Should Your Headshot Photographer Care About The Outcome Of Your Shoot?

Well they should because it’s your career they’re messing with!

I received this nice comment today from a lady who I photographed yesterday. It’s a fairly common testimonial apart from the last few words – “you cared about the outcome too, so thanks” Thanks for yesterday, you made taking headshots easy and enjoyable! It felt like you cared about the outcome too, so thanks.

Wow! that made me think about my position as a headshot photographer and the results I deliver.

I didn’t think I altered my approach to this client from any other client, I try to treat everybody the same – and I do care about the results of my headshot session.

However it made me think. I’m sure there are actors headshots photographers out there with huge ego’s, who are very busy or maybe don’t need to worry the flow of clients as they think themselves to be ‘great headshot photographers’ and the clients will come anyway. Possibly there are photographers out there who don’t know any different. Admittedly not that many but they are increasing in numbers all of the time due in large part to the availability of fantastic modern cameras that do all of the technical stuff for you. Often this “new era” of photographers don’t have the complete range of skills needed to be a good headshot photographer – they simply point and press leaving the camera to do all of the work.

The crux of the matter is this, do we as headshot photographers care about what happens to our clients once they leave the studio? Should we care whether the headshots we give them actually do anything for their careers, whether or not our headshots help them get work, hep them get past the initial selection process to the audition stage. I think we should.

Headshots and Auditioning

Admittedly once they get to the audition it’s up to them to show their acting skills and ultimately weather they get the part is up to their auditioning skills, but for many clients they won’t even get close to that stage without a great headshot to get them past the keen eye of a Casting Director.

Out of sheer professional duty we should care, but more importantly morally we should care weather or not we gave the client the right headshot, the right advice and weather it’s working for them as an actors headshot. I’d hate the thought of one of my clients being constantly told that “their headshot was rubbish” or ” it’s not showing you very well” or ” it’s just not you”.

It’s a tough business this acting game and everybody expects to take some knocks, but we can cope with those providing there are some ups to go with the downs. However if an actor has a poor headshot – and they don’t know it – because they’ve paid a lot of money to a ‘professional headshot photographer’ – they’ll soon get fed up with the rejections and think it’s themselves who are at fault. When it’s not it’s the fact that they have a poor headshot and may well have been given poor advice. The ego’s of many in this business can be fragile at the best of times lets not add to the difficulties actors face by being sloppy in our attitudes.

I think a large part of my business ethos is to give people a great headshot coupled with expert advice that I have learned over the 20 years of working in this field, after all many of the clients we shoot are young, or new to this business and like all businesses we should work hard at giving our customers a superior service – if only for the purely selfish reasons of customer loyalties and good testimonials.

I’m sure that if I didn’t care bout my work, about the clients needs I am photographing or getting the very best headshot for that person word would soon spread, and we all know bad news travels fast.

And finally remember – it’s your career they’re messing with!

Headshot Madness – How to Choose the Right Headshot Photographer

1. Remember, money is skill. But not always! Sometimes someone who is a natural at headshot photography and is just getting started in the business can give you great headshots for a low price! But always look at their sample headshots first, because you don’t want to spend even $20 if the headshots you get back are absolutely useless.

2. After looking at a photographer’s headshot samples, give them a call (assuming they are in your price range). You can email them but it’s a much better idea to call because you want to get an idea of what kind of person they are by talking to them over the phone. Do they have time for you? Do they even care? Don’t work with them if they don’t seem to be interested in talking to you, or seem to busy to want to deal with you. They probably won’t end up giving you as good headshots as someone who really does care about giving you the most for your money.

3. Email to set up a time, and be sure they are responsive. This goes for any professional you might be working with: if they take more than two days to respond, that’s not a good sign. You need to always feel comfortable knowing that your headshot photographer is prepared and ready to serve you. You’re paying them, so why should you be worried that they might not show up?

4. After you feel comfortable that your headshot photographer is responsible and easy to work with, it’s a good idea to see if you can meet with him or her before the session as well. But many headshot photographers are very busy and can’t offer their time like that, so if that is not an option, you don’t need to worry too much. If it is an option, however, it can be good to get to know them better and see if you get along well. The headshot photographer should be able to make you laugh and you should feel comfortable around him/her, as it is the only way you will get good pictures.

5. On the day of the shoot, the best thing to do is to take things lightly and not to be too worried about trying to get the perfect headshot, because it will come if you give the photographer enough time and you two get along well.

Tips: Biggest thing to is to make sure you trust and get along well with the headshot photographer. Not everyone is compatible, and a photographer who seems like a jerk to you might be perfect for someone else. But if you hire a headshot photographer who you don’t get along with, it will become a mutually destructive photoshoot and you won’t get good headshots or have a good time.

Warnings: be sure to ask the headshot photographer for referrals if they don’t have many samples. Don’t get scammed by someone asking for down-payments or who asks for weird payment plans. Remember, if something sounds suspicious, it’s probably a scam.

3 Ways to Remake Stale Headshots Without Reshooting

You know your headshots are your number one calling card for developing your resume and it’s likely that you are often in search of the perfect one.

Considering how expensive it can be, most actors can’t get new headshots every time they would like to, so what can you do?

You can give your Headshots a Make-Over! Yes, using the ones you have – if they’re not too-too old.

To start with, be sure to work with one of the best professional headshot photographers you can afford and you won’t have to worry about a Headshot Make-Over. However, let’s say that for whatever reason, you’re not ready to do a whole new shoot, or you’re saving your money to work with a top headshot photographer like Bradford Rogne.

If that’s the case, then you might want to do something to freshen-up your current photos instead. To help you with that, this article gives you 3 ways to improving your acting headshots without re-shooting.

If you’re seriously considering doing something about your unsuccessful headshots, this article could save you several hundred dollars and the frustration of having to get new photos… yet again.

Here are 3 ways to freshen-up your photos:

1. Change the color of the background.

It’s amazing what a difference it can make if you change the color of the background to a neutral color. It helps keep the focus more on your face. However, the reverse may be the solution for you. If you have a neutral background, you may fare better with a colored background. We all have certain colors that bring out our skin tones better. Play around with the background color and decide what option catches your eye and makes you stand out in the headshot.

2. Change your shirt color to a more complementary color to your skin.

This suggestion is obviously similar to the first suggestion. If you are wearing a shirt or blouse that is too textured, too patterned, too bright, or too dark, this is an issue you can improve to get a better headshot. A photo lab (like Reproductions, Ray’s Photo Lab, etc.) can pretty easily change the color of it by editing with something like Photoshop. Or maybe you or a friend have photo-editing software and can do it without spending any money. However, if you don’t have the skills then leave it up to a professional because you don’t want make the pictures worst with unprofessional editing.

If all your headshots were taken in the same outfit, freshen up your group of headshots by changing the shirt color of one of them. Maybe, you’re using different headshots as your commercial shot, dramatic shot, bad guy/gal, comedic guy/gal, or sexy guy/gal – all individual characters. A simple color change to the shirt can help differentiate those photos and bring new life to those individual characters.

3. If the background is too busy, with too much going on then get rid of it.

I hate to say it, but some otherwise really good headshot photographers get so focused on the “artsy-ness” of their photos, they forget that YOU are the subject they are selling, not their headshot skills.

Because they do that, sometimes the photographers do funky things with the background, such as making it blurred, and it is more distracting than helpful. While they may argue that it puts the attention on you by blurring the background or making it super busy, I think not. I can almost guarantee your face looked great without the funky background.

If you have a photo like that, you could change it to a neutral background color. Fixing the busy background will blow you away. Okay there you go!

As previously mentioned, you or a friend may have the skills to perform what’s suggested, in which case, you will spend hardly any money. And if you use a professional photo editor (from a photo lab, etc.) you’re still only likely to spend the cost of an hour of labor. That is far less than paying for a new headshot session and everything (makeup, etc.) that goes along with it.

Why Headshot Photos Matter

Many people desire to become television or movie actors or even commercial models on TV or in print. Those who are blessed with good looks often have this goal in mind although not all are lucky to make their dreams a reality. The process of becoming actors and models is quite rigid today and one has to have that so called X factor in order to be picked out from the crowd.

But a good way to start taking action towards achieving your goal is to submit a professional headshot photo of yourself to casting companies. In this way, the casting directors will get to see how you look up close and determine whether you have a potential towards stardom or not.

A headshot photo is often called a close up picture. The entire face up to shoulder level (though not necessarily the whole head) is captured and it can be from different angles depending on the photographer who’s taking your picture. A professionally taken headshot photo should provide a clear image of yourself taken from your best angle possible.

There are many photographers today who specialize in headshot photography. In Los Angeles, California for instance where Hollywood is situated, numerous headshot photographers abound offering their service to aspiring actors and commercial or ramp models. Backed by a professional degree, many of these photographers closely compete with each other in terms of providing top quality photos that are not only attention grabbing but unique and can stand out from the rest.

Headshot photographers in the L.A. area recognize the advantage of submitting captivating photos to casting directors. They believe that a professionally taken headshot photo can be one’s ticket to Hollywood. Photos that reveal a person’s unique character even with little make-up as well as his or her potential in the acting and modeling fields are those that often get the nod of casting companies. The background does not even have to be attractive because it’s the person’s face that should be the main focus in any headshot photo.

Headshot photography has gained its place in the acting, modeling and corporate world. A lot of photographers have decided to focus on this field of photography as a way of showing their expertise and at the same time helping people achieve their goals.

The corporate world is also one of those utilizing headshot photographers these days. Many companies aim to create portfolios containing captivating photos of the executives in the top management level and they believe that professional headshot photos will do the job of communicating their organization’s professionalism and dedication to their business mission. Although an executive’s physical beauty is not of utmost importance, it helps to show a headshot photo that’s professionally taken.