Here are a few helpful tips on choosing your new headshot photographer
1 – Do a bit of research online
If your agent or friends haven’t already recommended someone you can do a simple search online in your area. Ask others actors for the photographers information if you like their headshot and once you have a shortlist go to the photographers website’s and just make sure the rest of their portfolio is of the same standard. Headshot Hunters is a great way to compare and search in your area.
2 – Talk to the photographer beforehand
You should feel comfortable with the photographer you will be working with, so take the time to give them a call. It’s a complete myth that actors love having their photos taken and in my experience it’s uncomfortable for most, me included, and you need to feel relaxed. You should be able to work out pretty quickly if you’ll get on and all good photographers will be happy to answer any questions you have beforehand.
3 – How much should it cost?
Headshot prices vary, but just remember this is an IMPORTANT INVESTMENT in your career. I know money can be tight sometimes, but a headshot is the tool to get you noticed, they are a necessity, so it’s more than worth the money. You don’t need to pay £400, but neither should you be paying £50. If you scrimp on your photographer you’ll end up paying more later when you need a new set of photos.
4 – Natural verses Studio light
All photographers have different ways of working with different equipment that suits them. I prefer to use natural light source because natural light is more even and flattering. I do however have and use studio lighting when needed and I would recommend finding someone that uses both as it shows flexibility and knowledge.
Now this is only my opinion, but I have heard it echoed by casting directors… I believe headshots should focus on you, the actor, and not a trendy backdrop/setting… If we are looking at the fancy background we are not looking at you.
5 – How long should a session be?
When you call your potential photographer ask them how long the session is… Part of my job is getting to know a bit about you and what you are looking for. My sessions have no time limit, but they naturally take approximately 2 hours. Make sure you choose a photographer that won’t rush you so you are going to be provided with a relaxed environment in which to work.
Happy headshot hunting!