Frequently Asked Questions | KAMBO | London Portrait + Headshot Photographer, Brixton, London
Where is your studio?
I use a wonderful space in Brixton called Studio Z. It’s about 5 minutes walk from Brixton tube station, under the railway arches. It has an infinity cove, lots of coloramas. And there’s a lounge area right next to the shoot space. So arrive early, I’ll make you some tea, and you can get relaxed before the shoot begins!
So how much does a portrait/headshot session cost?
My highly competitive rates are on my bookings page.
Do you have a make up artist or stylist that can help me look my best before the shoot?
No, afraid not. At Studio Z in Brixton, there is a changing room, and you are welcome to arrive early for your shoot and get ready there.
What should I wear?
Depending on if it's a corporate headshot or an artistic portrait, you might want to adopt either a formal or casual look. If you're not sure, you can bring a change of clothes. As most of the work I do is head and shoulders shots, a change of top is most important.

But whether formal or casual, and however many changes of top you bring, I would say that you should avoid strong patterns (as these can overwhelm an image and detract from the focus, which should be your face!), and also please avoid logos and text, as these are also distracting details.
So what's the difference between a portrait and a headshot?
Well, it's complicated. They can overlap in terms of their aesthetics and style. The main difference is not so much the style, but the purpose.
A headshot is something you would want for professional reasons, for example your LinkedIn profile. While there are no strict rules, and it depends on what industry you work in, generally a headshot will be a head and shoulders shot of you looking directly at the camera, perhaps with a smile. It will probably be brightly lit.
Whereas a portrait take a more artistic approach. It might be bright or dark, it might be a head and shoulders shot, or from waist level or full length. And in my view - although this isn't a strict rule either - you don't smile in portraits, and you don't look at the camera.I see portraits as about capturing people in contemplation, as if they are alone with their thoughts. Whereas smiling is a performance for others, and looking at the camera 'breaks the fourth wall' because you are acknolwedging that you are being looked at.
Is 90 minutes enough for a portrait or headshot shoot?
An hour-and-a-half is a good amount of time for us to explore what you want, and for us to do a couple of different set ups and styles. We will definitely be able to create a good portrait or headshot in that time. 
But you can book a three hour session if you want to do lots of outfit changes and get photos with different styles and looks (e.g. bright 'high key' headshots as well as darker 'low key' artistic portraits). Or if you want to share the session with a friend (so that you'll each get 90 minutes, and you will each pay less than if you were to separately book a 90 minute session each). My rates are on my booking page.
What's your approach to taking portraits and headshots? How do you get people to relax?
Well, I won't say 'Try to relax'. Instead, you'll just come into the studio and feel the good vibes, and I'll make you some tea, and it will all be good.
I'll first shoot some standard poses, and then as we both relax into it, and depending on what you want to get out of the shoot, we can experiment. A portrait photographer and their 'sitter' are co-creators. I won't make your portrait - we will make your portrait. My job is to quickly build rapport and trust with you, so that we can have a productive and enjoyable session together.
I want you to capture the real me. Can you do that?
I don't know you, so probably not (I mean, do you even know you, really?) A lot of photographers talk about capturing the real you. But Richard Avedon, one of the great portrait photographers, answered this question better than I ever could. He said "My photographs don’t go below the surface. They don’t go below anything. They’re readings of what’s on the surface. I have great faith in surfaces. A good one is full of clues."
How many shots will I get from the shoot?
I will send you all the images from the shoot (probably around 30-90 shots depending on how long the shoot is). These will be low resolution previews without any colour correction or retouching.

You can then select three image for me to retouch, and I'll provide these to you as high res print files and as low res web files too. These corrected images are included in the cost of your booking.

If you want additional images retouched, it costs as follows:
2-9 additional images: £15 per image
10+ additional images: £12 per image
What kind of retouching do you do?
Mostly I experiment with contrast, brightness and the tonal range of images, to create the right feel.

I try to keep images looking realistic. So I don't do extensive airbrushing to give you impossibly smooth and plastic-looking skin. Neither do I remove skin blemishes, because we all have them, and again, I don't want to feed into a negative beauty culture by creating images of people looking flawless. That's what commercial fashion photographers do, but it's not what a portrait or headshot photographer generally does.

But if you get a pimple on your nose the day of the shoot, then yes, I can remove something like that for you!
Can I decide what kind of portrait you create for me?
When you arrive at the shoot, we can definitely talk about things like suitable backgrounds (e.g. a brightly lit full length shot of you in front of a white infinity cove backdrop, or a low lit close up of you with a black backdrop). But ultimately, a portrait sitting tends to be more organic than that and I think it's better to just trust the process, and we may create something that was not what you had in mind, but might be just as good, if not better!
Do you shoot portraits and headshots on location as well as in a studio?
If you want a portrait or headshot shoot in your office, or at home, or some other setting, I offer a 90 minute session (which includes about 15 minutes for setting up lights).

Bear in mind though, for public settings I wouldn't be able to use studio lights (while my studio lights are battery powered, and very mobile and lightweight, we would need to get permission from your local council to set up a full 'outdoor studio' shoot in public). So, while I can definitely do a portrait or headshot shoot in public, it will be just with a camera, and perhaps an on-camera flash.

Go to the bookings page for my location shoot rates.
Can you do corporate headshots for a whole staff team?
Yes! If you want to book me to do corporate headshots of a staff team, I can build a quote for you, but indicatively a half day team headshot session will be around £475. Go to the bookings page for more info.

Do I have copyright over my portrait and headshot photos?
The simple answer is YES (but the more nuanced legalistic answer is that you are given a full licence to use and print your images). If you pay me to take photographs, they are YOUR photographs. I will provide your files in high resolution.
I need to cancel or reschedule? Is that OK?
To book a studio sitting, you will need to pay a £75 deposit when you book, and the balance of the fee on the day of the session.

You can cancel or postpone up to 14 days before the date of your session to get a full refund.

After that, the £75 deposit is non-refundable. The reason I can’t refund the deposit is that the studio cancellation rates are set at 28 days.

If you really can’t make the date, the only thing I can do to avoid you having to forfeit any money is for us to schedule a non-studio portrait session, and your deposit can go towards that. Email me at with dates that you are available.
Are you insured as a photographer, in case, you know, I decide to sue you?
Professional photographers should have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance. It’s important for you that your photographer is insured, for example in case of accidents (e.g. if you trip over a tripod and break your leg). If your photographer is not insured, in some circumstances it can mean that you are liable for accidents that involve a photographer you have hired). I can send you these on request.