" option most often pertains to actors headshots).

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Do I need a hair stylist and makeup person?

1. It is your choice. Keep in mind, when you are called in to audition, you are expected to show up looking as good as your photo.

My view is that, as an auditioning/working professional, you should be capable of doing your hair and makeup for your photo session.

2. You will feel much more confident and ready to audition on short notice if you don't have to schedule and pay for hair/makeup each time you audition. If you hire a makeup person, make sure they agree to show you how to duplicate the effect.

Remember, the makeup for most headshots should present you looking fresh, well groomed, contemporary and mainstream.

3. In general, it is to your advantage if you don't stereotype yourself (too: comic, sexy, serious, etc.; doing so may limit the range of opportunities for which you are considered). There are exceptions: singers and models, for example, sometimes require a glamour, ultra fashion or fantasy look. Match your look to your market.

General grooming requirements:

Women: Styled hair; well applied concealer and a good foundation (if necessary); medium-light, well blended shading, medium-gloss lip color and translucent powder to reduce any shine, will enhance the results of a session.

Men: Trim all facial hair and if needed, use translucent powder to reduce any facial shine.

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What should I wear - can I change what I'm wearing?

The subject may change wardrobe one time to achieve two "looks" from the session. In general, your wardrobe should present you looking fresh, well groomed, contemporary and mainstream.

Choose wardrobe that is appropriate for your market and looks good on you.

Avoid items with patterns, logos or distracting buttons. Make sure all items fit you well, are clean, stain free and don't look worn (exception - "worn" is legitimate as an intended "look").

When shooting in color, consider eye color and skin tone when making wardrobe choices.

Clothing that is medium to dark in shade or color works best for black & white photos; wearing white for b&w photos will degrade the results.

If you have tan lines, wear items that cover them.

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Do you take ¾ length pictures?

Photographs are composed as either close up or three quarter length shots, as determined by their proposed usage.

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If I need a quantity of my headshot, how is that handled?

1. More than ever, professional headshots are a key element for successful auditioning, promotion and marketing. Conversely, the uses for a large quantity of prints of any single 8x10 inch image have diminished – bulk mailings are ineffective and agency requests for large quantities of prints have lessened.

2. Savvy Talent and Professionals understand that no single headshot is ideal for all auditions or marketing uses and that it is empowering to select between two or more differing images to target specific auditions and marketing purposes. They leverage the fact that they have possession of their best images by embracing targeted marketing strategies .

3. Savvy Talent and Professionals utilize local, one hour photo printing businesses; they benefit from the fact that it is easy and often more cost efficient to buy only the needed amount of just the right image, as the need arises – they purchase quantities only when needed for specific uses.

MCP customers receive, included in the price, a high resolution digital file of their favorite headshot choice, from which they may make unlimited, copy files and prints. Additional poses, also provided as finished, high resolution files, may be purchased.

4. Online companies & local brick and mortar photo reproduction businesses specialize in making high volume copies of a photographers work; these companies use very expensive image processing machines capable of printing high quality prints from high quality digital image files.

To find the current, best, quantity print offers simply do an online search for "headshot reproductions" or "Chicago headshot reproductions".

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Do you put my name on my headshot?

The inclusion of your name is an option available, at no extra charge, when you have your headshots taken by Mike Canale Photography.

You may specify to have your headshot laid out with borders and your name in the bottom margin (this option most often pertains to actors headshots).

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Your price is comparatively low, does this mean I'm getting an inferior product?

Absolutely not! I invite you to examine my portfolio; I think you'll agree that my work compares favorably with that of photographers that are charging 2 or 3 times more.

What's more, the session takes place in my fully equipped, professional photography studio, in a safe, professional environment, I simply provide best quality images and professional service, in a timely manner, at a fair price.

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Some photographers charge much more - won't their photos be better?

Common sense applies. Straight up - anyone in business has overhead and must make a profit. Still, there is no direct correlation between high prices and better photographs. When a photographer is charging 2 or 3 times what most other professionals (with quality portfolios) are charging, you are just paying for their ego.

The other side of the coin, when someone claiming to be a professional photographer offers a price that is outrageously below the average rate, be skeptical. I have heard, first hand, many unhappy stories from people that shopped the bottom, ranging from:

Ø Having their pictures taken outdoors in humid or inclement weather, sometimes in unsafe areas and inappropriate conditions; having to change outfits in pubic restrooms or hallways. The photographer had espoused the benefits of "natural light", when in fact he/she just doesn't have a photo studio, the professional lighting equipment or the skills required to shoot professionally.

Ø Going to the photographer's studio to find it is really their living room and having to wait your turn to use the restroom to prepare because the photographers roommate/quarreling lover needs to get ready for work. Variations of these situations, some funny and some not, are common.

Ø So-called professionals that shoot out of hourly rented studios, you pay and when it's time to get your photos, they are nowhere to be found. No last names, just cell phones/pagers and no permanent addresses - good choice, you decide.

Bottom line, the photographer skills and experience and how well the photographer prepares and works with each indvidual subject is what matters - not how much they charge!

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Some photographers shoot more images; doesn't that increase the odds I'd get a better headshot and therefore justify the extra cost?

Not necessarily, 20 + years of experience evaluating images of other photographers as well as my own work, confirms that shooting a large number of images does not necessarily increase the chance of getting better headshots. This is because a person can only project a fairly limited number of times before their facial expressions start to look drained, strained or contrived.

To avoid this emotional burnout, I, Instead of using the "machine gun" approach, offer techniques that empower you with precise control, so that as we begin to shoot, you are focused, up to speed and projecting effectively. My approach results in wide selection of effective expressions for you to choose from.

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