ImageMaker Studio

Tom Stio, Photographer

Tom Stio is well-known for his professional headshots of singers, actors, and other performing artists, as well as his extraordinary images of musicians with their instruments. Click on a category below for many more examples of the exceptional images Tom can create for you!
All images © Tom Stio. Unauthorized use of any images on this site is strictly prohibited.

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Headshots for Performers
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Musicians with their Instruments
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What makes Tom's headshots so special?

You've probably seen some "Headshots" which looked more like wedding portraits or high school senior photos than professional headshots. That's because most photographers specialize in shooting weddings and families, and haven't learned the nuances involved in creating a genuine professional headshot.

Tom doesn't shoot weddings or families; he began his career by shooting professional headshots, and it is still his major specialty. Tom realizes that a great headshot is much more than a photo that makes you look good: It's actually one of the most important marketing tools you have to help open doors and further your career. To do this, a great headshot has to communicate those unique qualities of your personality that make you so special!

The creation of a great headshot is a collaboration between the performer and the photographer, and it's a process that can't be rushed. When you come for your session, we'll take the time to find out who you are and what you want, and then we'll design a productive, non-hurried session to achieve exactly the kinds of images you need. To us, the essence of a great headshot is a great expression, and we'll structure your session so you'll feel confident in your ability to produce a variety of good expressions. Combining this confidence with the other unique facets of your personality will result in a visually compelling head shot that gets you noticed and gives you a competitive edge.

Head Shot FAQ's:

What's included in a Headshot Package?

Every Headshot Package includes your Studio Session, editing of the resulting photos down to the best couple of dozen or so images, professional digital retouching of your choice of one or more photos, and the retouched photos supplied to you as digital files and/or prints. Images can be color or B/W, or both.

You have a choice of two Headshot Packages: the Single Session will last about 90 minutes, and we'll take about 100 shots of you. The Double Session will last about 2-3 hours minutes, and we'll take about 200 shots of you. The Single Session is usually sufficient for those who need just one or two final images: the Double Session is best for those who need several different types of shots.

Rather than give you all the photos from a session, we'll take the time to edit the photos for you, weeding out shots with closed eyes and mediocre expressions. The proofs you'll see will include only the best shots in a variety of different looks, which will make your job of selecting the best head shot much easier than if you had to go through every single shot we took.

What's a Session like?

Before the shooting begins, we'll take a little time to get to know each other a little. We want to find out who you are, how you'd like to come across, and exactly how you plan to use the headshots. We may look at some examples of other headshots to clarify what head shot styles and 'looks' you like or don't like. Then we'll custom-tailor every aspect of the session, including lighting and backgrounds, to best achieve the results you want.

We'll be shooting digitally, so once we begin shooting, we'll stop now and then to look through the images we've created. You be amazed at how relaxed and in control you'll feel when you can actually see the results as we go along! We won't waste a good part of a session shooting in one outfit or lighting setup, only to find out later that it doesn't really flatter you. By viewing the images as we go along, changes in wardrobe, hair, lighting, or camera angle can be made right on the spot, and shots you don't like can be immediately deleted. The end result is that we'll end up with a lot more great shots for you to choose from!

How should I prepare for the session? What should I bring?

Make sure you arrive at the session on-time and well-rested: you won't be looking your best if you arrive tired from lack of sleep, or frazzled from rushing here late. Have your hair and/or makeup already done as you'd like it - you can do last-minute touch-ups before and during the session. If you're a musician and want images with your instrument, be sure to bring it along! As for clothes, that will vary with the type of performer you are, and how formal or casual you want to be. I usually suggest that you bring at least 3 or 4 different outfits or tops: this allows us to achieve several different looks, and will give you the option of changing if we decide a particular wardrobe item isn't working. You may also want to bring along some music CDs to play while we shoot - this can help set the right mood, and help you feel more relaxed.

Do I need to use a makeup artist?

We have shot hundreds of performers without using a makeup artist or stylist, and the results we achieve have been stellar for the most part. Look through our portfolio of headshots on this website: we only used a stylist for perhaps a couple of them, although some other customers did have their hair done before they arrived. We generally feel that by paying attention to grooming details while we shoot, by concentrating on the customer's expression and personality, and by fine-tuning the final images with expert digital retouching, excessive concern with hair or makeup is usually unnecessary for a head shot. But the final decision is yours: if you wish to use a stylist, we can recommend one whom you may bring to the session or visit before you arrive.

Can I bring along a friend or relative to the session?

You can certainly bring along someone to the session; please be aware, however, that they will not be allowed in the studio while we are shooting. The main reason for this is that we will need to establish a certain rapport and work very closely together during the session, in order for you to produce the most confident and interesting poses and expressions. In my experience and that of many other photographers, other persons in the studio are always a distraction, no matter how "quiet" they say they will be. We all want your session to be as successful as possible, so if you need someone to accompany you to the session, please make them aware that they will need to remain in the waiting area outside the studio for the entire length of the session.

How are payments handled?

Payment in full for any Head Shot Package is due at the time of the session. Payment for any additional prints or digital files is due at the time you receive them. Payments can be made by cash or personal checks (sorry, we don't currently accept credit or debit cards), and of course, your satisfaction is fully guaranteed.

Do you guarantee your work?

Yes, unlike most photographers, we guarantee your complete satisfaction! If you are not satisfied with the images we create, we will either re-shoot you or refund your money. Your satisfaction with our prints or digital files is also completely guaranteed. We won't be satisfied unless you're so thrilled with your head shots that you go off telling all your friends about us! And in fact, a large percentage of our customers come to us because they are recommended by a friend or colleague.