Fanshawe photography program offering $15 headshots for students

One student photographs another in a studio. CREDIT: BEN HARRIETHA
The studio where they take the headshots, located in D1035, is open Mondays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For any student looking for a professionally done headshot, look no further than Fanshawe’s own photography programs. The studio is offering students to come in and get their headshots done for $15. Passport photos are also available for $8.

Gilles Sweet-Boulay, the coordinator of the photography program and the photography advanced program, started the idea when he heard about the massage clinic offering massages for low prices.

“I just thought, ‘What a great idea, students providing a service here while also getting practice with live clients.’ Students already took portraits but they tend to just photograph each other or another willing participant they knew,” he explained. “But with someone who just walked in, we only have 15 minutes to get them relaxed and figure out lighting and poses. So you really have to be on your toes.”

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As for the price, Sweet-Boulay said it came from asking students what they would pay for a headshot done by students.

“Everyone kind of said 20 bucks might be too much. A student won’t pay that. They’re already spending so much money. So we kind of just agreed on $15.”

Students are put in pairs, one as an assistant, and the other as a photographer.

“They have each other for support, if they’re not sure about lighting, or hair light position, they’ve got a classmate that they can sort of lean on. My office is nearby if they need help, but I usually tell them how many clients they have and then leave them to it.”

Noah Winegarden, one of the students in the advanced photography program, said the headshots have been good practice.

“Especially because we’re dealing with people we don’t know. When we’re shooting each other, we’re more comfortable, and it’s easier.”

Ajalon Michel, another student in the advanced program, added that the real-world experience they get from doing the headshots weekly is invaluable.

“Eventually, we’ll be meeting with clients and having to learn about the client very quickly, what their preferences are, stuff like that. It takes time to learn that skill but it’s something that will be really valuable for me later on.”

Michel added that the experience hadn’t just taught him how to shoot a headshot, but also how to schedule his days around his work.

Sweet-Boulay said he always looks for something that equates to real world experience to help augment his students’ learning.

“Our second-year students also do the headshots for Career Services,” he explained. “It’s free, and because of that, we get a lot of people. You maybe get three photos, and then you’re down to the next person. So it is kind of an assembly line sort of format. But still good practice.”

The program also works with the fashion design program on their end of year fashion show, Unbound, and plans to reach out to other programs to offer their services as well.

“I would love to pair up with the culinary arts program for example, because we have some students that love taking shots of food. I think it’d provide a really good experience for both programs.”

You can book your headshots or passport photos at The studio, located in D1035, is open Mondays from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.