Rory Lewis: The One Stop Shop for Headshots

Beth Tweddle Portrait Rory Lewis PhotographerIt’s a big wild world out there when seeking headshots, whether you’re an actor, business leader, politician or anyone seeking a portrait photo for professional purposes. Sorting the wheat from the chaff and being sure you’re going to get exactly what you need, on professional level, can be overwhelming. You need someone who knows your home turf, with a specialist North-West headshot photographer covering Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, but who knows how to play the headshot game, getting exactly what you are looking for from your final images: professionalism; confidence; your Unique Selling Point conveyed. You need someone who has the confidence and experience of working with both celebrities and those looking to make their name alike, capable of shooting the best of anyone.

Headshot Photography: Why a One Stop Shop, One Man Band?


Corporate Headshots Liverpool, London, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow

It’s easy to be bowled over and hoodwinked by a large national photography studio with a corporate image and multiple photographers. The downside is, you don’t know who you’re going to get or the exact quality of their work. With a One Man Band, like Rory Lewis Photographer, globally experienced yet locally based in the North West across Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds, you know exactly what you’re getting. My image as an individual matters, so I capture your image professionally, yet creatively. A One Man Band focusses on you and you alone, each and every client matters.

Political Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Political Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Headshot Photography North-West UK: Why Rory Lewis?


I am not a general photographer, but a highly experienced Portrait Photographer with over 10 years’ headshot experience. I have a proven track record working with celebrities, corporate clients, models, upcoming actors and actresses, politicians, and all manner of walks of life. Exhibiting at the National Portrait Gallery, with names such as Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Ian McKellan, Sir Derek Jacobi, David Warner, Iain Glen and Julian Glover, I feel confident in my headshot reputation.

This enables me to ensure that your session is relaxed, and entirely focussed on you and what you need from your shoot. I understand what is needed across the range of headshot requirements, from child actors to leading politicians, so that I can lead the shoot and guide you to portray yourself to the camera in a way that will capture the essence of the look you are striving for. My sessions are relaxed and informal and truly for everyone. I work with you developing styles, emotions and lighting that is appropriate for your headshots.

Legends of the Stage Portraits Rory Lewis Photographer

Legends of the Stage Portraits Rory Lewis Photographer

Headshots: Who Are The Clients


The beauty of choosing a Portraiture Specialist such as Rory Lewis Photography, is that you find a One Stop Shop. Whatever your headshot needs, they can be met. From child actors with their unique needs for easy-going rapport to household names with their well-known personalities, from Corporate Profiles for LinkedIn demonstrating a branded style, to publication-based images for the military, everyone will find a package to suit.

Liverpool Cheap/Discounted Actors Headshot Session Affordable

A vast majority of headshot clients are actors looking for their portfolio images. I have worked with a huge range of actors and actresses across the North West UK from celebrities to newcomers, I am in tune with casting director expectations and I understand the industry. I understand the nerve-wracking difference that can be felt between motion and still photography, and put you at your ease to ensure you are photographed at your best, demonstrating the range of your acting abilities, your potential and confidence.

Lord Mayors of Liverpool Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Lord Mayors of Liverpool Portrait Photographer Rory Lewis

Corporate clients have their own unique requirements. With experience working for large corporate names such as Pepsi, CancerResearch UK, John Lewis and the Ministry of Defence, I understand the need to ensure your corporate headshots seamlessly represent your brand identity and corporate image. The result is polished professional business photos whether the subject is the CEO or entry-level employee. As always, I work to ensure each and every sitting is conducted in a friendly and relaxed manner, bringing out the very best in every photo.


Further headshots are required by many different individuals and groups. Military, political and historical figures bring their own unique set of requirements for portrait headshots demonstrating confidence, leadership and power. With experience photographing such eminent individuals such as William Hague and Iain Duncan Smith as well as key figures from the Army, RAF and Navy. Alongside these I have experience undertaking headshots for sports personalities and individuals from a wide range of professions. I understand headshot: what is required, and how to deliver what you need in an affordable, comprehensive, personal and tailored way.

Military Portrait Photographer Liverpool & London

Headshots: One Stop Shop Package Options


The realm of headshot photography has become highly complex to those looking from the outside in. Knowing exactly what you are getting and what it will cost you can seem an elusive dream. This is why I believe in allowing my reputation, experience and previous shoots to speak for themselves, alongside simple yet comprehensive packages. This means you can easily choose the North West UK Headshot option that suits you best.


To achieve the best looks, you need to be relaxed and at ease. Therefore my sessions are usually around 2 hours: plenty of time to undertake hairstyle and clothing changes as necessary; time to explore studio and natural light (outdoor) shots; relaxed time over a coffee to review images as they are created to repeatedly check-in that we’re getting exactly what we need. The aim of Rory Lewis Portrait Sessions is to give you a tailor-made experience in a straightforward, upfront package. At the end of the session around 500 shots will have been taken, and you’ll quickly receive a reduced amount from which you can choose your favourites. I then believe communication is key and I work with you to touch up these images in line with your headshot requirements.

Portraitist copy

Rory Lewis Photography: Your One Stop Headshot Stop


If you’re in the North West, in the regions of Liverpool, Manchester or Leeds, and looking for a headshot shoot then I’m your man. I love what I do and that’s conveyed in all my work. I enjoy working with a vast range of individuals, bringing you what you want and need, within a simple, comprehensive, affordable package that is suitable for everyone.


To Book Please Email Me or Call 07717 139 637  For Availability


Abi’s Headshots

This was my first time have professional headshots taken and I found the experience really relaxing and professional experience.

Rory was friendly and considerate which put me to ease and allowed me to feel like I was doing it in the right way. I would recommend him.


Abi Actors Headshots, Rory Lewis Photographer Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds

Dani Actress Portfolio

Dani Actress & Model, booked a Portfolio session on Location at the Abode Hotel in Manchester. Dani wanted a portfolio which illustrated her acting and modelling talent, requesting a more editorial feel to her photoshoot.

Manchester Model Portfolios Rory Lewis Photographer

Manchester Model Portfolios Rory Lewis Photographer

Manchester Model Portfolios Rory Lewis Photographer

Manchester Model Portfolios Rory Lewis Photographer


Working With Actors

I am a Portrait Photographer, though I can’t afford to market myself solely as a Portrait Photographer I must shoot a wide variety of work from Models to Product Photography & Interiors.


Don’t get me wrong I enjoy being a general photographer every assignment is unique and exciting. However, I am a huge fan of Stage & Film. When I shoot people who aren’t Actors  I don’t enjoy it as much.


Actors in my opinion make the best models. Actors take direction effortlessly on camera, when I shoot an actor I try to bring their true character into the picture. I like to take the time to have a conversation getting to know the actor helping them feel at ease.

If i’m shooting an established actor I like to do my research. Some of the famous people I’ve photographed i’ve not know much about. I didn’t know a great deal about Emma Rigby, so before our shoot I watched some clips on Youtube and read some articles.

The Two RonniesAnother exciting opportunity presented to me was a shoot with Matt Littler & Darren Jeffries. Formally from Hollyoakes and Now Presenters for T4. Their Agent approached me to shoot them for a promotional portfolio update. Again I applied some research and looked at similar duo presenters like Ant & Dec and even the Two Ronnies who inspired the shot below. The shot really brings out the quirkiness of the guys.

It was film & stage that inspired me to become a photographer in the first place, and I strive each day as a professional photographer to shoot more & more exciting projects with Film & Stage Actors.


Recently Devon Beigan, young actress & recent Star of Casualty, arranged her first ever Headshot Session. It was fun to show the fun and serious side of her personality, shooting a broad variety of expressions to illustrate all aspects of Devon’s Character.

Devon Beigan © Rory Lewis 2012

In 2014, I will be holding my 2nd Exhibition and I will be approaching stars of stage & film to pose in several projects to help raise money for UNICEF. Last year’s 2012 Exhibition helped to raise £400 for Macmillan Cancer Support I hope to beat last years total and raise over £1000 for UNICEF. It is an amazing feeling to raise money for a good cause while doing something you enjoy.


If you are an Actor or Actress looking for headshots please take a look at my Comprehensive Package. Based in Liverpool and able to shoot in Manchester and Leeds & London.  A Photographer who can create headshots to make you stand out with casting directors. Proper Actors Headshots, that will illustrate your character and ability as an Actor.


How To Get The Most Out of Your Headshot Session

Devon Beigan Actress Headshots Rory Lewis Photographer Liverpool, Manchester

For an entertainment professional, or someone looking to get into the entertainment business, your headshots are one of the single most important investments you’ll ever make. More than just a photograph, they are, Indeed-in most cases, the difference between getting the job you want, or, spending another morning in your dressing gown watching people fail lie detectors on Jeremy Kyle.


Your headshots should simultaneously reflect you as a person on your best day, but also show your distinct ability to take on a whole new identity. Think less “Here’s actor X as a businessman”, and more “Here’s the businessman, Mr X”. Their narrative should be instantly recognisable, and they have to be very striking, yet subtle enough to be believable.


Headshots are deceptively complex. You’d be surprised just how much goes on above the shoulders; it can, and should, go way beyond letting the collar in the shot tell the casting director what roles you’re going for.


Take your “corporate” headshot for instance. You might think it’s enough to just throw on a shirt and tie, and sometimes, if you’re lucky, it might. Most of the time, though, it won’t be enough, so it’s important for you and the photographer to add some extra dimensions to the shot. This is achieved using angle, lighting, composition and facial expression. Let’s take it beyond the collar and tie and think about your motivation for this shot. Let’s pretend this is actually the job, not the session, and that you’re in character. You’ve got the part and this is your first day filming. Are you playing a young or older executive? Because that would possibly change how you’d be looking into the camera. Youth might imply a hint of arrogance, or, maybe if that’s too strong, a touch of pride. If you’re an older executive, this isn’t your first rodeo, so you might be quietly confident, relaxed and self-assured. Your motivation will show in your eyes, and if you get it right, you’ll have a believable headshot. Again, to stress, you don’t want a shot of you dressed as the character, you just want a shot of the character. The line between you and the role must be seamless.


But is that all? No, most definitely not. What about the mood of the shot? We create that with lighting. We use lighting to build on the narrative of you as an executive. When I think of an executive, I’m thinking of a brightly lit office, clean facial features and even, vibrant skin tones. I’m thinking your position in the photograph should be aspirational to those viewing it. Obviously, since it’s a headshot, we can’t have an office in the background, but we can use lighting to create that ambience. If we combine the right lighting with the right facial expression and the right clothing, if everything comes together for just one shot, then you have a winning headshot right there.


Then we tear the lights down and we move onto the next headshot. It’s hard work doing it right!


The same goes for every shot you take on the day throughout the clothing and scene changes. Meticulous planning and attention to detail is what gets you an amazing headshot.


So the opening wasn’t really advice as such, just a fairly broad description of what you can expect at a headshot session, and what will be expected of you.


Now onto what you need to bring with you for the session.



This one is simple: Whatever will help sell the illusion. You’ve probably got a good idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and the roles you intend to audition for, so bring any clothing that will compliment the characters you want to play.


Discuss with your agent before hand about what ‘looks’ you’re going for (corporate, parent, profile picture). They can help you get together both a list of the looks you want to achieve, and the things you’ll be using.


As a rule of thumb, no headshot session should be without the following:

  • Tie

  • Shirt (white or a soft, neutral colour)

  • Suit Jacket

  • Plain t-shirts/tops of varying colours, along with dark grey and white.

  • V-neck tops if you’re male


That’s assuming you’re going for something very standard, along with a couple of all-purpose profile headshots, that is about the minimum you’ll need. But don’t just bring that, or you’ll be in for a boring session! Bring anything you like, anything you love, anything that makes you feel good. Remember, this is about capturing you on your best day. If you think of something you want to bring, then think “Naah, that might be silly”, bring it anyway! I cannot stress enough that you absolutely can not, under any circumstances, ever bring too much stuff to a session. The more variety in your clothing, the more variety in your headshots.

Make a list of everything you’ll likely need, and pack it all in a bag, freshly washed, the night before.

If you’re shooting with specific roles in mind, then consider clothing to suit that role’s time-period, and if you don’t have any, get to the charity shops! I’m not saying you should rock up to the studio dressed like Henry VIII, but attention to detail can add that extra edge to the shot. What I’m really saying is that if you’re auditioning for a role in Pride and Prejudice, don’t bring the clothes you’d expect to wear in an episode of Casualty.



This is a list of things that sweeten the deal and give you a bit more control over your output.

Shaving cream
Hair gel/mousse/etc
Make up (Nothing heavy, just the basics. Foundation for men is good)
Lip balm

Just a few things there that will help you hold your sheen for the whole shoot.



Not everything works for headshots, and often, it can detract from the final result. Here are some things to leave at home:

Contact lenses (Especially ones that change your eye colour)
Wide open V-neck tops if you’re female
Makeup or foundation that is powder based (Can be a nightmare to retouch if it starts flaking!)
Generally anything that is deep blue or black
High collars that hide the neck[/list] That list is not exhaustive, but those can be followed as a general rule.




If you’re going out clubbing the night before your session, I’m sad to say that it probably won’t be beneficial to the shoot. In a perfect world, you’d moonwalk up to the studio at 9am after 3 hours sleep and nail the session with the same grace you showed on the dancefloor as you cut rugs three hours previous. Unfortunately, unless you’re auditioning for a part in Eastenders, the tar-black dustbin liner eye bags and the expression of perpetual mental anguish is likely to detract from the headshots you take.


So make sure you’re well rested. Drink plenty of water the night before and moisturise in the days leading up to the shoot. That goes for men as well!


If you’re male and the headshots call for you to be clean shaven, do so carefully. Use a sharp razor and moisturise afterwards, because razor burn is a bugger to remove in Photoshop.


Whether male or female, make sure your hair has been washed and conditioned the evening before, and in most instances, it’s best to avoid styling it until you arrive at the session. Once everything has been discussed, you’re then in a better position to work out how you want your hair. Same for men and shaving. Try to shave at the studio if you can, because a bit of stubble can work really well for certain headshots, and if you’re prone to the previously mentioned razor burn, you might be able to shoot before it appears.




If, the evening before, you find yourself pacing the room and hurling random expletives into the mirror at a brand new spot, zit or pimple, I’m here to tell you it’s not the end of the world. Pimples, spots, blemishes, and anything that is considered temporary (as in, it won’t be there next week) can be flawlessly removed in photoshop.


Don’t be discouraged if the shoot isn’t going how you expected it to. Every session is a journey, and expecting to walk in there and start nailing headshots first time is a recipe for disaster. Stay relaxed, stay focused, have fun, and let it all come naturally.



Bring loads of clothes, wash your hair, and get a good night’s sleep!

Lauren Flanagan

Lauren is a new actor from Liverpool and these were her first headshots. Love how these turned out!

Alan Walsh

This is Alan Walsh, an actor from Liverpool. Alan was one of my last clients this year, before I take some time off, and what a great way to go out. He was easy to work with, took direction brilliantly, and didn’t tire, which is another bonus. You need to have stamina for headshots!