question about headshots


Senior Member
Staff member
what are the guidelines and standards for headshots these days? how much should a person spend for headshots?


Traditionally, actors/actresses have used 8x10 Black and White Prints as the standard headshot. But, even though B&W 8x10 prints are still used, it's become more acceptable and more often preferable for actors/actresses to use electronic format Color Photos for their headshots. They stand out from the rest of the gray and white washed photos, and it’s much more convenient to file.

A couple of months ago, a good friend of mine needed some headshots taken on short notice, so I just took them in full color and had them enhanced and burned onto disc for email. At the beginning of the week he sent them off, and he's gotten alot of job offers since then.

Another friend of mine who's an aspiring actress in LA told me that she and a number of her friends have been modifying their portfolios to the electronic/color format as well. It's not as much of a creative decision for them as it was for me; it’s more of a necessity for them, but still effective either way.

The general cost for headshots can range anywhere between $250 and $1000, and that may or may not include prints.
It depends on where you are, what’s offered in terms of quality, creativity, and rates i.e. hourly, daily, etc.
If you have a friend who is a photographer, then I strongly suggest you try to go through them first. Friends generally don’t charge, or at least they shouldn’t, and they’ll work with you to get the perfect shot. When you go through someone you know; you’ll more than likely only have to pay for the print work. My sister, who’s a Houston Rocket’s Power Dancer had to update her portfolio recently, and because she’s good friends with a photographer, she was only charged for the prints, which totaled up to be less than a hundred dollars.


New member
As a sometime director, I'd also add that it's always a good idea to provide a headshot that looks something like you :). It's not been unknown to audition people and find the headshot was several years old and they don't look much like it in real life. That isn't necessarily a problem, but if you're trying to find someone with a particular look, it is.


New member
As a professional photographer I can assure you if you pay $1000 for a headshot only session you are getting ripped off. The prices for headshot session run different prices as you must hire a photographer and hair and makeup artist separate or together in a package as some studios do. Most headshot sessions run between $75-$225, as I keep in contact with dozens of fashion photographers through out the country. I would like to see the website of the $1000 headshot photographer!
Your headshot should be identical to what you look like everyday. A models headshot can show versatility,but an actor/actress they want to see how you look as yourself,plain and simple.As for b&w or color headshots, b&w are still the industry standards. Digital or film? It doesnt matter as long as it is a high quality image. If you go to the link on my website you can see how headshots are reproduced. That link is If you have any questions or need to locate a headshot photographer in your area just contact me.

Dan Selakovich

New member
I don't really agree with Bob about cost, at least here in the L.A. area. Rates do tend to run from $250 to $1000. Having been through the casting process more than a few times, a bad head shot ends up in the trash pretty quickly, so it's important that it is lit well, has a good spirit, and shows what you really look like. A friend of mine who does some pretty big people charges $500, and I think that's about standard.