Picking the ideal headshot photographer can be very daunting especially if you do not have an extensive knowledge of photography. But don’t worry, I have a few tips that could help you make the right decision.
- The photographers have a good grasp of the current trends in the business?
I’m actually quite surprised to see that even today most photographers are still stuck with the old techniques, instead of focusing on the current trends and standards. A good photographer will get out there and engage with agents and directors to understand the current trends of what is required.
When taking headshots, it is important that the actor be the point of focus. You might notice that this aspect of headshots is given, but looking at headshots nowadays, I’m surprised to see that some photographers still insist on taking headshots in front of busy backgrounds, bushes, brick walls and even trees.
But if you look at the current trends, most agents and casting directors are interested in clean, crisp backgrounds, as it allows the actor to be the main point of focus and still highlights their specific branding and type.
Photography trends are changing every day; make sure that both you and your headshot photographer are up to speed.
- Photographers know all about lighting and angles, but do they know anything about you
Other than the casual conversation you had with the photographer over the phone, do they know anything about you? Does the photographer know your skin type? Does the photographer understand the roles you are targeting? Does the photographer know the features/aspects that make you special in your category/type?
Most of the actors I have worked with always have a special aspect of them that stands out, regardless to say that I’m always open to ideas, thoughts and opinions of my clients. This way, every single headshot I take is different from the last.
- Does gender matter to you?
We all have our preferences; some prefer male photographers to female photographers and the opposite is also true. But from my vast experience, I can tell you that gender doesn’t make one a good or bad photographer; it is simply a matter of preference.
Who do you feel comfortable working with, a male or female photographer? What’s most important here is that you are relaxed, and open to your photographer to get the best aspects of your branding and personality.
- Verify Referrals
Just because a certain photographer worked well with another actor doesn’t mean that they will also work well with you. In such a case, I would advise you to seek referrals. Ask the referees their experience working with photographer. You can also ask them if the photographers are up to industry trends and standards. Is the photographer open to the actor’s input? You can also consult your manager or agent, as they will always have a referral list.
- Is the photographer you’ve hired an actual headshot photographer?
I always advice my client, especially actors, that the best way to get perfect headshots is by hiring a headshot photographer. And most importantly, an experienced headshot photographer. Headshots, in its own, is a form of art and must adhere to the set standards to achieve the best quality.
- Chemistry is key
You want to have a smooth conversation with your photographer, in such a way that you can address your opinions and queries easily. You can request for a one-on-one consultation with the photographer to get a glimpse of their personality. And if you get the photographer through referrals, ask as to why they recommended the specific photographer.