So What is a Headshot? How Much Does it Cost? | Author: Headshot London Photography

A headshot is a 10 x 8 (inches) or similar sized portrait. It commonly has person’s head & shoulders, and focuses on the face. The headshots that include a person’s shoulders are called ‘three quarter’ shots.

A 10 x 8 headshot is a business card for actors or entertainers and is presented to casting directors who decide whether a person’s look is right for the particular role.

In the UK actors headshots are traditionally black and white, whereas in USA they are often in colour. Therefore it is important to make sure that your photographer knows what market the actor intends to present their headshots to.

The best headshot should show a person as they are (age, look, style, etc.) and reflect their best qualities. It should be natural and reflect person’s current look. Therefore, for example, if an actor/actress has cut and coloured their hair, he/she would then require a new headshot… that includes scars ageing.

It is also important that an actor/actress wears simple neutral coloured (usually black or white) clothing that does not contain prints. The focus and attention should be emphasised on the face and not the t-shirt with imprinted flowers or palm trees or logos!

Headshot should invite the viewer in and make them want to know a person better. It should also provide a glimpse into the person’s character or present their potential for the role a casting director is looking to fill. It is the only thing casting director is judging you by and there is no a second chance.

Commercial – typically (not always) has the person smiling and projects warmth and friendliness.

Theatrical – usually serious, focused and actors are NOT smiling.

How much does the headshot cost?

Actors’ headshots could cost anything between £50 and £250. Going for the cheapest or the most expensive options may not be the best choices sometimes. There could be possibilities of either not getting a good quality or simply overpaying for the services that could be obtained elsewhere.

Many photographers offer different service packages that may include make-up, hair styling, an option of costume changes, variations on hours and number of photographs taken. Some photographers also offer cheaper sessions because they shoot from home and do not have large overheads from hiring studios. It is up to an Actor to decide, which option is the most appropriate for them. Make sure that it is safe and professional.

Therefore, it could be advised:

Firstly a person planning to do their headshot needs to look at photographer’s portfolio (online or a hard copy) to determine if their style of headshots photography is right for them.

Second, enquires if services such as make-up and a costume change are available. Many photographers collaborate with professional make-up artists that could be hired for an extra fee.

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