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Q&A with Celebrity Photographer Deidhra Fahey

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Bio taken from the Official Deidhra Fahey Photography Website

Deidhra Fahey has been a professional photographer for over twenty years. She earned her initial ten years of experience on the East Coast in New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts and has spent the subsequent years in California where she been afforded the privilege of photographing many working actors as well as aspiring ones. Some of Deidhra’s working actors photographed include: Jennifer Lawrence, Mila Kunis, Megan Fox, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, Chloe Bridges, Josh Hutcherson, Britt Robertson, Joey King, Stefanie Scott, Ainsley Bailey, Jordan Fisher, Mackenzie Foy, Kaitlyn Maher, Samantha Logan, Camille Winbush, Kyla Pratt, Mitchel Musso, Devon Werkheiser, Lauren Storm, Courtnee Draper, Jeremy Sumpter, Shawn Pyfrom, Alli Grant, and Lavain Green to name a few.

 

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey / Jennifer Lawrence

1. What has been the most rewarding experience so far in your career? What is your most memorable photography session?

It’s always rewarding when you can make a living loving what you do. Every day I get to work with passionate, ambitious, and beautifully talented people that are following their dreams. Being a part of their journey to stardom and watching their dreams come true is beyond rewarding.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with amazing people. I’ve had many. Sessions where I know that they are going to make it in this business. It truly is a magic moment. When I would shoot Megan Fox, Mila and Jenn, they were always so fun, playful and avant-garde, but most of all passionate about their dreams. It was fun not knowing what was going to happen, but when it did… Magic.

 

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey / Megan Fox

2. How do you feel when you shoot an actors first headshot and then see them on a major network tv show or film?

I usually find it hard to contain my excitement so I tell whoever is within hearing distance, (usually my dogs, Bear and Penny), then I text to congratulate them, tweet, and whatever else I can think of. Then I sit back and enjoy their talent.  I love my clients like my family. I want to see all of them succeed. If I were a Genie, I’d grant all of them their wish of a big break and give them the part. There’s a special moment , during the first session, when the excitement overwhelms you, because you both realize we got THE one shot THE MONEY shot , that we know captures that person’s personality, their essence, that will help them break through the clutter. Seeing that moment translate into results—and knowing that I was a part of the team that got them there is brilliant.

 

3. What are some tips you have for actors who are preparing for their headshot session?

There are some pretty standard things that I tell my clients to consider before their session like:

a) Drink plenty of water in the week leading up to your headshot session—it will help your skin appear smooth and clear. No Chinese food, or Sushi, you’ll get puffy.
b) Remember to wear plain and simple clothing. You don’t want a casting director’s eyes being drawn to your clothing—you want them looking at you!
c) But, most of all, bring your personality. That’s the only thing you can’t fix in photoshop!

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey / Jes Macallan

4.  What are your thoughts on photo retouching?  Do you have limitations with retouching? What are some of the most bizarre photo retouching requests you have received?

When it comes to photo retouching, I’m a minimalist. With digital photography, there is always going to be a need for slight retouching afterwards—particularly color and exposure correcting—but at the end of the day, I’m focused on making sure that the person in the headshot is the person that walks through that casting director’s door—because that’s also what they want. Less is best.

Nowadays, there is really nothing you can’t retouch. But, the one limitation that I tell all my clients: “You can’t photoshop a personality”. No amount of retouching is going to help bring that out in a headshot. Be comfortable in your perfection and imperfections. You’re unique, and we need to relay that through your shots.

I don’t do retouching—I work with some great people that do it very well—but I have had people ask me to:

a. Give them hair (when they are bald)
b. Give them 2 right/left eyes (because they were different shapes)
c. Give them Matt Damon’s ears or another famous person’s lips/nose.

 

5. In your opinion what makes great headshot?

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey

I can’t say it enough—a great personality. The fact it looks like you, and the purity of your emotions That makes your headshot infectious. When you look at a great headshot, the viewer ends up feeling whatever the person in the headshot is feeling—happiness, joy, vulnerability. When a headshot can evoke an emotion—you know you got a winner.

6. What are your thoughts on film and digital images? Do you have a preference? What are the pros and cons of each?

The artist in me loves film—it’s pure, clean, brilliant and there is a special nostalgia that makes it timeless. professionally, I really need the flexibility and instantaneous of digital.

With film, the colors in your pictures are pure and clean—and what you see is most likely what you’ll get. However, film can be quite expensive, and time consuming.

When you use digital, your result can vary greatly from what you see through the viewer. Digital lets a lot of light in and is constantly correcting/adjusting itself—so you don’t have as much control over the result as you do with film. But, digital allows that instant gratification that is extremely important in this industry. I can take a few shots, look at the results, and then determine right away with the client what is working and what isn’t. This is a fast-paced industry that is constantly changing—my clients need quick turnarounds for their headshots and digital is the only option for that.

 

 

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey

7. Do you use any special techniques to get actors to emote through their eyes when shooting? How do you find each individuals best angle?

I’m a method photographer haha. In all seriousness, Every client is unique and one “technique might work with one person and not the other. Because of the diversity, I take 15-20 minutes with each client before the session to get to know them. Their pros and cons, their loves and hates, their insecurities and their triumphs. I’m pretty good at identifying with clients so during the session I use the information from that 15-20 minutes to pull it out of them.

8. Tell us about some of your upcoming projects

I love to travel. And I’m fortunate enough to work in a profession where I can work and travel at the same time. So, over the next 4 months, I’m looking forward to shoots in Dallas, New Mexico and New York.

 

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey / Mila Kunis

Headshot by Deidhra Fahey / Mila Kunis

9. At what age did you develop a passion for photography? When did you being your career as a professional photographer?

Very early, 8. My parents had a family-owned weekly newspaper. My brothers and I were heavily involved in the running of the paper—we were the writers, we took the pictures, did the printing etc. My passion was to be a photo journalist—and that’s what I eventually studied in school.

Technically, I guess you can say ever since I worked on that family-owned newspaper. But, it wasn’t until my kids got into the business in ‘97, and needed headshots, that I started to do headshots professionally. Agents loved the headshots I did of my kids, so they started referring their other clients to me—and that’s how I got my start.

 

10. What style of photography do you enjoy shooting the most?

Deidhra Fahey

Deidhra Fahey

I love headshots—they are my passion. But, when I first started as a photojournalist, I loved shooting people (I’m a “people photographer”) Like with my headshots, I wanted to capture the true essence of what I was seeing in the shot—I wanted to capture the moment as it really was, while it was happening. I’m passionate about my work, my clients and their needs, and it seems to be working…

12 Comments

  1. Sandra

    September 20, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    WOW HAYLIE DUFF IS GORG!

  2. Amanda G. Robertson

    September 21, 2015 at 1:45 am

    Deidhra’s the best in the business!

    • DeanneMUA

      September 30, 2015 at 12:01 pm

      I AGREE WITH THAT!

  3. MarkRs

    September 21, 2015 at 5:11 pm

    MEGAN FOXXXXXX

  4. Krista

    September 21, 2015 at 5:13 pm

    what an amazing photog
    !

  5. Taylor Hay

    September 23, 2015 at 5:27 pm

    LOVE Deidhra and her work. She’s my go to headshot photographer!

  6. Ainsley

    September 23, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    I’ve had the pleasure of shooting with Deidhra many times, she’s wonderful!

  7. Heather

    September 23, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Having had pictures taken with Deidhra I can say that not only is she completely professional, but she’s also so sweet and the pictures come out gorgeous! Do yourself a favor and hire her for headshots. Your future acting jobs will thank you!

  8. Cait

    September 24, 2015 at 12:09 am

    Deidhra is absolutely incredible, and I am SO BLESSED to have found her! No one else can make me look as great as she does!

  9. Tori

    September 24, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    So cool seeing the shots that got them casted before they were famous!

    • DeanneMUA

      September 30, 2015 at 12:02 pm

      I know! Megan is gorgeous!

  10. Heather Eddy

    June 6, 2016 at 5:00 am

    I have known Deidhra for over 30 years, and this girl is such an amazing talent, and has such a HUGE light-filled personality, that it would be impossible NOT to get a great headshot. Look, she has total passion for her work, and could very easily charge much more, but, she doesnt because shes the real deal. We love her so much!

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