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