Choosing a Headshot Photographer
Their Previous WorkJust about anyone can hang a shingle out and call themselves a photographer, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be able to deliver a fantastic headshot. The best indicator of whether you’ll be satisfied with a photographer’s work is if you gravitate toward and appreciate their past efforts. Be sure to ask any photographers you’re considering if you can see a portfolio of headshots they’ve taken. Look through these photos and ask yourself if they’re the type of photo you want of yourself and whether you feel you “know” the person in the image based on the photographer’s ability to capture the person’s essence. Be very specific when asking to see a photographer’s previous work. If you’re looking to take a modeling beauty shot, you want the photographer to show you beauty shots he’s done in the past. If you’re looking to take a headshot for acting, you want the photographer to show you acting headshots she’s done in the past. A photographer may be really wonderful when it comes to artistic images or family portraits, but may not know how to deliver a great headshot.
Their Understanding of YouYour photographer needs to be willing and able to work closely with you to ensure that she’s capturing exactly what you want her to capture. Your headshot is not the time to deal with a photographer who wants to use his own “artistic license.” So, meet with all potential photographers and tell them what you hope to portray in your headshot. Chances are you’ll find yourself “clicking” with one or two of the photographers you meet with. This trusting rapport is extremely important when it comes to feeling comfortable during the photo shoot.
The PriceBelieve it or not, the price of a headshot isn’t the best indicator of whether you’ll be happy with the photo. A brand new photographer may offer lower rates in order to drum up business, but her headshots may be phenomenal. Similarly, a photographer who has been around a long time may be able to command a higher rate, but his style may seem dated. Only factor in the price of the headshot after you’ve looked through a photographer’s past work and have built a rapport.
If you discover that your favorite photographer is too expensive, explain your dilemma and see if she would be willing to offer a discounted rate. If not, tell her how much you love her work and ask if she has any suggestions for other photographers with a similar style, but a lower bottom line. If you’ve already built a rapport, chances are she’ll be willing to make a few suggestions.
by Laura Williams