Knowing who to choose to take your headshots can be confusing. With so many dos and don’ts thrown around the industry and so many photographers out there you can very easily end up in a pickle. Don’t worry, it’s completely normal to feel that way which is why I am here to hep you learn how to choose a good headshot photographer.
Your headshot is part of your marketing materials as an actor, and it is usually the first thing a casting director, agent or producer will see, so you need to make sure your headshot sells you and your casting type. The basics to remember are that your head shot needs to be of professional quality, 10×8 in size and if possible have a copy in both B&W and colour.
So now we’ve got the very basics down let’s dig in.
How to choose a good headshot photographer
- Whilst recommendations are great, I would also suggest doing some research. Take a look on the net or in the Contacts book at a few different photographers. If they share the name of the actors they’ve been photographing do a little digging. Can you pop the actors name in Google and find a showreel? You need to know that the photographer is taking pictures that actually look like the actor and don’t glam them up or make them prettier. Whilst we all have an ego, your head shots should resemble YOU, not what you wish to look like. Remember the casting director won’t get annoyed at the photographer they’ll get annoyed at you for wasting their time if you don’t look like your head shot.
- I would highly encourage you to choose a photographer who takes pictures both in a studio and outside so you get to work with both natural lighting and studio lighting. Outdoor pictures can do wonders for giving you a TV look AND show how you naturally look without looking staged, and studio photos also have their benefits too.
- Choose a photographer who specilises in actors head shots, preferably someone whos sole business IS actors head shots. These photographers will be more likely to know what you need and how to achieve that. Remember having your head shot taken is more than just about having some pictures, you need to trust the photographer with your business (as an actor you are a sole trader). If they specilise in actors head shots and are good at what they do, they should also be up to date with the industry and its requirements. The last thing you want to be doing is filling in the photographer.
- Choose a photographer who can make you feel at ease and who knows how to take you through a range of emotions and capture your casting type. You can find this out by going though their work on their website and contacting the actors who have worked with the photographer for an honest opinion, but always remember to trust your gut feelings, they are always right.
- Cheap isn’t always better – ever heard the saying you get what you pay for? I understand that as actors there is a lot to shell out for but lets put things into perspective; there’s a reason Ferrari and Fiat charge different prices, there’s a reason Prada and Primark charge different prices and the same goes for head shots. You need to work out your budget, but ask yourself whether it would be worth waiting a little longer to save up a little extra to pay a photographer who is going to give you quality and help your career rather than hinder it?
It’s better to explore all your options first before jumping in with the first photographer, because once your pictures have been taken and paid for there’s no going back.
Have you found these tips useful? Got anymore you can share? I love to connect with you. Let me know in the comments box below or share with your acting friends, it could be just the thing they need.
Here’s to your success!
Don’t give up, just keep learning
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