Japan 2017 – Day 4 – March 21

Day 4 was a long one for poor Squi. Kaz and John Jack were teaching and in meetings a lot of the day and into the evening. Some of the time I was able to take him out and walk around and try not to get lost. We came up with a game where we would walk and every block or so I would take a photo of where we came from so we could find our way back. Much better than bread crumbs. I still am not sure how to do it in a way that shows me where to turn left or right unless I make notes. I’m working on it.
Squi enjoyed this game and wanted to play it everywhere we went in Japan but it doesn’t work so well on a bullet train!

It was mostly a day of sitting and trying to behave while Kaz and John Jack lectured but since Squi is only 4 and I have such a juvenile sense of humor, we are dangerous to have around for any length of time.

Los Angeles headshot photographer Michael Helms in Japan

los angeles headshot photographer
Squi got so bored he fell asleep, which is not a good thing to do around us. We have a tradition of, when he goes to sleep in a public place, we stack things on his forehead and take a photo. We have tons of photos of the poor little guy passed out with various things stacked up. I’m not sure what these things are – maybe mochi or rice cakes or some kind of cookie. The stack fell over twice and hit him in the face before we got it to stand but he never woke up.

Los Angeles headshot photographer Michael Helms in Japan

Kaz and John Jack spoke to some students at Digital Hollywood and it went so well, they were invited back to have a meeting with the head honcho for future projects. I think it will be a great connection and students from there are going to come take some cases at the Stella Adler Acting Academy here in Hollywood. John Jack is quite the statesman. Stella Adler couldn’t ask for a better PR person than him, especially if Kaz is along also…quite the team. Although I will say, John Jack in his tireless ambition is happy to hang out and answer all the myriad questions that actors throw at him. Being from the South, he answers in a way I would call “thorough”. Sometimes this thoroughness goes on for a while, at which point some of us who shall remain unnamed would remark,”Jesus Jack!”. After a few days of teaching and meetings, he became known as “Jesus Jack” and now owns a special pair of chopsticks with his new name on them. Well earned, my dear friend!

The best tour advice always comes from the cab driver.   So after the workshop, we hopped on to a cab, and asked him “Take us to the best steakhouse that is open this late!”

Los Angeles Photographer
Back at our Air BnB, we chatted more about future plans and went to bed happy and full of amazing Japanese food and sake!

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Las Vegas – March 19 & 20, 2014

I will be shooting for the Model & Talent Experts again this month!  It is almost full – but if you’d like to book – please book via Amber – Model and Talent Experts!

Also, Kaz will be teaching the on-camera acting class on Wed. night.

To reserve your spot – log on www.actinLA.com. 

I will be there, too!  So come out!

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Squicken’s Peaceful Demonstration

With the Federal government shut down last month, Squicken, decided to launch a one toddler peaceful protest.  He dressed as homeless to protest the shut down of the WIC program during the two weeks that children couldn’t get food and formula.

Los Angeles Photographer Michael Helms

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Headshot Photography Workshop 2016

Special Intensive Weekend Workshop:

Saturday, April 23 & Sunday, April 24 – 10 AM to 6 PM

Two Days for $375 (Repeat Student $150)

Individual Workshop:
Introduction $120
Basic: $150
Intermediate: $200
Seminar: “Starting up your photography business”: $120

Question? email

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Headshot Photography Workshop –

Special Intensive Weekend Workshop:

Saturday, September 14 –
Sunday, September 15 –
(9 AM to 5 PM)

Saturday, 9 AM to 12 noon – Introduction
Saturday, 1 PM to 5 PM – Basic 

Sunday, 9 AM to 12 noon – Intermediate
Sunday, 1 PM to 5 PM – “Starting up as a business” / Special Guests

Two Days for $350

Individual Workshop:
Introduction $120
Basic: $150
Intermediate: $200
Seminar: “Starting up your photography business”: $120

Question?  email

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Actors’ Headshot – Marketing

There are some distinct advantages to being in this business for 40 years. One is simply experience. The other is an awareness of evolutionary changes in marketing. In other words – the way head shots have changed over the years and what is current.

One simple fact is that very few actors really understand their chosen art form is a business. Very few actors are able to look in the mirror and OBJECTIVELY figure out how to market their product because their product is themselves. For all of us, seeing ourselves objectively is difficult at best.

Also, this marketing has evolved over the years.

The internet has hugely influenced the way head shots are done nowadays. Since your image will be relatively small and on a page full of other head shots, it is important to make you photo stand out.

Remember: This is the size of your pic Casting Directors would see when they are looking at submissions:

Los Angeles Actors headshot Julie by Michael Helms

This is Cute – but it would get “lost” in the pile:

One way to do that is wear very colorful clothing and have colorful backgrounds in your image.

Another way is to be as high profile as possible and have a Twitter account, Facebook, a personal web site, and any other social media.

My friend, Jim Beaver, is great example.

His FaceBook is filled with contents about his career and his interests.   His SuperNatural fans dig his Twitter updates, too.

Another GREAT example is a great stage actor Bill Oberst Jr.  (Google him!)  His Website is VERY ENTERTAINING.

The internet is a wonderful thing but it also requires actors to put time into their careers more than ever.

Look at lots of other head shots. Make sure what you are about to shoot isn’t dated but is current.

Your photographer should also know what is current, how to shoot your head shot so it looks professional and marketable, and give you at least 3 “looks” to work with.

Be aware… all things evolve… even head shots!

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Photography Workshop – Saturday, January 26, 2013

Los Angeles actors headshot photography workshop by michael helms

For one day only – Sign Up today – CLICK HERE

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

1) What are the hours of the workshop?

The hours of the workshop will be 9:00 A.M Till Sunset Saturday January 26, 2013 

2) What kind of photography experience should I have before attending?

Intermediate level photographers with a basic understanding of Adobe Lightroom and brief knowledge of Adobe Photoshop

3) What equipment do i need for the workshop?

A digital SLR, wide to medium focal range lenses, shoe mount flash unit i.e Nikon SB-24-Sb-900 or Canon 580ex speedlight, laptop (preferable) with Adobe Lightroom installed, and a willingness to change the way you shoot forever.

4) What clothing should i wear?

Casual

5) Who will benefit most from this workshop?

Persons interested in improving their off camera lighting, composition, and post production skills for Wedding and Portrait Photography

6) How much does the workshop cost?

The Workshop is 475.00 U.S.D, a 150.00 non-refundable deposit will be collected at the time of reserving your spot. The day of the Workshop the rest will be due the morning of.

 7) Where is the Workshop being held?

Michael Helms Photography Studio 10349 Siesta Drive  Shadow Hills, CA 91040

8) How many persons will be attending the Workshop?

We are taking up to 20 students

9) What is planned in the Workshop curriculum?

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Re-post – Japan Trip 2011 – Day One 11/11/11

Los Angeles Photographer Michael Helms goes to JapanTime is certainly displaced. We’re not really suffering jet lag but it’s obvious our bodies are weirded out by being here.
My girlfriend and I traveled today to Atsugi, about an hour train ride from Tokyo. We had some business to take care of there. It was a bit frustrating because we couldn’t get everything done we needed to, but the traveling to and from was delightful.
I was amazed, looking out the train window, there was not ONE piece of litter. I think we traveled 20 miles or more before I saw so much as a tissue paper beside the tracks. The Japanese, even in the less affluent areas, are incredibly tidy.
During the morning commute, the subway trains are packed so full there are literally uniformed individuals called “pushers” whose job it is to shove people into the cars as tightly as possible. As the doors slide shut they get very aggressive and carry out their job of sardine commuter packing very seriously… and they do it with smiles and white gloves and a charm that everyone not only tolerates but respects.
Los Angeles Photographer Michael Helms goes to Japan with Kaz and Jim BeaverIt seems there is a favored practice here, especially in Tokyo, if one desires to remove himself from the gene pool, to use a swiftly moving subway train as an exit strategy. Flinging oneself in front of said speeding subway is pretty effective and dependable. It’s also an efficacious way of thumbing one’s nose at those left behind because there is a hefty fine levied on the surviving family of the jumper. Today we sat in the subway for an extra 7 minutes so the cleanup crews could gather parts and pieces of some disgruntled soul. I don’t think “cleanup crew” is a job I would ever apply for. I prefer to interact with human beings with all their parts assembled correctly and firmly attached. What amazes me is we were only delayed 7 minutes…these guys clean up fast! In Japan it is disgraceful to be late, so perhaps this manner of suicide has more implications than the obvious.
We continued our journey and it was amusing to see modern architecture blended in among old old temples. We passes mile after mile of packed high rise apartment buildings. It terrifies me to imagine what a lethal virus could do in Tokyo.
We did have a short bit of entertainment from a psychotic dude on the train. Seems a few of his personalities were along for the ride and they decided it was a good time to announce he was gonna take a singing test. He then became his teacher and said a few corrective words, then went back to being “himself” and proceeded to sing for us all. It was short and ceased to be amusing after the third or fourth time through his recital. But it was a way to pass time as we sat waiting for arms and legs to be tossed into plastic bags somewhere down the tracks.
Then there are all these young Japanese girls in school girl outfits. Perhaps it is the better part of discretion not to comment here.. Geeeeeeez
Los Angeles Photographer Michael Helms at Budokan with Jim Beaver Tonight we went to Budo Kan and saw Def Tech. I had no idea what either of those things were but there I was shooting photos of the whole thing. It was loud, young, and Def Tech certainly seemed well received.  Maybe I’m getting old but I’m truly not impressed by electronics. BUT there were some tunes they played that made it obvious there was talent on stage. Guess I’m an old fart… I just LIKE rock and roll.
After the concert we took a long stroll in the rain and went to a little hole in the wall restraint I love here in Tokyo. If you’ve never had shishito peppers….yum…. get some!
I passed on the horse sashimi.
I am here with my girlfriend and my dear friend, Jim Beaver, who is one of the lead cast members of a TV show called “Supernatural”. I’ve know Jim many years and it’s fun to see his career doing so well. He gets recognized a lot here in Japan and he said there was a “small mob” waiting for him when he got off the plane here. How do people find out these things??
Tomorrow night there is a dinner here for him… a bit of PR for the show.
More later… Asahi  in Japan, mmmm….good beer.

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