I shot some new headshots and some modeling portfolio tests recently, and I wanted to bring yall along and show you how the shoot went & how I keep my shots fresh!
Here are some questions that I’ve heard or received that I want you to feel confident on when getting either your first, or next set of headshots.
- Do I need to travel to a major market to get my headshots done? No! Not if you choose wisely. The reality is, for some, if you have to wait to save the money to travel to one of those markets, and pay a higher price for the photographers who pay higher rent & other premiums in that market, that is a span of time that you will not be able to submit for projects. But, if your headshots are not professional, you will not be as likely to be cast. And if you’re paying (or trading, but I’ll cover that in another article) for photos, they need to be professional, right? Which leads me to…
- How do I choose someone to shoot my headshots? Familiarize yourself with the best headshots in a market like NY or LA and just what excites and looks quality to you. Look for someone in your area but be willing to travel up to an hour or so, but be selective. Look at that photographer or studio’s website and check out their portfolio – how does it compare? Check out their social media accounts and see what they’ve been doing lately, but don’t be swayed by big numbers necessarily.
When choosing a photographer through their social media or portfolio, the images, not brands they’ve worked with or numbers, are what matter:
Can they make a variety of people look good?
Does their lighting seem to be on par with the best?
Do they provide retouching?
Is the retouching natural, or overdone?
Do they seem to have a respectful, professional way with clients & followers?
Choose someone who has a studio or access to one if you want in studio shots. This was my first time shooting with Michael and Joslyn Devaney of SRQ Headshots, though we’ve met a few times before this so I had a comfort level with them. They are very natural and easy to work with. I think the outdoor, yet downtown vibe of these is more lively than me just sitting in a studio, but they have a studio, as well.
- Should I pay/ How much should I pay for my headshots? You may be able to do a trade, or TFP, shoot with a photographer who needs to keep their portfolio or their social media fresh, as well. Just remember, you won’t spend money, but you do need to: 1. Bring value to that photographer 2. Invest your time in finding a photographer and both of you having time in your schedule to shoot for free. But if it’s not working out for you to find someone that way don’t be afraid to pay a nominal fee to get the shots you need. Headshots can easily run up to $1000 and beyond, but they simply do not need to cost that much.
As of this writing, the SRQ Headshot special is $200 for 4 headshots which… I feel like they’ll be raising soon because it’s quite a good price for the quality of work! But people in or visiting the Florida market should take advantage of them being in the area. Don’t pay crazy amounts for headshots, but do not go to the first person you find. This is your business card. It’s like a sign for your business, so you need to have standards for it. Between $150-500 is a reasonable amount for working headshots depending on your area, and depending if they include hair and makeup within the package.
- Outfit: I brought a variety of different shirts with me so I could get options. You can see how different the style and color of just a few inches of material, or the coloring of a photo can make you seem!
- Should I wear makeup? You want to keep your makeup natural, of course, because if the person casting sees that you have on a ton of makeup in your photo, they’re not going to know what they’re going to see when you actually meet should they cast you.
- Should I bring makeup? I have to fight myself not to arrive like this:(just kidding…to this I brought just my (admittedly large) purse/briefcase thingy, but I knew at this location I could park close…. I do have a bag in my car like that) but even if you are the most makeup-phobic person on the planet, regardless of gender, don’t be shy to bring a powder compact (even if you don’t need the powder, being able to check the mirror will reassure you nothing is out of place just before you shoot) and a lip balm or gloss with you to shoot your headshots.
After we got the headshots, I changed so we could get a few tests for my modeling portfolio since they do those too. Click through to see the portfolio images!