What is a Headshot Photographer?
By AM Staff
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Actors need headshots to obtain acting work. Therefore, an actor needs to find a headshot photographer, a photographer who specializes in producing headshots and other photos for actors. A headshot photographer, unlike a general photographer, understands how show-business works and understands what actors need in a headshot.

Finding A Good Headshot Photographer

Because the actor’s headshot is extremely important to his ability to find acting jobs and representation, actors need to be sure they find a reputable headshot photographer. Actors who have a talent agency should ask their agency for advice in finding a good photographer. Actors who don’t have an agency can still find great advice by asking local actors about the photographers they may have used in the past.

What Is A Consultation Meeting?

Actors who have chosen a headshot photographer to take their headshots should look to set up a consultation meeting. A consultation meeting is a meeting that allows the actor to describe to the photographer exactly what he or she is trying to accomplish. It is also a chance for an actor to discuss with the photographer what should take place at a photo shoot. For example, actors can ask questions about what to wear, how much makeup should be worn and discuss what kind of look or image the actor is trying to achieve. The photographer is also able to give advice to the actor about what looks good on camera, such as the color of the actor’s clothing and how that clothing will look under certain lighting.

What Is A Photo Session?

Once an actor has had a chance to consult with the photographer, a date is arranged for a photo session to take place. A typical photo session will run anywhere from 1-3 hours in length, depending on what the actor and photographer hope to accomplish. There can also be other factors that affect the length of a photo session, such as weather, camera equipment complications, and scheduling.
During this photo session, the actor may be asked to change clothing, go to different shoot locations and make many different poses for the camera. A good headshot photographer will always ensure that his clients are made comfortable during the session, have private areas to change clothing and are able to provide feedback as the photo session progresses. After all, the goal is to make sure the actor has a great experience and  is happy with the way his photos turned out.

What Is A Proof Sheet?

After an actor has completed a photo session, the photographer may send over, or have the actor come by and view, a proof sheet. A proof sheet is a collection of the photos taken during the actor’s photo session. These photos are miniature images, and contain the images that the actor will choose to go on their headshot or composite card.

Many times, the photographer may suggest or advise the actor to choose certain photos from the proof sheet. While this is helpful, it’s always good for an actor to get advice directly from his or her talent agent as to which photo should be chosen. The talent agent knows which photos will work well in the market and will raise the most interest, so the agent’s expertise should always be decisive.

What Is Headshot Reproduction?

Once an actor views his proof sheet and selects his photos, it is now time to reproduce those photos so that the actor can begin marketing himself. In many instances, the headshot photographer not only takes the photos but reproduces them as well. However, this may not be the most cost-efficient method for actors. That’s because, headshot photographers specialize in photography, not headshot reproduction. For this reason, it is usually advisable for the actor to go to a headshot reproduction company that specializes in mass producing actor headshots. Headshot reproduction companies provide a quality service at a price most struggling actors can afford.

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