let me take your picture

I am absolutely obsessed with the beauty of people lit by natural light. 

I've been a portrait and performance photographer for seven years, ever since my first official 100 Day Project, Intomeandsee. I enjoy capturing branding content and love a family shoot. I take a lot of headshots for my fellow actors. The ultimate destination for an actor's headshot is not their online listing with their agent - although that's where they're most useful, of course -  it's the wall of a Production office when the actor gets the part. My favourite place to see them is inside a Makeup truck, a line-up of slightly steely, alluring people who made it through the mysterious process of casting. If I'm looking at them, it means we all Got The Part.

But headshots aren't just for actors. These days, with the advent of Squarespace and LinkedIn, it's important for everyone to have headshots. They're not limited to actors or your HR department. You need portraits to illustrate the About Me part of your website, your LinkedIn profile, your internal comms chat, the Bio section of the conference programme. Those of you reading this who aren't in the entertainment business probably don't want to look steely or alluring, you need to look more like you, especially if authenticity and leadership are part of your brand.

I have spoken to a number of professionals who have been using selfies taken on their phones as their Profile pics. Now, there's nothing wrong with that. Those little circles on social media are tiny. Phone tech these days is incredible. I've even taken emergency actor headshots using an iPhone because when you know how to drive one of those things, you can do a lot. But nothing beats a photograph taken with a proper camera in great light, by someone who knows what they're doing.

That's where I come in. My experience as a photographer and a painter means I understand light. My experience as a teacher and an actress means I understand the power of authentic connection. You need at least one great photograph to represent you in the world, one you really like. The best professional headshots communicate who we are on a great day at work: clear-headed, confident, open to collaboration, present. I'm good at taking those.


If you always feel awkward having your picture taken, fear not. Nearly everyone (including loads of actors) feels a bit weird initially. This feeling fades as we get used to the sound of the camera clicking and as we get used to being looked at. Sandy, above, arrived at our shoot as a self-proclaimed "reluctant subject" and ended up as someone collaborative and willing to be seen. Everyone eventually arrives at this point in their photo shoot, where they begin to enjoy the process (mine always involves music and laughs) and where they start to get involved. 

In a way, your level of comfort with a camera is the measure of your willingness to be seen by other people. That sounds blunt but it's true. Because having your photo taken can be confronting, the experience can be a profound one. This was the basis of my first 100 Day Project, "Intomeandsee", and I continue to explore the power of the portrait experience as self-revelation and a marker of self-acceptance. In a shoot with me, you'll realise the freedom that comes from being with someone who wants one thing: that you feel comfortable, as you are. 

I work a lot with artists, wellness professionals, and people in creative business and I call my style "cinematic branding". What I aim to do is give your brand imagery and portraits an intimate, slightly raw feel. And I'm an actor who has worked on television a lot, so it's inevitable. My airbrushing skills are minimal so I can't make you or your business look like something you're not. I find this approach a simple one. This inability to manipulate images (beyond getting rid of zits and lifting shadows) results in work which truly documents who you are, what you do, and how it feels to be with you. I know I'm arty but I just don't buy the idea that there is no place for beauty, humour, and authenticity in "a headshot for work". 



You can see my commercial portfolio here. This album draws together my  portraiture/headshot work and fly-on-the-wall capture of workshops, teaching, and business practice. You will see that there's an openness, authenticity, directness to my portraiture and a documentary feel to my work. You will have often have the sense of being there with the people you're looking at.


I specialise in creative portrait shoots with an emphasis on authenticity. I have called this kind of work "Intomeandsee" since I began taking photographs. I'm always looking to capture the heart of you, whether it's a personal portrait shoot or a LinkedIn or internal comms update.

My studio space is in central Auckland so you can come to me for a simple headshot shoot or we can go "on location" for something more creative.

I'm available for commercial headshots for large teams, as long as you're after honesty and we can shoot in natural light.

I have make-up artist contacts so that can be part of the whole thing too. I really recommend the investment a make-up artist, especially one known for their ability to create a fresh, natural look. I know these people because they've made ME look that way!

Get in touch via my Contact Page or write to me at hello@amandabilling.co.nz and I can tailor a package to your needs.


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