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How much do acting headshots cost?

Average cost in 20149: $150 See National


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The average cost for a headshot photographer is $150. You are likely to spend between $90 and $240 total. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated August 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Anyone looking for an acting job typically needs one or more headshots to get an audition. The right look can really help actors get a foot in the door. Many professional photographers specialize in actor headshots and know how to make people look their best. All headshot photographers aren’t alike, however. Some focus on corporate headshots rather than acting headshots. For acting headshots, someone with experience in that area can provide exactly what you need. Acting headshot prices vary depending on how many shots are needed, the length of the photo session, the number of looks included and other factors.

Number of looks

Each time customers change clothes or makeup counts as a different "look." Many photographers charge based on the number of looks in a given photo session.

Number of retouched photos

Most headshot photographers provide retouching services to make customers look their best. The more photos that need to be retouched, the higher the cost. For example, Ambe J. Photography of Brooklyn, New York, includes two retouched images in her $300 package and charges $25 for each additional retouched photo.

Number of locations

If you want to take photographs at multiple locations, expect to pay more to compensate for the photographer’s time and travel expenses.

Where you are

Headshots in acting hotbeds such as New York and Los Angeles generally cost more than in less trafficked locations.

Length of session

Some headshot photographers charge based on the length of the photo session. For example, Nancy Hauck Photography of Saint Paul, Minnesota, offers sessions for up to two hours that include three edited photos and an 8x10 print with the customer’s name on it for $145.

Makeup artist

Some photographers work with makeup artists on photo shoots, which will add to the total cost. For example, Ambe J. Photography charges $150 for makeup services for women, $60 for men and $70 for girls and teens.


Many headshot photographers bundle various services to simplify pricing, set expectations and give clients more for their money. Here are some examples of headshot photo packages:

  • Adam Southard of Best LA Headshots in Los Angeles offers two headshot packages:

    • $400 for up to six different looks or wardrobe changes, a 90-minute photo session at various locations, studio shots of each look that are ideal for websites and business cards, a link to download 8x12 versions of all final shots within 24 hours and professional touch-up services on up to 12 photos

    • $200 for two different looks or wardrobe changes, a 45-minute photo session at multiple locations, studio shots of each look, a link to download 8x12 versions of all final shots within 24 hours and professional touch-up services on up to six photos
  • Mike Sansone Photography in Chicago offers three packages:

    • $550 for unlimited looks, three retouched images and a makeup artist

    • $425 for four looks and two retouched images

    • $300 for two looks and one retouched image
  • John Glover Photography’s services in Costa Mesa, California, start at $175 for a 30-minute shoot, one look and one retouched image.

  • Steve Glass Photography of Lawrenceville, Georgia, charges $300 for a two-hour shoot and five retouched images, as well as the rest of the images from the session.

Cost-saving strategies

Limit the number of looks and locations. Apply your own makeup or have a friend do it for you.

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Recent reviews

Matthew Porter

Matt is very easy to work with. He is flexible and prepared. He has a great eye for images!

Nancy Hauck Photography

I had a wonderful experience getting my acting headshots done with Nancy! She has a very professional--yet still relaxed---studio space. I felt super comfortable working wth her and it shows in the photos; they don't look at all stiff or posed! Plus, there were so many options, the only difficult part of the experience was trying to decide which photos I liked best to get edited!! Overall, it was a great experience and I will use the beautiful final edited photos for as long as I can get away with!

PB Life Photography

This was the easiest and quickest highest quality head-shots I've ever had. I can't believe how affordable she is with such high quality. I literally have perfect head-shots at half the price I would have paid in LA! YAY!!