The photographer wants you to believe that they’re the only photographer for you.

The photographer wants you to believe that they’re the only photographer for you.

Often a photographer trying to gain your business will in some way try to convince you that they’re the only photographer available to help meet your specific needs.

Sometimes this may actually be true, depending on where you live and other factors. But in many cases, it’s really just a marketing tactic in order to convince you to commit.

Generally speaking, there have never been more photographers available to meet your needs in the history of photography, than there are now.

Some photographers are better suited to meet your needs than others — so make sure you can see yourself in their work and you are confident from their presentation — or better your interaction with the photographer — that they are the right photographer for you.

The headshot photographer claims that their headshots will get you work.

Photographers like to use statements in their marketing that show you the benefits of working with them vs. others. While this is “Marketing 101”, not every claim being made is as straightforward as it first appears and it helps to understand when you are being manipulated.

What do actors want? To work.
How do actors get work? A headshot is most often an important part of the process.

Therefore, it seems reasonable to claim:

The photographer will provide headshots that will “get you work”.

This is sort of a trick statement. While it is possible that a great headshot will get you called in by a casting director, it is entirely up to you and your acting chops to seal the deal. A headshot alone will not get you work.

And even if you have a fantastic or flawless headshot that may get you called in for numerous auditions, if you don’t actually look like your headshot, that’s going to work against you.

The photographer will provide headshots that will “get your foot in the door”.

This is actually more accurate than the “will get you work” statement above, but still a little tricky. There’s really no guarantee that any headshot will ever get your foot in the door, but if you have a look a casting director feels is appropriate for a part, then it’s a good start.

The photographer has extremely low rates.

The photographer offers bargain prices (sounds too good to be true) that a well below average in your area.

This is a case where a photographer may simply be looking to attract clients or gain professional experience by charging very little for their services.

While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, if a photographer doesn’t consistently charge enough for their work to support their business, then the chances are good that they are not supporting their “photography business” with their photography.

If the person is a hobbyist or simply someone looking to make a few extra dollars taking photographs, then be certain you know this and, more importantly, be sure that the work they provide appeals to you and is capable of meeting your needs.

A person who supports their photography business with their photography services is much more emotionally invested in providing quality services and gaining repeat clients than someone who is simply looking to earn a few dollars on the side.

The photographer claims that studio headshots are better than natural light headshots.

The photographer claims that studio headshots are better than natural light headshots (or vice versa).

Studio photography can provide some benefits over shooting in natural light, such as working in a strictly controlled environment (climate, lighting, background), but can also make all photographs in this environment appear very similar to each other — in a very cookie-cutter fashion.

Studio photography also allows you to schedule at times at which the weather or outdoor lighting are agreeable (such as at night). It also allows you to work through cold or rainy seasons. It’s also remarkably easy for a photographer to shoot studio headshots, because it ultimately takes very little effort. A few subtle lighting or backdrop changes to account for a client’s size or complexion are all you need.

When the location is the same shoot after shoot, clients practically become interchangeable. Yes, some photographers do have complicated lighting setups and also go through a fair amount of effort to make sure you have a relatively customized experience.

For a studio photographer who has developed a particular headshots style that people find appealing, that style becomes very easy to achieve because it’s been done in the same location using the same (or a very similar) lighting setup over and over again.

While natural light photography creates a few challenges that studio lighting does not, the results of such shoots can create very unique and dynamic shots.

The challenges of natural light photography include the environment, weather, and lighting. None of which are in complete control. Some environments are more stable than others, but weather and lighting change constantly. A good natural light photographer is able to use the resources he has available to get the results he (or she) wants.

Unlike a studio shoot, a natural light shoot is never the same thing twice. Each shoot is uniquely different depending upon the time of day, weather, location, temperature, and even the season.

Natural light is typically limited to daylight hours as there’s really not much light to work with at night, especially not the kind useful for taking actors’ headshots. And while you can add a flash to brighten up your subjects, this isn’t considered “natural” light.

The photographer charges a premium price, but “isn’t your career worth it?”

The photographer charges a premium price, but “isn’t your career worth it?”

You get what you pay for. Right?

Your career may be worth it, but you don’t always get what you pay for.

While we often equate product quality with price, a photographer who charges a premium price doesn’t necessarily provide photos that are better than a photographer who charges much less.

So be careful not to be manipulated into working with a photographer simply because their rates are above the average of other photographers in your area.

In the end, choose a photographer based on the quality of their work and your specific needs.

The photographer claims to have a totally unique “process” to create headshots.

The photographer claims to have a totally unique “process” to create headshots.

While the photographer may have a totally unique process to create their headshots, it’s not rocket science. A headshot is a photo of a person’s head. Face forward (obviously not the back of the head!). It should be well-lit and be an accurate reflection of what the person truly looks like.

You don’t need a formula to take a great headshot. You simply need to know what makes a great headshot and be able to capture them with consistency.

The truth is, anyone with a decent camera can take a quality headshot. The trick is to be able to be able to create the type of environment where one can do so consistently.

This includes knowing exactly what an actor headshot is (vs. a model headshot), understanding lighting and composition, and being able to comfortably interact with and direct your subjects in order to make the best headshots shots possible.

The photographer claims that professionals are the only ones who can get your headshots done right.

Professional photographers are the only people who can get your headshots done right. Right?


It is entirely possible for anyone with a decent camera to capture a stunning headshot. Sometimes your “buddy with the camera” can get good shots, too. But in many cases, getting that shot will take a lot of time, patience, and a bit of luck.

Some people are just better at taking headshot photos — and those people are generally the professionals who make a living from doing so.

But if you’re hurting for headshots and you don’t have the money to pay a professional, then make the most of what you have — and if that’s a friend with a camera, so be it.

But keep in mind, many photographers offer specials or are willing to negotiate with clients in order to gain your business. While you may not have enough money to pay the average rate for headshots in your area, you might be able to negotiate a price that works for both you and your photographer.

Keep in mind when working with non-professionals, “people with cameras” who have little invested in their “photography business/hobby” don’t necessarily feel obliged to provide you with a level of service you can expect from someone whose professional life revolves around exactly what you’re looking for.

The photographer claims to have unique insights or skills to capture “the true you”.

The photographer claims to have unique insights or the skills necessary to capture “the true you”.

This could be true. It depends on the photographer.

Getting great photos out of people when you point a camera at them has a lot to do with how the person getting their picture taken feels during the shoot. If they’re comfortable and they trust the photographer, it really helps in capturing great photos.

If the person is nervous or uncomfortable during their photo shoot, it nearly always shows in the photos. That does not mean it’s impossible to get fantastic shots while nervous or uncomfortable, but it does make a photographer’s job more difficult — and it’s much less fun and enjoyable as a subject.

While that “fake smile” may work in a snapshot, it doesn’t belong in a professional photo. A good photographer will know how to capture “the true you” — and if that’s someone with a genuine smile, all the better.

The photographer has very limited availability.

The photographer has very limited availability to work with you.

First, keep in mind that this may very well be true. Or it may be true one week, but not the next.

The general idea of using limited availability as a photographer marketing tactic is that it can make a photographer appear as if they are in high demand. Items that appear to be in high demand are often viewed as superior to others.

Another thing having limited availability does is create “scarcity”. People tend to want things more when they’re more difficult to get.

In the end, be careful not to be manipulated to working with a photographer simply because you perceive them to have limited availability.

Make sure that you look at their work and have a good idea of what you can expect if you work with them. And if that is something you want, go for it.

What is a Headshot? The Basics.

What is a headshot? What is a headshot for?

A headshot is, in most cases, an 8″x10″ photo taken of a model or actor. A headshot commonly encompasses a subject’s head and shoulders, with the focus being almost completely on the subject’s face. However, some “headshots” can often include as much as 3/4 of the subject’s body (called a “three quarter” shot).

If you’re an actor wishing to audition for roles, headshots are an absolutely necessary part of the process.

An 8″x10″ headshot is essentially “a business card for actors” which is presented to casting directors who decide whether a person has the right “look” for a particular part for a role in a movie, tv show, or theatrical part. It is not a “glamour shot”.

A good headshot is intended to market a person “as they are” (you should look your age, for example), but in as positive light as possible, accentuating the subject’s best qualities. A good headshot will often provide the viewer with a glimpse into the person’s character, or show their potential for a particular role a casting director is looking to fill.

Some photographer may claim that their headshots will get you work, but this isn’t entirely true. A good headshots can help you get your foot in the door and called in for an audition, but it won’t get you hired if you can’t follow it up with your acting chops.

A headshot is almost 100% of the time the absolute only thing a casting director has to judge you by. And if your headshot isn’t good and grab their attention in about 1/2 of a second, you’ll get passed over without a second chance or a second thought.

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