How to Choose your headshot photographer
Once you’ve decided to book a headshot session you need to choose your headshot photographer. A simple Google search will return more results that you know what to do with. Here are a few tips to help you find the right headshot photographer for you.
Know what you want.
This may sound simple but it is important to decide exactly what you are looking for. Are your actor’s headshots for a specific gig or is it simply time for an upgrade? Perhaps you’ve been using your existing shots for way too long and just as it’s time to revamp the CV so it no longer says “recent graduate”- it’s time for a photo which reflects your age and fully capture your range. Maybe your corporate headshots aren’t in line with your brand identity? Whatever the reason – make sure you can identify it.
Do your research.
Try to find images which you like and pin down what it is that you like about it. Background? Studio? Then find out who took the photos you like and check out their site. Simple yet effective.
Don’t be a minority in their portfolio.
Depending on your ethnicity and colouring it is really sensible to find a headshot photographer who has photographed someone with features similar to yours. Whether you are fair, freckled and strawberry blonde or Punjabi with light eyes – it’s important that your photographer can cope with that. You’re not looking for your twin here but to photograph Asian skin with sallow undertones is a tricky business; as is reducing shine on black skin under studio lighting. If you cannot see an example of someone vaguely in your wheelhouse, it’s probably not worth the risk.
While you’re exploring their portfolio make sure that their images are of a consistent standard. One great shot does not a great headshot photographer make. Your decision should be based on the whole body of work.
Don’t shop on price alone.
Obviously price is important to everyone and you can only afford what you can afford….that being said – as actors you know that your headshot is a huge deal so this is not the time to bargain hunt. If you pay someone £80 for headshots, you will get £80 worth of headshots – which will be largely unusable and will not represent your brand well if you do decide to use them. Likewise – your friend using their half decent camera on all the automatic settings will take a better picture of you than you can get on your phone but your professional presentation deserves better. Put your best face forward!
Personal recommendations are helpful but not everything.
Your friends and colleagues can recommend the headshot photographer they used which is great and all but the reasons above count for much more when choosing the right photographer for you. Their negative experiences however can be invaluable!!
Say you find what you think is a great photographer, but when you mention them to a pal you hear about a really bad experience they had. Even if you really like their body of work you may end up with bad shots because of the atmosphere or their working practices…..
A repeat client of ours was completely camera phobic when they came to us because of the bad experience she had in the past. She had arrived for her headshot session only to be made to wait over 40 minutes from her booked time. She was then rushed through her shoot and ushered out of the door once another client arrived – needless to say, the photos were not good and she couldn’t use them – money down the drain!
We are proud to say that we are not a conveyor belt – there is always a large buffer zone between session bookings and we never finish a shoot until we have the shot!
Good luck and happy searching!