Portrait and editorial photography is our favorite assignment as it allows us maximum creative liberty.
“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”. – Aristotle


CK Headshots Atlanta offers portrait and editorial photography for personal use, commercial use and print and web publication. Wether it be a portrait for the back jacket of a book, a conceptual shoot for an album or feature in a magazine, CK Headshots is dedicated to providing the most unique, thoughtful, and well-crafted portrait and editorial photography in the region. We understand that a portrait or editorial is meant to capture more than what’s on the surface, but the inner soul of a subject. We’ve done shoots for publication big and small, web and print, and people of all walks of life: entrepreneurs, homemakers, cooks, authors, athletes and entertainers to name a few. Some of our clients include Coca-Cola, Entrepreneur, Forbes, D’Addario, The Cooks Cook, and many more. All of our photography and retouching is done by our owner, a 20 year veteran professional photographer, filmmaker and general creative.


Portrait and editorial shoots are unique in that they often allow more room for creative interpretation than the mostly utilitarian standard headshot. Aristotle said “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”. If you remove the word art and replace it with portrait, the quote works just the same—simply because great portraits are art. The essence of a good portrait, like good art, is to capture both the internal and external likeness of a subject. While a headshot focuses mostly on the external qualities, a good portrait or editorial attempts to reveal more about the internal qualities of a subject. A photographer achieves this, just like any other visual artist, by using things like shape, color, composition and metaphor. My first foray into the art world was as an oil painter. I then took up music, and went on to study theatre and film in college. I learned that the essence of art stays the same regardless of medium. The visual arts, literary arts and music are essentially the same. Of course the particulars very from medium to medium, but the qualities of the final product find their merit in the same essential qualities. While conflict, contrast, juxtaposition, may enter though different senses, but are processed to the same result. So suppose this is a very long winded way of saying a good portrait photographer is a good artist.

OK, so how do we get there?

Really it comes down to a few things: communicate what you hope to achieve as best you can; follow some easy basic guidelines and take very simple direction. I’ll start with the basic guidelines: Hair: Fixing your hair as you normally would is perfectly acceptable. If there’s a particular do you prefer that you can’t achieve on your own I would suggest going to your typical do-artist before the session. Flyaways, small gaps or subtle shifts, etc. can be taken care of during the shoot or while post-processing. Make-up: Again, applying basic make-up as you normally would is perfectly acceptable. Remember, this is more like a documentary we’re making than a Kabuki musical. Don’t over do it! Wardrobe: First, if you’re stuck, just ask. I’m happy to answer questions about these things. But it’s not all that complicated. Simple is best. Wardrobe should never take the focus from your face, but at most should subtly compliment it, which is most often achieved by color. A solid top that compliments your eyes is nice. Avoid low necklines and busy patterns. Color is not bad. However I would suggest bringing a more muted alternate just in case. Overthinking, over planning — putting too much thought in to hair and make-up and wardrobe, etc. is to be avoided. A actor headshot should be far closer to a documentary style editorial portrait than a fashion photo. Yes looking your best is important. Fix your hair like you normally would – put on the basic make-up, but don’t put too much into it. Blemishes, most hair issues, can be fixed or adjusted on the fly, a stressed out subject, constantly worried that something has been missed, is much harder to fix.

What do I mean by take very simple direction? First — You don’t need to know how to “pose”. In fact, often, posing ends up doing more bad than good. When I say take very simple direction I mean I’ll guide you through every step of the process with simple tweaks to your natural sitting or standing posture. If you’re really experienced and prefer to “pose” yourself, that’s perfectly fine, I certainly won’t argue with you. But generally speaking, it usually goes like this: You sit or stand in what ever position feels natural and comfortable. I take a few test shots. I then offer you some posture direction — usually small tweaks that enhance your posture for camera. For example: Shift your weight forward or back; Straighten your upper body; Relax or pull back your shoulders; Turn your head more toward me; Etc. After you’ve established a feel for a good posture I work with you on expression. My goal here is to help you engage with the camera — not unlike you would do on a film set. Again, if you know how you want to do this, go for it. If I feel like we should tweak it a bit for the camera, I’ll let you know. I have a few techniques I walk clients through to achieve an engaged and fresh looking expression.


CK Headshots offers a basic non-commercial portrait package, a basic commercial package and a basic commercial editorial package. If you have questions about commercial image licensing please contact for details. For complex portraits requiring extensive sets or props, heavy retouching or compositing please contact for details. For large scale editorial shoots please contact us for pricing.



2 hours at a location of your choice. Includes 2 final retouched images. 

$75.00 for each additional retouched image. Fee to release all additional proofs is negotiable but not included.



Half a day at a location of your choice. Includes 2 final retouched images.

$75.00 for each additional retouched image. Fee to release all additional proofs is negotiable but not included.



1 – 1.5 HOUR SESSION on location. Between 90 -150 total proofs to choose from. 2 Final retouched images. Includes as many looks as we can fit into the session time.

$75.00 for each additional retouched image. All RAW photos from session included with this package.

PLEASE NOTE: 50% deposit/retainer fee required upon booking to reserve your date and time. The remaining balance is due after you approve your final retouched images. The rates listed on this page are for non-commercial shoots. If you need a shoot with commercial image licensing please contact for details.

The rates listed on this page are for non-commercial shoots. If you need a shoot with commercial image licensing please contact for details. For complex portraits requiring sets, props, heavy retouching or compositing please contact for details.

Turn Around Time: After the shoot, a gallery link to the untouched photos is emailed to you within 2-3 days for review and to make selects for retouching. The final retouched images may take up to 1 to 2 weeks to be delivered via download. Images can be rushed for an additional fee.

Rates do not include travel expenses for shoots outside of the Atlanta metro area. Any taxes, fees, etc. are calculated on your itemized invoice. Deposits are non-refundable. If you need to cancel for any reason, CK Headshots reserves the right to make rescheduling decisions on a case to case basis. Deposits and final payments can be made through our invoice system. After reviewing your final retouched photos, the remaining balance must be paid to receive your download link. Clients under 18 must have a parent or legal guardian present at all times.



Yes and no. How to pose for a portrait is a photography related phrase often searched on google. And the answer is really not all that complicated. Simply because most of what you’ll be required to do, other than stand or sit naturally, is up to me to walk you through. And even then not all that much needs to be done. A few tweaks here and there to your natural posture is often all it takes. A good photographer is in part almost always thinking in terms of composition. It’s up to
the photographer to establish the group of angles necessary to serve the end goal. So yes you have to do a little bit of what one may call posing, but no you don’t have to figure any of it out yourself. If you’re more interested in this I have a whole article about it in my blog.


Headshot vs portrait, what’s the difference? Sometimes not much to be honest. In fact I often find myself letting the one bleed into the other. However the term headshot usually suggests a certain utilitarian kind of end use. Along with this comes a certain standard or set of criteria that needs to be met to fit within a particular business or industry mold. For example an industry standard actors headshot needs to meet the expectations of a casting director, agent or other professional in the entertainment industry. This typically means mostly head and very little body, a gaze right into the camera, no hands on the face or excess when it comes to wardrobe and styling. Business headshots often require specifications that match existing content or other headshots. A portrait on the other hand, at least to me, suggest capturing an essence. Aristotle said “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”. I think that quote succinctly sums up what a good portrait is all about.


The easy short answer to this is a good photographer makes a good headshot or portrait. That might sound a little flippant but the point is true — you pay me to make a photo, all you really need to do is cooperate with what it takes to achieve
that end goal. And honestly, it doesn’t take all that much on your part. There are a few things you can do leading up to the session that can help, e.g., try and get good sleep, etc., but I wouldn’t stress about these things too much. There’s very little that can’t be coached or corrected. You can view my tips on how to prepare to learn more about this. Outside of the collaborative process between photographer and client there are certainly a few aesthetic qualities that make a headshot or portrait most effective. Although there are differences between headshots and portraits the following applies to both. A good portrait is dynamic. Just like any other art form, a powerful photograph almost always has a dynamic quality. In headshot terms that might mean the head turned subtly one way while the shoulders are angled another. It might mean creating negative space between an arm and the body or something as simple as shifting the head one way and the eyes another. Lighting can also provide a dynamic quality. Sometimes I’ll shoot subjects straight on, almost perfectly symmetrical and let the lighting and design add in the dynamics. A good portrait is honest. There’s something I call the honest gaze. This is a feeling of genuineness portrayed by the look or gaze of the subject being photographed. This does not mean intense, or confident or anything else. It means genuine. If your look is genuine, it’s going to by nature also be confident and powerful. A genuine or honest look is usually simply you un impeded by the present circumstances of being in front of a camera. Does that mean you can’t be nervous, well no. It means you need a good photographer to read between the lines, determine your baseline and do what’s necessary to capture it.


The first and most important thing is to remember that I’m here to guide you through the whole process. Most people tell me they don’t like having their photos taken. Including myself! I expect that, and do everything I can to make it an easy, fully guided process. Second: Communication is key. Let me know what it is you’re trying to achieve. If you see photos on-line that inspire you, send them over. If there’s a particular mood you’re going for, let me know. If you’re undecided about wardrobe, etc., run it by me. Try to get good sleep the night before the shoot. But, with exception to extreme cases, you don’t need to cancel if you don’t—most of the signs of a poor nights sleep can be edited out. Just be aware that you might need to compensate for your tiredness. But again, I will guide you through. With respect to hair and make-up the vast majority of my clients choose to do their own. If you’d like to have an artist do it for you on site, you can arrange it yourself or, we can help you arrange it at an additional fee. If you’re looking for some make-up basics, check out this article. For some basic on how to prepare including hair, make-up and wardrobe tips, you can view my blog post.