Why get a professional headshot?

Why Hire a Professional Photographer?

Amy Smith high res (29 of 59)
Amy Smith – Photo by Joel Echelberger Photography

My wife has always loved acting and movies.  She’s a huge movie buff and has always aspired to audition for a role in either a play or web movie.  We recently discussed how we could help her in her endeavors and what would be the best avenue to take in starting the process.  That’s when we discussed some initial steps she might take to give her an “edge” in the industry.  We jointly decided hiring a professional photographer to take a few head shots was a must.

The Headshot

If you want gain an edge in whatever profession you choose, having a head shot taken by a professional photographer is a must.  Keep in mind, that lighting is very important and getting a shot of you in the best light possible is key in getting a top notch head shot.  Only a professional photographer would offer the right lighting for the job.  They have a greater understanding of the camera, f-stops and aperture settings.  Often times, an amateur photographer won’t have the skills needed to get these just right.

That doesn’t mean you have to blow a ton of money on the most amazing photographer in New York. There are plenty of well qualified local headshot photographers out there who will give you a quality headshot at an affordable price (usually $150-$250).

Finding a Photographer

It was important to us to find a photographer who specializes in not only headshots, but one that had skills in other areas so we weren’t just getting the ordinary “front only” corporate looking headshots.

We decided going through referrals (from friends, other actors, casting directors, etc.) rather than just finding someone randomly online.  Like many other industries, there are a lot of photographers who charge a whole lot and you get a whole lot of nothing.  We would rather go through a trusted resource, someone a friend had used or someone who has a good reputation and lots of samples to show.  Take your time and find a good photography resource you can trust!

The Technique

The pose and background in your headshot is important as well. The trick to a great headshot is one that includes your personality or not (depending on the industry).  You want people looking at it to be able to discern the kind of actor/person you are simply by taking a glance at the photo. If you’re a comedian actor, make sure that your headshot isn’t sad or angry (that would be a little weird).  On the other hand, depending on what your headshot is for, you might or might not want silly photos.  For instance, if your headshot is for a Real Estate corporation, you might want to rethink the silly shots.  However, if it’s for a specific part in a play that requires a little more kooky character, let it rip.

Choosing the right photographer, headshot pose, lighting, and pose are essential to a successful headshot.   And you can do it within budget and get professional results if you do your research.

If you’re in the Akron or NE Ohio area, I highly recommend Joel Echelberger as a great local resource.  Check out his work here. 




About Denny Smith

Specializing in HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, WordPress, Expression Engine, SEO Strategies and Responsive Web Development, I build intuitive webs that demand results.
I'm not as mean as I look...
Posted in Photography Tips, Photos, Tips, Tutorials

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