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How do you spot a bad headshot photographer?

OK how do you spot a bad headshot photographer and just as importantly what damage can they do to your career?

Let me take a little step back for a moment and give you a a scenario.

A friend of the family is a keen photographer and when they hear you need new headshots they volunteer to take them for you, you meet them and the headshots they take for you are not too bad. The photographer thinks they are great and is over the moon with them.

You are not sure if you like them or not but you don’t want to offend them, so you start using your pix

Nick Gregan Headshot Photographer

Uncle Bob?ctures. After a couple of weeks and

perhaps even a couple of months you realise you’re actually not getting any work. Nevermind not get any work you’re not getting called to  audition, nobody seems to take any notice of you! Is that because you’re a bad actor or is it because your headshot isn’t working for you?

I can’t remember how many instances I have come across an actor who is doing headshots at drama schools, at universities and  co-operative groups. They are working cheaply, so you think you’ll spend a small amount of money and go to the actor and get some headshots. They always say ‘I’m an actor so I know how to take a good headshot – do they? I always think if they did know they’d have a great headshot themselves and be getting more auditions!

Know what you want in a headshot

The problem is, inevitably the headshots are not quite good enough, just like the family friend who’s an amateur photographer for the boyfriend and girlfriend or father or mother who has a camera. They are not quite professional photographers, the pictures are ok but they’re not professional headshots. Remember, your headshot is your main marketing tool, it’s the first point of call from most actors and agents to connect to each other and certainly the first point of contact with casting directors. That point of contact has to make the person looking at the picture go wow that’s fantastic! I love this person’s picture. You had to make them want to look at you more to find out more, to look at your CV and in the end ask you down to audition or get you into their office to speak to.

So back to the orginal question; how do you spot a bad headshot photographer? Well it’s generally by their work. Most headshot photographers have a good website and a good body of work, they don’t seem to have one lucky headshot. Anybody can get one lucky headshot professional headshot usually have a good strong portfolio,of a range of work indoors, outdoors various styles of headshots. They may be taking moody headshots or they may like brighter, maybe they are commercial, there’s lots of different types of headshots.

Headshot Photographer LondonDo your research

What you’re looking for is a headshot photographer who understands the market. when I  say the market I’m talking about the market who understands current styles and how to deliver them. If you watch my video on style over substance or go to website and read the blog post on style over substance in a headshot. Style is important in current trends but style itself is not really the most important thing, and in headshots the most important thing is the actor within it!

The headshot photographer, your headshot photographer has to be able to connect with you and help you feel comfortable expressing emotion and connect with the viewer. A professional will know how to do this and will be able to help you get the best headshots.

Don’t take a chance with your career by using Uncle Bob or somebody who is a bad headshot photographer.  Always do your reasearch thoroughly, spend the correct amount of money, though remember price isn’t always the best guide. Real professional headshot photographers know the business, have connections and know what’s going on in current market.


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