How do you shoot headshots with someone who has a Facial Disfigurement?

Episode 12 Vlog Show


Talking facial disfigurement headshots today.

This week I’ve got a really good question.  It was submitted by video from Mark who has Pocket Video School.  Click above to take a look at the video.


Hi Laura, Mark from Pocket Video School here.  Question for you today is when you have a client who is uncomfortable on camera because they have a facial disfigurement for instance, like Katie Piper or if you’ve got a physical ailment like me, how do you get them feeling comfortable on camera to actually do your headshots? So, I just want some insider knowledge so I would say in how you would actually put them at ease, make them feel good about themselves and capture the essence of who they are and not necessarily what they look like if that makes sense.  So, yeah, be interested to find out how you would actually do that and cover it and we’ll speak to you soon.


This is a fantastic question and what I love about this question is it means that I can talk about the importance of having a proper consultation with any client.

So, whenever I do a consultation with a client before we do their headshots I get to know about them, I get to know about any insecurities that they have in front of the camera, and I can find out the way that they prefer to work with the camera if they have disfigurement, disabilities or any specific needs that they wanna talk about before we even take a camera out of the bag.

Now, if somebody has a specific need of any description, and they wanna talk about that before we start shooting, I’ve worked with people who have certain facial disfigurements, Mark, on a few occasions, I would take the lead from the client.


So, whenever when planning a session I would find out what they would prefer to do in terms of angles, if they have any preference on that if they want to take any advice from me, if there’s a certain way that they want to look in the final shot.  Then when it comes to the day that we’re working, I’m gonna make sure that we change the rules a little bit ’cause I wanna make sure that they feel reassurance.


So, we’re gonna be taking pictures and I’m gonna be showing them previews of those pictures in the back of the camera. This isn’t something that I do a lot when I’m working with clients because I feel like it slows down the rhythm of the session. But in this particular instance, if a client feels particularly uncomfortable (like you’ve said that you do in your video) I wanna make sure that I’m gonna be reassuring them and checking that they’re happy.

If we were working together I’m gonna be showing you some stills that we’re shooting and asking you how happy you are, if you feel like I’m working in a way that you’re happy or if you feel like I’m not quite getting it, and if I’m not quite getting it, how am I not quite getting it, and then we can continue to work in a better rhythm.  This way I feel like we’re gonna be building up a little bit more of a reassurance and a little bit more trust to try and tackle the things that you said you felt uncomfortable about before we started working together.


It’s all about building trust around a specific type of a need.  It comes back the similar things that we’ve talked about before when we’re dealing with certain fears.  So, if you’re particularly conscious about a certain body part, so I wanna make sure that you’re not feeling overly self-conscious about that body part throughout the entire session, so I’m gonna make sure that I’m reassuring you about that as the shoot progresses.

So, I hope that that answers your question today.  By all means, stay in touch and we can keep talking about this if you want to and I will see you all in the next episode.  

Take care and I’ll see you next time.


If you would like to book in for the type of consultation I refer to in today’s episode, you can by selecting a Cyber Cocktails Meeting with me:


I know… seeing IS believing.  So follow this beautiful button to shortcut to my Gallery.  You can get some ideas, check that I’m legit, and see just how many other people I have impressed with on-brand headshots before taking any sudden action for yourself.

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