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.
3/26/2012 05:03:10 am
I feel like you get what you pay for. I'm not opposed to spending more money on photography because those things last forever. And I like to go with a photographer who's work i like!
3/26/2012 05:17:09 am
I agree. I paid $500 for mine in 2007. I still use them because I am just if not cuter than ever. Actually now that I think about it I might need new ones being that I am cuter. :)
3/26/2012 05:24:36 am
I have never had a headshot in my life. Probably time to have one!
3/26/2012 05:32:42 am
I think it depends on if you need them but they are very important for actors, dancers, comedians, and entertainers.
3/26/2012 01:02:08 pm
Do tell... Why is that?
3/26/2012 03:37:24 pm
Not sure I would ever need a $500 headshot! Hey, best of luck with Tebow! Should be interesting to see how that works out.
3/26/2012 11:44:37 pm
Well if you get so rich you have nothing better to do but go act in the world then yes you will but until then I am in agreement. :)
3/26/2012 04:33:08 pm
Hey could there be a vacancy for my in acting world? a character of Indian living in US? I didn't know head shot is such costly. Even a $200 is costly to my frugal self.
3/26/2012 11:46:11 pm
Haha.. Do you know Samrat Chakrabarti? I worked with him before.
3/27/2012 01:25:05 pm
You are right. It's not just about shooting photos. Anyone can take a photo. Push the button... Done. However to capture the moment that intrigues the eye is a skill.
3/28/2012 12:27:49 am
When it really comes down to it, what you decide to pay should reflect both your budget and quality. Getting great quality often means spending more, but in the end, it's really worth it.
3/28/2012 12:31:11 am
If budget is really an issue you can take your own. That skill is tougher than having a pro do it but in the end it is an option. Unfortunately the acting world is so over saturated that you have to be competitive. Great headshots should get you in the door. After that it's all talent.
3/28/2012 01:58:08 am
I've actually never had headshots or used a photographer in any way. So I didn't know about the pricing! You're right though, you do get what you pay for; my friend got married and while she of course did not get head shots, her wedding photographer was of the cheap variety and didn't do the best job.
3/28/2012 02:07:25 am
Wow. I have actually done a couple of weddings. It is truly a skill. Anyone can take a photograph but not everyone can master capturing special moments.
3/28/2012 11:49:40 pm
I agree, paying more does not guarantee that you would like your headshot. after all the photograph would be like how you actually are :)
3/29/2012 12:06:45 am
I will never forget when the young lady told me she spent $850 on her headshots and was crying that she hated them. It broke my heart because if actors usually live off of air and hope until something happens.
4/1/2012 07:39:01 am
4/1/2012 09:27:48 am
You rock like a star.
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