JGW Photography | Blog

Welcome to the blog of photographer Jenny Gavin-Wear!

New to Actor Headshots?

February 15, 2018

New to Actor Headshots?

Charlotte ForbesCharlotte Forbes I don’t do weddings!  You probably guessed that, but read on and you’ll find out why.

That might seem a strange way to kick off, but it is extremely important.

As an actor headshot specialist I make it my business to understand the importance of your headshot.

  • Headshots aren’t just pretty photos, they have to help you get work.
  • Headshots have to make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Headshots have to show your character, personality and the roles that you want to star in.

If I had to shoot a wedding, I wouldn’t do a great job.  I’ve never shot one before so my experience is zero and as much as I’d probably come away with a few pretty photos, there is no way I’d do as good a job as a professional wedding photographer with years of experience.

This is why as a professional actor you need a professional, specialist photographer.

I make sure I’m up to date with the latest trends in headshot styles.  I listen to agents and casting directors and I make sure I understand what they want to see from an actor’s headshot.

Because I’ve been doing this for rather a long time and have created headshots for literally hundreds of actors I’ve learnt quite a bit.  I’ve gathered together lots of tricks and techniques for helping you to show your character.  Yes, there really is a lot more to it than, “left a bit, right a bit FIRE!”.


What will it be like in your headshot session?

You see, unless you are relaxed and enjoying the session, we’re not going to get great photographs.  So that’s pretty important.

You’re not going to be happy if you feel unsure of what you should be doing, either.  So that’s pretty important, too.

When you’re in your headshot session I will calmly guide you through the shoot, you’ll gain confidence when you see the shots we’re making together and, all in all, everyone has a wonderful time.  Lots of laughs along the way, but never losing focus on getting headshots full of expression and character.


Simon GrenvilleSimon Grenville Sure, Jenny, but what do your customers say about you?

If you take peek at the reviews page on my website you’ll get to read what my actor customers say about me. 

Here’s a couple of samples …

Having seen the excellent work Jenny had done with previous clients, including some managed by the same agent as myself, I was confident that she could produce a great set of headshots, and I was not disappointed.

Jenny combines an exhaustive knowledge and genuine passion for photography with - and this is important - a detailed knowledge of headshot photography in particular, as well as what works in the sector.

She is an 'actor's photographer', working WITH you - although it felt more like play than work! - to create great headshots that capture the characters and roles best suited to YOU.

Fun and efficient without feeling rushed or sacrificing quality, I am very happy with the range of photos I've ended up with and am sure they will help secure great new work, roles, and opportunities for me in the future. Thank you, Jenny!

- Neil Jacks - Actor

From the moment she opens her door to you to the moment you walk out you are greeted by a friendly, welcoming and professional photographer. Before, during and after the shoot everything is explained impeccably leaving no room for questions as she covers just about everything! Her positive persona instantly relaxes you and makes you feel at ease (especially if it's your first photo shoot) regardless, her happy and cheerful disposition makes the whole experience enjoyable.

 - Natalie Richardson - Actress


So this must be a bit pricey then?

Well, no it isn’t at all because I go the extra mile to make sure your shoot meets your expectations, and then I go another mile just to make sure.

I have a nice little portrait studio specially geared for headshots, so you’re not paying for the upkeep of some swanky studio.  The studio is based between Derby and Nottingham, so it’s quiet and relaxed and it’s not expensive for me to run.

This all goes together to keep your price down and you certainly won’t be paying those crazy London prices here!


How about booking a session?

Give me a call (01773 688584) or drop me a line via my website and I’ll answer any questions you might have before getting you booked in.

The Stage - Actor Headshots - An Agents View

October 26, 2017

The Stage - An Agents View on Headshots (and more)

An agent posted this article from The Stage on Facebook today and I think it is so good.  I'm going to quote a little here, but it is well worth reading the entire article.

The agent relates experiences just like those of actors who have come to see me for their headshots!

Extract from article: "Soapbox: An open letter to all actors, from a (hard) working agent"

“You need to change your headshot” might seem like a cop-out on the part of the agent in response to an actor's complaint that he or she hasn’t had many auditions, but also consider that your headshot must not only be representative of who you are, but that, in a sea of 60,000-plus headshots we want yours to jump off the page because it’s that good: striking, eye-catching.

I have personal experience of actors who weren’t getting seen until we discussed new headshots, agreed on the look and then uploaded them to Spotlight only to land an audition the very next day and another one or two in the following week.

I’ve also had actors who refused to change their headshots for various reasons, subsequently left the agency and immediately got new headshots (usually at the insistence of the new agent) and then – surprise, surprise – got an audition. Was it really the new agent or was it perhaps that they had finally listened to advice?"

Read the full article

Meet the Actor - Simon Grenville

October 22, 2017

Actor Showreel Filming - Simon Grenville

October 20, 2017

Customer Review - Sara Beasley

October 02, 2016

Sara BeasleySara BeasleyHeadshot and portfolio shoot. Sara Beasley on JGW Photography

What really makes my day as an actor headshot photographer is when my headshots help actors to get the success they deserve.

Following new headshots Sara has signed with a new agent and has landed castings in both Peaky Blinders and Coronation Street.

Congratulations to you, Sara, and a big thank you for writing your review.  I can't help wondering what 2016 will bring!

Read on to hear what Sara has to say .....

Headshot Magic!

I recently had my second visit to Jenny for some new headshots, and had the best and craziest time ever!  I'm also happy to say I've just secured roles in both Peaky Blinders and Coronation Street since, so the work she produces sure seems to help!

Though Jenny is a true professional and really knows her stuff (and gets great results as a consequence) she manages to make it so much fun and get the best out of you.  She understands the necessity to get you relaxed first and form a partnership with you to gain that common goal – excellent headshots.

Without you being aware of it Jenny begins to get a feel for the essence of you as a person, which eventually reflects in the shots she gets.  I was really puzzled when she got me to wink into the camera, not something I do every day!  Then she shot a few more after that and looking back at the sequence of images she took, this trick really helped to relax my face – I just don't know how she does it – it's like magic!

Once the photoshoot is over, then it's time for the difficult bit – narrowing them down to your final choices. So many great shots to choose from!  This part of the session is very much a matter of elimination; choosing just the right expressions you are after to reflect your 'type'.  And while you concentrate on that element, Jenny looks at the technical side – lighting, exposure, angles etc.

If you are looking for a photographer I really could not recommend Jenny high enough. She really goes above and beyond for her clients, nothing is too much trouble and you are made to feel like you're working as a team to get those fabulous results.

Thanks a million Jenny.  

Sara Beasley - Actress

January February (1) March April May June July August September October (1) November December
January February March April May June July August September October (3) November December
January February (1) March April May June July August September October November December