Custom Search
Headshot London Photographers - Articles: So what is a headshot? How much does it cost?

Sunday, 6 April 2008

So what is a headshot? How much does it cost?

This article explains what the actors’ headshot is and how much it could cost.

What is a headshot?

A headshot is a 10 x 8 (inches) image and is very similar to a portrait or a 'mug shot'. 10 x 8 is a measurement and the size of an image. It commonly includes head & shoulders, and focuses on the face of the person.

10 x 8 headshots are effectively a resume for actors and performers who present it to potential employers and casting directors. Casting directors then decide if that person is right for the particular role.

Actors’ headshots In the UK are traditionally black and white as originally they were photographed in B&W film. In USA on the other hand, headshots are mostly done in colour. Therefore, if you are travelling to USA for a casting, make sure you have a copy of your headshot in colour; or if you are about to have a photography session then let your photographer know which market your headshot is for.

There are two commonly known types of headshots for Actors and Performers:

+ Commercial – typically (not always) has the person smiling and projects warmth and friendliness. Those headshots are often used for commercial and advertising work. However, some actors also display them online next to their theatrical headshot.

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


Good headshot should reflect person’s qualities and show their exact age, hair style and colour, etc., i.e. should be natural and reflecting person’s current look. Therefore, if you have had a hair cut or coloured your hair then you need a new headshot. Headshots normally need to be updated around every 2 years.

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. Therefore here it is important to make the first impression count as there will be no second chance to impress your future employer!

What to wear?

Wear something simple and 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! Try also to avoid materials such as velvet as it absorbs the light and is not visible on the B&W image.

How much does a headshot cost?

Actors’ headshots could cost anything between £60 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, and 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.

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. It would also help if you like the photographer’s personality. This would help you to relax and give your best in front of the camera. Therefore, it is always helpful to have a chat with your chosen photographer on the phone or in person before the session.

Second, enquire 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. However, keep in mind that headshots should look like you and be natural and not over glamorous.

Do not hesitate to contact us for more information

This acrticle is also featured at

(c) All rights for this article belong to Headshot London Photography at

(any copying or distribution unauthorised by the owner is strictly prohibited)

1 comment:

AnnABelle said...

good definition. Well said.
I love your photos! / LS Blogs / Photoblog