IN FOCUS: Spotlight on Peter Konerko

We asked Peter Konerko a few questions that will help us get an idea of who he is and what makes him click (pun intended).

You can learn a lot more about him from his website.

What is the most important thing an actor can do to prepare for a headshot session?

Be realistic about type. 

Get as much feedback from Reps before you shoot.

Get specific about clothing. If your character would not wear it, don’t bring it. 

Focus and narrow.  It is important to push yourself, but headshots are tools. Which tools do you work with best.

How would you describe your approach to shooting headshots?

I work from the inside out. My clients start with character and work from there. Each look is really a different “character”. 

It is very important to have and objective and make choices while you are shooting. Each look = Different Character = Different Objective.

Most actors are uncomfortable in front of the camera so this gives them a chance to act and do what they do best. 

When my clients focus on their objective and what the character wants the session is easy and the shots are true and compelling.

 If you could photograph one actor, who would it be and why?

Daniel Day Lewis. His emotional honesty in front of the camera would be overwhelming. He is a true artist.

Describe your Best experience with a client.  No names please.

I have had a number of clients meet with me and tell me flat out here is what I play, this is what I wear, and this is where this character is coming from.

They did their part and now they are looking to me to do the rest. True collaboration. The actor handles their part and I set it, light it, and make sure everything they want is coming across in a dynamic way.

Describe your Worst experience with a client.  No names please.

I had to ask a client to go home. Broke my heart. It became clear that the client should be doing something else with his life. I stopped the session after abut an hour. 

I refunded his money on the spot. He was relieved and actually broke down. 

It was my most difficult experience, but I feel like I did the right thing. 

Describe your Strangest experience with a client.  No names please.

Shooting my wife. Amazing, but so bizarre. We have been married for 7 years and together for 15. I still get giddy when I look at her through the lens.

What is your favorite movie?

Bertolucci film called The Conformist (1970). Shot by Vittorio Storaro. 

OR Jaws. That film wrecked me. Saw it when I was 6 in the movie theater. Thanks Dad.

What sets you apart from other photographers?

That is an impossible question to fully answer. Your viewers determine that.

I think if you are working from an honest place and you are trying to communicate something specific, that is a good place to start. 

You will naturally stand out as doing something unique. 

Are there any other projects you are involved in that you’d like to share with us?

I am working on a gallery show of my black and white portraits.  We are looking at late Fall for a showing. Hopefully, everyone will know about it.

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As actors you have one opportunity to make a first impression. It is a lot like online dating. If you send out a picture that is great but doesn't look like you, your date (casting) is gonna be disappointed. You won't get a second chance. But if you are able to capture your personality and the strongest aspects of your talents in that one frame, you'll find that there are a lot of people out there looking for someone just like you. SO, this blog is dedicated to getting you more dates, or rather auditions. We leave your actual dating life up to you. With over 30 years of experience in the photography and headshot business, I will keep you posted on the business of acting with an emphasis on photos.

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