IN FOCUS: Spotlight on David Muller

We asked David Muller 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?

Wardrobe is a very key element that I think most actors don’t prepare for well enough.  So often actors show up with wrinkled up old clothes shoved into a Ralph’s bag.  They haven’t actually given their wardrobe much thought they just think that by bringing a bunch of their own stuff they’ll have something useable.

I say go shopping with your specific looks in mind.  Get some clothes that have colors that pop and that aren’t the typical colors that an actor would wear (i.e. the blue button down dress shirt)  The other reason I’m in favor of shopping for new wardrobe is it gives you a sense of feeling fresh and not wearing the same old outfits you are used to…it will invigorate you in a way.

How would you describe your approach to shooting headshots?

Laid back.  I try not to let actor’s get into their heads too much, so I make it more about body language….how would this character stand, sit, lean, etc.  I try to simply keep the client engaged in small talk so they feel relaxed.  I’m not an acting teacher so I’m not going to have you thinking about your dog who died in the 2nd grade to get emotion.

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

Daniel Day Lewis.  I would want to see how many nuances of expression he would give in one session.

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

I can’t say that one in particular stands out, however the best shoots are actors who are willing to play and try different expressions…the ones I don’t have to work to get more than one face out of.  They come with great wardrobe, they know who they are as an actor and what types they are going to play and that is what they want from the shoot.

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

Hmmm, so many stories so little time.  I once had a guy show up who had done his own makeup.  He was very dark skinned and he had spread makeup that was about 3 shades lighter than his skin just on areas of concern.  It looked like he was wearing a mask from Phantom of the Opera or something.

What is your favorite movie?

The Big Lebowski.  The dude abides!!

What sets you apart from other photographers?

Hmm…good question.  I don’t know how to answer that really.  I try to give my clients my all and give them as much variety in their session that I can.  I have a very strong work ethic and I am never satisfied with my own work.  I get bored easily so I’m always trying to find new lighting setups, new ways of making the backgrounds look different.  I don’t know if that sets me apart from anyone else but it does make me me 🙂

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

I’m getting more into shooting Beauty/Fashion as well as Celebrity portraiture.  I recently took over a sound stage in Hollywood which is where I shoot.  I rent it out to productions for filming and so I’m watching and learning lighting for video which is quite different than still photography lighting.

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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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