First and foremost you must always live within your budget and only you know what is best for you and your pocket because headshots can be expensive. If you find someone that you like and he or she is good then I say go with your instincts and use them. Getting in the entertainment business is tricky no matter how great your headshots are. However, as a general rule of thumb you should follow the guide below to determine how much you should pay for headshots if you haven’t found the right photographer yet.
Anyone who charges between $1 and $199 a session I would consider cheap. However, don't let the word cheap throw you off because it can refer to either price and/or quality and every so often you can find a gem if you search hard enough. Cheap headshots are for those people who are cheap (pun intended) and just starting out in the world of auditioning. If you are getting your feet wet then in the business, find a cheap headshot photographer you like and work with them.
Tip-Cheap Headshot photographers are sometimes just starting out so keep in mind you get what you pay for. The good thing is the cost is usually low risk if you don’t like the shots.
Anyone who charges between $200 and $500 per session is affordable. What $500 affordable? Well it’s getting up there I am not going to lie but yes affordable when you look at the bigger picture. Agents and managers want you to do one thing for them. Make them MONEY! That means that you NEED to be a great versatile actor/dancer, who looks good and is personable without having them lift a finger. Your headshots have to get you in the door so you can close the deal with your amazing talent. That means that an affordable headshot photographer should help you do that. if you are in it for the long haul and you go into an audition with bad headshots you won’t even have 10 seconds to tell them how great you really are.
Tip-Do your research, call them up and look at their portfolio. I knew a guy who went to go pick up his photos and when he arrived the guy had closed down scamming him out of $350.
Anyone who charges between $501 and above is costly. If a headshot photographer is charging that much then usually they have an A list client list to back it up. Costly headshots are for those people who are already in the business or it's their career and are very serious about getting in the door with elite agents and managers. Can you have cheap headshots and get in the door? Of course because it's all about talent BUT that rarely happens. There are some people in the business who won’t even talk to you until your headshots are from a certain photographer.
Tip-Getting expensive headshots doesn’t guarantee you will like them and it doesn’t guarantee you will get booked. I had 2 clients who spent nearly $1000 each and HATED their headshots.
So there you have it. Use the above as a general guide but keep in mind YOU and only YOU are responsible for the outcome. That means do your research and use my 10 questions to ask your headshot photographer before the photo shoot as a helping guide for you.
Oh and In case you were wondering... I am an affordable headshot photographer. If you want to book a session with me or have any other questions please click here.
There are 3 things I can't change... my 2 kids, my 1 wife and my 0 rights.