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Portraits

I am a New York portrait photographer. This gallery of theatrical, dance, headshot, glamour, and other portrait photography shows a selection of the many different types of portrait sessions that I have had the great pleasure of photographing. 

You will see portrait pictures taken at my studio in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, New York from 2014-2017.  You will see portraits taken in my current Industry City studio after 2017.  You will also see theatre portraits taken on location throughout Manhattan and New York. 

What I do

As a portrait photographer, I create a variety of different types and styles of portraits. 

These portraits can include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Actor headshots
  • Personal branding images for actors
  • Social media images for actors
  • Comp cards
  • Executive headshots
  • Corporate headshots
  • Glamour photography
  • Boudoir portraits
  • Modern portraits for women
  • Bridal portraits
  • Senior portraits
  • Family portraits
  • Theatrical portraits

Actor headshots

As a lifelong lover of theatre and former theatre student, working with actors has always brought me great joy as a photographer.  

I first began taking headshots for actors when I lived in Florida, photographing many of Florida State University's graduating seniors.  My love of headshot photography was born before that, however.  I was a theatre student once myself.  I have a BFA in Acting, and upon graduation I moved to New York.

Once in NYC, I needed my own headshots.  I well remember scouring the pages of Backstage, trying to choose just the right headshot photographer for me. Did I want something modern? Did I want dramatic headshots? How would I know what photographer would make me look the most like myself, while still creating a compelling headshot that would entice casting directors and agents alike?

It has been fantastic to see the entire process come full circle. I had always hoped that I would eventually move back to New York, and establish my own photography business in the same city where I had my own head shots taken as a performer.  In 2008, that dream became a reality.

My headshots clients have performed on Broadway.  They have been seen Off-Broadway, in regional theatre, on cruise ships, on TV, and more.  It has been a joy to meet and work with each one of them.  

If you have any questions about your acting headshots in NYC, please don't hesitate to reach out.  I'd love to chat with you about your needs!

Personal branding images for actors

After taking head shots for many of my active clients, I am often asked about personal branding images. Performers are always looking for images to round out the galleries on their websites, as well as images for their social media accounts.

I have greatly enjoyed adding personal branding sessions on to the headshot packages that I offer actors and actresses in the New York City area. While these sessions to produce the beautiful head shots that I have the common known for, they go a bit above and beyond just a simple headshot session.

Personal branding sessions often include multiple changes of clothes, and sometimes even multiple new hair and makeup looks. The goal of this session is to create a wide range of images and a great variety of scenarios. This enables my clients to update their websites with fresh images. It also gives them a wonderful store of images that they can pull on for their social media accounts.

More and more, social media has become a crucial part of an actor's self-promotion. I love playing a part in creating the images that performers use to promote themselves. It is my goal to create dramatic, modern, and compelling images for actors and actresses in New York to use for their personal branding purposes

Theatrical Portraits

As a theatrical photographer, I am commissioned to create portraits of actors, singers, dancers, and performers. These can be studio portraits, on shot on location at a theatre or other event space.  I work with a makeup artist, hair stylist, and clothing stylist (when necessary) to help create the look for the portraits.  Each theatrical portrait is tailored to each specific performer, and sometimes a specific production, play, or musical.  I am also available for theatrical performance photography and dance performance photography in New York and beyond.

Professional Experience in Theatre

As a former employee of the Roundabout Theatre Company, Broadway has been a part of my life since I was in college.  

I have seen easily over a hundred Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, including : ChicagoCats, Les Miserables, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (originally with Matthew Broderick, then with Daniel Radcliffe and Darren Criss), Carousel, Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close, Cabaretwith Alan Cumming and the late Natasha Richardson, Closer, A Doll's House, 1776, Jekyll and Hyde, On The Town, Ragtime, Amadeus, Annie Get Your Gun, Death of a Salesman, Fosse, Kiss Me, Kate, The Lion in Winter, Mamma Mia, Wicked, August : Osage County, Young Frankenstein, Equus with Daniel Radcliffe, God of Carnage, Next to Normal, Oleanna, West Side Story, The Addams Family, The Lion King, Anything Goes, Master Class, Book of Mormon, War Horse, the Normal Heart, Bring It On, Once, In The Heights, The Heiress, Wit, Big Fish, Jekyll & Hyde, Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, The Glass Menagerie, Aladdin, Hedwig and the Angry Inch (with Neil Patrick Harris, Michael C. Hall, Andrew Rannells, Darren Criss, and several times with John Cameron Mitchell), Fun Home, On The Town, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, The Elephant Man, The Lion King, Fiddler on the Roof with Danny BursteinHamilton, On the Twentieth Century, Sleep No More, Then She Fell, Fuerza Bruta, School of Rock, Something Rotten!, Spring Awakening, The King and I with Kelli O'Hara, Dear Evan Hansen, The Humans, She Loves Me, Falsettos, the 2016 revival of Cats, and the Crucible.

I have photographed performers from Chaplin, Follies, Hamilton, Aladdin, Fiddler on the Roof, Spring Awakening, On the Twentieth Century,She Loves Me, An American in Paris, Big Fish, Pippin, Sleep No More, the King and I,  Sleep No More, the 2016 revival of Cats, the upcoming Bette Midler revival of Hello Dolly, Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, and So You Think You Can Dance.

Favorite Projects


My first theatrical portrait in New York took place after I saw a performance of Big Fish.  I was determined to work with the extraordinary Ciara Renee.  After realizing that we had a mutual friend, I was able to reach out and schedule a session.  That session really re-sparked my love for theatrical portraits.  You see, theatrical portraits are not all that different from wedding day photography!  I use light in a dramatic way in both my wedding work and my theatrical portraits.  I create theatrical portraits similarly to my bridal portraits.  I want to showcase my beautiful subjects using brilliant light, a dynamic pose, and an extraordinary grace.  


After working with Ciara Renee, I had the immense pleasure of creating theatrical portraits of the dynamic Ali Stroker.  Ali was performing in the Deaf West production of Spring Awakening on Broadway, and it was a delight to work with her.  Ali is a phenomenal human being and an extraordinary inspiration.  It truly was a dream come true to create these natural light theatrical portraits of her.


In late 2015, inspiration struck anew when I saw the original cast of Hamilton an American MusicalLin-Manuel Miranda is quite simply a genius, creating a piece of theatre that has changed the face of the modern day musical.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore Hamilton, and how floored I am by the talents of the cast and creative team.  My first Hamilton shoot was with original cast member Betsy Struxness.  Betsy is, quite simply an utter gem.  She’s so ferociously, phenomenally talented. I wanted to create theatrical portraits that highlighted her strength as well as her luminous beauty.  Betsy is a photographer’s dream, and a wonderful woman!


My second Hamilton shoot was with Ariana DeBose.  I’d already been a fan of Ariana before she was “the bullet” in Hamilton, having seen her on So You Think You Can Dance years prior.  Ariana was a delight to photograph, and my theatrical portraits of her are some of my favorites of all time.  She brings a natural grace to everything she does.  She is also a joyous, glorious human being.  When she laughs, you have to laugh with her.  She has a talent that is rare and jaw-dropping, and I adored every second she spent in my studio.


I have also enjoyed creating theatrical portraits of Carleigh Bettiol, another original Hamilton ensemble member.  Carleigh’s beauty shots truly show off her natural gorgeous elegance.  They also exemplify what I am striving for when I photograph head and body shots of dancers.  Another excellent example of my theatrical dance photography are the pictures of Hamilton swing Kamille Upshaw.  Kamille is a Juilliard trainer dancer, and it’s evident in every single graceful movement she makes.  Whether she’s jumping or simply moving through a series of elegant poses, she is grace personified.  The theatrical portraits of Kamille truly show my strength as a New York portrait artist.


It was an enormous pleasure to work at Long Island City's beautiful Metropolitan Building while creating portraits for the phenomenal Javier Munoz.  A member of the original Broadway cast of Hamilton, Javier had the extraordinary role of Alexander Hamilton's alternate.  He was not an understudy nor a swing, he was a true alternate for the role.  He's so amazing, Ben Brantley from the New York Times exclaimed that "Hamilton is sexy on Sundays."  I've seen Javier Munoz as Alexander Hamilton, and Ben Brantley is spot-on in his assessment!  Munoz brings something truly revolutionary (no pun intended) to the role.  He is also a glorious blessing of a human being, warm and deeply funny.  The world is a better place with Javier Munoz in it.  I am so happy that as of July 11, 2015, he is Alexander Hamilton.  He has succeeded Lin-Manual Miranda in the role, and Hamilton will surely thrive and flourish under his extraordinary talent.


I have also had the distinct, amazing pleasure of working with Aladdin's Courtney Reed, the female ensamble from Aladin, the glorious Samantha Massell from Fiddler on the Roof, Justin Bowen from She Loves Me, Maleek Washington from Sleep No More, and many other kind, generous, and extraordinary human beings.  The cast of Hamilton has been overwhelmingly welcoming, and I've worked with Betsy Struxness, Ariana DeBose, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Okieriete "Oak" Onaodowan, Anthony Chappelle, Morgan Marcell, Kamille Upshaw, Javier Munoz, and Hope Easterbrook.  The Broadway community is a wonderful one, and it's lovely to be back there, creating portraits for so many bright talents.

So You Think You Can Dance

It has been a great joy to work with many past contestants and winners of So You Think You Can Dance, such as Melanie Moore, Ricky Ubeda, Ellenore Scott, and Neil Haskell.

Booking a Shoot

If you are looking for a theatrical photographer to create timeless portraits for you, I’d love to speak with you.  Whether you need production photography, press portraits, dance audition photographs, theatrical portraits, or something in between, I’d love to talk to you.  Please drop me an email or give me a call.  I’d love to work with you!

Susan Stripling Photography