Last week, Atlanta Film and TV, had a chance to interview headshot photographer, Tracy Page.
Atlanta Film and TV: What interested you in becoming a photographer?
Tracy Page: As the story goes, I seemed to always fall into that role in my different jobs and I have a fine art background in painting and drawing, specifically portraits. But I did not consider myself a headshot photographer. I was trying to hire one from the Atlanta market at that time most of the reputable headshot photographers did not have their own space or had moved on to LA. The ones left that had not gone to LA by then would come to your space to photograph but I lived too far out. So at the encouragement of a dear friend, who is now an agent, I must have taken 1200 photos of my daughter trying to make it work. She narrowed down to about 40. We sent those to my daughter’s agent, not admitting that I had committed the “Mommy” sin and done them myself. To my surprise, the agent called and suggested I consider doing this. That was the seedling that eventually started me on this path. I furiously started learning everything I could about photography, portraiture, and headshots but it was still quite a while before I had the confidence to start photographing actors. The same friend, again, started putting people in my path to photograph by telling me “You will be there at this time and you have 6 clients lined up. Do well by them.”
Atlanta Film and TV: How long have you been a photographer?
Tracy Page: At this point it has been a 15-year journey.
Atlanta Film and TV: How does it feel to be one of the most sought out photographers in Atlanta?
Tracy Page: Sometimes very odd. If you had predicted this for me 15 years ago or even 10 years ago, I would not have believed you. I am thankful for a small group of people who believed in my eye when I did not believe in it at all. And with all of the photographers from LA and NYC who are now flooding to our market, I am ever thankful to be in this position. It is hard to keep it up — I work constantly to keep growing and changing so I can keep doing this. It has become a part of my identity now and I think it has been a gift to me. I strive to keep growing that gift with every photograph.
Atlanta Film and TV: How does it feel when one of your clients has booked something from your headshots?
Tracy Page: This has been the biggest thrill for me, to see clients book jobs from their headshots. And to have those clients keep coming back. I think about 80% of my roster is repeat business, some of them have been working with me for 12+ years, some even from the very beginning. I get choked up sometimes when I hear their news, I am so immensely proud of everyone. It has been an emotional rollercoaster, I feel personally involved in the careers of each and every client. I am on their team. I am a cheerleader and a fan. It is my job to help get them into that casting room door and then they take it from there. I always see my job as a collaboration with the agents and managers — I am a member of the team, my work is the calling card of the actor, what the agents and managers use to market. I take my cues from the agents and managers and the casting directors as to what an actor needs to get into that door. When the actor books and I’m a part of that process, I’m thankful to be on their journey and sometimes the emotion overwhelms me. One of my favorite parts of the job are the little notes, emails, and messages, that I get from the actor or the parents of the actor to tell me that they have booked and I’ve been a part of it.
Atlanta Film and TV: Can you name some of your clients and what they have worked on? Or, who has either gotten an agent from your work or booked roles from your work?
Tracy Page: Chandler Riggs of The Walking Dead and A Million Little Things. Chandler booked The Walking Dead with my headshots and still uses me. Chandler Head's headshots have booked several nice roles including the current “Fosse/Verndon” on FX. Hannah Alligood booked Frankie on FX’s Better Things. Will Buie is Finn on Disney’s Bunk’d. Kai Ture played young Starr on The Hate U Give. I’ve done several rounds of headshots with Priah Ferguson on Stranger Things. Grace DeAmicis is currently on Broadway in Harry Potter Potter and the Cursed Child as Lily Potter. Angelica Hale and her America’s Got Talent run to the first runner up gave me chills the entire ride. Navia Robison was using my headshots when she booked Raven’s Home for Disney and it was great fun to see them come out with the media splash. And, watch in the very near future as Kyleigh Curran is introduced to the world in the lead role as Abra in Stephen King’s Dr. Sleep. And there are so many others, I feel like I’m leaving people off that are also doing big things like Kinsley Dillion, CeCe Kelly, Jessi Goei, Skylar and Ariel Jones, Mylie Stone, the Weaver kids (all three), Britton Sear, Brody Rose and his dad, Jeff, Michael Cole,and his amazing sons, I’m going to stop there and know that I’m going to be in trouble…. Bella Yantis, Noor Anna Maher, Linder Sutton. Seriously I have such an amazing roster of clients and I’m thankful for each and everyone and I’m going to be in big trouble for not naming everyone. There are so many that are achieving dreams and making it possible for more from the southeastern market.
Atlanta Film and TV: How have you seen the Atlanta Film industry change in the last five years?
Tracy Page: Oh my, it changes daily at this point. I was at a speech by Lee Thomas of the Georgia film office, she was discussing what the list of production now was like compared to pre-tax incentive. Until this January, I shared my Atlanta studio with the visionary casting director Shay Bentley Griffin. Shay is a visionary because she was one of a very small, very tight group of people that dreamt this up. They wrote the incentive law, convinced our state government to pass it into law and formed the Georgia Production Partnership — Shay was the first President of this group that has become synonymous with the industry here. As we grow this industry, our battle here now is to keep up with it and feed the beast with crew and talent. Those actors I mentioned above, they pave the way for others in our region to be able to not just audition but to be taken seriously and land the big parts. I have to keep up with keeping their image honest. I have to be able to convey who they are and make sure that they look like the person going to casting. I have to keep up with the preferences of the casting directors, agents, and managers. It’s not an easy task but as long as they are taking me on their journey, that’s my job. And, I’m loving every moment of this very wild ride!
And, as the roles get bigger and the actors hit their mark, I am now learning to keep up editorially — which is an exciting new genre for me. My images are making it into the PR packets, social media and becoming signed autographs. How cool is that? You can actually look up actors I’ve worked for on ebay and find my images being sold as autographed copies. It’s an amazing ride!
For more information, be sure to check out Tracy's website!