Life is short, change your focus, learn something new…why not?! This very handsome guy decided to give acting and commercial print work a try in his 40’s and I think he is going to do very well! This was his first headshot session so we decided to do some character shots along with traditional headshots to show off his range.
The talented Matthew Crawford. This gentleman is not only a Baltimore/DC theater actor and instructor but also specializes in stage combat. If you have ever attended the Maryland Renaissance Festival, you may have seen him in action! There is no doubt in my mind we will see him do more TV and film roles very, very soon.
New year, new look or maybe just bored with your marketing materials? You are not alone. This time of year is always crazy busy for me with new clients! Just a sampling of some recent headshot sessions.
David’s agency requested new images with brightly colored backgrounds. I gave him quite a few options and I hope they love them.
There are a lot of reasons one photographer might charge more than another….
TIME: I don’t have time limits to my sessions…I hate feeling rushed and I certainly don’t want my subject to feel rushed. So be careful of that cheap “one hour” session price some people may offer. I am also happy to spend the time needed before your shoot to send you suggestions for wardrobe, show you sample shots to help you prepare and answer any & all questions you may have.
EXPERIENCE: I have been shooting for most casting agencies and managers in the Baltimore/Washington/PA area for over 20 years. I am on the suggested photographers list provided by AFTRA/SAG. This experience has taught me that the best acting headshots are not necessarily the prettiest picture of you. They are a tool to show your personality and should represent the real you. Not the “Instagram filters, overly retouched…let’s make my eyes bigger and my nose smaller with these apps version of you.” Embrace what makes you different and show your quirks.
Why hire an experienced professional? Because the cheapest photographer is probably just starting out, putting together a portfolio, or is doing photography part time to supplement another income. WHILE THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT– all of us started somewhere — his or her rookie status probably means the $75.00 photographer hasn’t a clue about industry standards for headshots, won’t know proper lighting or retouching and contrary to popular belief, you can’t learn all that by watching a few YouTube videos.
On the other hand, just because a photographer is the most expensive, doesn’t mean they are the best either.
For a brief period, I stopped shooting and became a director for a casting/modeling agency. It was short lived, but I learned a lot about why some casting people choose one person over another. Since the headshot is the first step in getting that coveted role, some people thought if they traveled to New York and hired a photographer, they would get a significantly better headshot than if they used someone locally. So the logic was “if I pay more, it must be better…right?!” “If I pay to have someone in NY do my headshots, I am more likely to get that audition…right?!”
Let me explain why this is flawed thinking on so many levels. First, just because someone lives in New York or LA, that doesn’t make them a better photographer…it just means they pay way more studio rent than I do. Photographers in larger markets have to charge more to survive. Paying more doesn’t always get you a better product. Do I believe you should pay for a great product…absolutely! There are some really talented photographers in the Baltimore area, each with a slightly different style and personality.
“SO YET ANOTHER REASON to invest in your headshots– because it means you’re invested in your craft, which in turn means you’ll be taken more seriously.”
APPARENTLY, IF YOUR HEADSHOT DOESN’T LOOK PROFESSIONAL, the experience from the casting side is that if they call you in, you’ll likely be green (inexperienced), thus deterring them from calling you in at all.
This is a quote by one of LA’s top headshot photographers, Vanie Poyey, and I couldn’t agree more. Even if you are just getting started, if you want to present yourself as an actor worth hiring, you should approach all aspects of the business as a professional.
This shoot for Jadyn Mikay was particularly fun since her manager requested character headshots along with a traditional headshot. I loved creating her “prep school” look and her “edgy, tough girl” headshot! Thank you to Jill from No Filter Glam for the lovely makeup.
The rest of the photos are from recent shoots as well.
It’s been a busy few months with actors returning for their 2nd or 3rd session with me over the years. The greatest compliment is when they are happy enough to come back for more.
“I am letting you know that I have received all five sets of photos you sent. They look absolutely fantastic. I am 110% satisfied with the final results. Thank you for all of your work and providing an easy and hassle free process (global pandemics aside…). You will definitely be getting an email from me the next time I need headshots.” John Wontrop