Most people who call me about setting up a headshot session don't exactly know what questions to ask. Of course, I always get the basic question "how much does the session cost?" And, even though it's important, wether you are having a session with me or not, several other factors need to be considered when looking for a headshot photographer.
Most good headshot photographers shoot 200-300 photos per session. That allows for various clothing changes to take place so that you have several angles and natural expressions of each change.
Tip - If the headshot photographer shoots more than 500 photos-RUN
2. How long does the photo session last?
Most professional photo sessions should last (approx) 2 hours for men and 3 to 4 hours for women. Woman's sessions are more meticulous in nature because of hair and makeup.
Tip - Bring lots of music and extra strong coffee.
3. What should I wear and how many looks can I bring?
You want to look for someone who allows you a few outfit changes so you can have different looks for various auditions. You can be business casual or sporty and casting agents as well as managers want to know that. I usually tell my clients to bring a suitcase full of outfits that make them feel GREAT.
Tip - Bring solid colors with little patterns. The session is about you and not Calvin Klien.
4. Do I need hair and makeup for the shoot?
Maggie Flanigan, my former acting teacher, used to say to all of the women that they have to look beautiful as well as be extremely talented. Men can wake up and book a job women have to fight for one. For women I say yes and for men I say no.
Tip - Don't do your own hair and makeup. The photo shoot is about you feeling and looking great. There is something magical about having someone pamper you.
5. Will you direct me during the shoot?
A headshot photographer is not just a photographer. He or she is an artist who tries to bring out the truthful expressions that are within. Technically once my studio is set up my photos will look great but without the right angles and natural expressions your photos won't sell you.
Tip - Practice facial expressions by moving your mouth, eyes and eyebrows.
6. How long until I can view my pictures?
Most photographers have a turn around time of 24 to 48 hours. I follow Peter Hurley's method of showing my clients the photos before the session is complete that way the session becomes participatory and you don't have to go home wondering.
Tip - Don't look at what you consider your flaws, rather look for the truth in the photo.
7. How long until I get a copy of my pictures from my photo session?
Depending on the photographer it can take up to 2 weeks to get a disc to you. However you just need to get an online portfolio to get started on narrowing down your favorites.
Tip - Don't cut your hair after the session.
8. How much does the headshot session cost?
I saw a headshot session for $29 on Craigslist the other day and I know people who charge $1100. They are both worth the money if you think about what you pay for. You can view my rates here.
Tip - Feel comfortable with whoever you shoot with. Headshot sessions are a collaborative work.
9. Where can I print copies of my headshots?
When it comes to printing headshots Reproductions is the best. The good news is that with online submissions you don't need to print as many as before. There are several places that you can get your headshots printed if Reproductions is out of your budget. Click here to view the others photo printing places here.
Tip - Don't print your own headshots on your home printer.
10. Do you photoshop any of the photos as part of the package?
Some headshot photographers touch up a few photos after the session and others recommend places that do it. I touch up 2 to give you a commercial headshot and theatrical headshot.
Tip - Know who is touching up your photos. You didn't just spend hundreds of dollars on a photo session for some bad photoshop job.