The headshot photographer implies that if you don’t work with them, it could jeopardize your acting career.
This is a scare tactic intended to motivate you through fear. Of all the good reasons to work with a photographer, making the decision to do so out of fear is not one of them.
It’s just a headshot folks! It’s a photograph. Yes, you want a good one which accurately reflects who you are, but even if that’s not what you get, you’re acting career isn’t over. You have someone else take your headshot!
I know headshots can be a big investment, but as an actor, it’s something you need to grow accustomed to because every time your look evolves, you’ll need a new one. That’s why it’s such a beautiful thing if you find a great photographer who provides the type of shots you like. The chances are good that you’ll get another great shot the next time you get headshots.
And that’s also why it’s a little easier for photographers who have been working in a certain area for a prolonged period of time. Repeat business is beautiful!
Also keep in mind that not every actor who succeeds in Hollywood has an amazing headshot. But whatever it was about their headshot grabbed the attention of the casting director. And whatever it was about their audition, presentation, and acting skills sealed the deal.
Yes, the industry is incredibly competitive and having a professional looking headshot will help you, but it is no guarantee of success. And having a less-than-spectacular headshot is no guarantee that your mission to make it will result in failure. Though obviously between the two, you’ll be giving yourself a better favor by getting a great headshot that showcases the true you.