The Top 5 Tips For Finding an Outstanding Headshot Photographer

Finding a headshots photographer in Los Angeles might be easy but finding the RIGHT photographer can be a daunting task. Here are 5 tips to help you find a photographer who takes outstanding shots that will help you advance your career and get more work.

1. Find a photographer with the perfect balance of technical and people skills

Photography is not just a science – it is also an art. A photographer must have technical skills in order to take great photos but he/she must also possess people skills to make you feel comfortable and accentuate your best features. Find a Los Angeles headshots photographer who is personable and who you feel at ease working with and check their work samples to ensure that he/she has the technical skills necessary to take great shots.

2. Find someone whose style you admire

When searching for a headshot photographer in Los Angeles, make sure to find someone whose style you admire. Of course you should only consider photographers who have websites in this day and age because it proves that they are professional and take their work seriously. The shots posted on photographers’ websites are most likely their best ones. If you were a casting director, would the photos grab your attention? If you admire a photographer’s work and think that their photos stand out, it’s a good bet that they’d be able to take the kinds of headshots you’re looking for.

3. Make sure you “hit it off” with your photographer

Many a Los Angeles headshots photographer has the skill and experience necessary to create great shots but that alone is not good enough reason to hire someone. You need to feel comfortable and get along well with your photographer because that will make a huge difference in the way your photos turn out. A great photographer must know how to get you to relax in order to bring out your best features. If you don’t feel comfortable, your shots will look stiff and lack personality. Spend time talking to photographers and gauge how you feel prior to hiring someone. When you feel at ease during a shoot, you will be able to experiment more with different expressions and feel more confident, resulting in shots that are eye-catching and unique.

4. Don’t hire a photographer based entirely on price

It’s understandable that many of us want to save money when we can but headshots are not worth the gamble. Don’t hire the cheapest Los Angeles headshots photographer you can find because you will get what you pay for and regret your decision later. Base your decision on the how you feel when you talk to a photographer, what your opinion is of their work samples, and how much experience they have. If you choose the cheapest photographer, you will end up spending more money in the long run because you will have to get your photos re-taken. Furthermore, mediocre headshots could potentially cost you your career. Headshots are your #1 marketing tool as an actor so hiring an excellent photographer is worth the investment!

5. Choose a professional photographer, not a hobbyist

In LA, there are several actors who pick up cameras and take headshots on the side for extra income. While this is not to say that actors don’t take good photographs, someone who makes their entire living from photography is far more likely to put their all into each shot and take the best possible photographs. After all, their reputation and career depend on it! Find a headshot photographer in Los Angeles who is experienced and professional – a professional is more likely to possess the skill required to take great photos that get the attention of casting directors and agents.

The 7 Essential Components of a Great Headshot

Headshots are like actors’ business cards. They are your #1 marketing tool as an actor so make sure they are spectacular. A great actor photo is everything because it will get your foot in the door and further your career while a bad actor photo has the potential to ruin your career.

Your photograph must make an immediate impact on those who see it. As they say in this industry, casting directors and agents like to see actor headshots in Los Angeles that “pop.” While there is no specific formula for creating a successful actor photo, all great ones have a few things in common. Here are 7 essential components of a great actor photograph.

1. A great actor headshot focuses on the subject of the photograph and expresses his or her potential for a part. There is no wild clothing, hairstyle, or jewelry to distract from you in the photo. The photo also has to be technically perfect with no shadows or distracting backgrounds to take attention away from you.

2. A great actor photo brings out the best in you without looking unnatural or staged. Actor headshots in Los Angeles should be flattering but not at the expense of reality.

3. Headshots must focus on your eyes, reveal your personality, and tell a story. In order to get a casting director or agent’s attention, your photos must express something unique. Find a photographer who can help bring out your best qualities in a shoot.

4. The pressure to create great headshots in Los Angeles can be overwhelming because you only have a few hours to create photos that will essentially make or break your career. This pressure is understandable but in order for your photos to “pop,” you must appear relaxed, comfortable, and at ease. Look for a photographer who is easygoing and whom you feel comfortable with so you can look and feel your best in your photos.

5. In great headshots, actors connect with the viewers. Achieving that visible level of communication with the camera requires the expertise of a competent, experienced photographer.

6. Great actor photos do not have overly dramatic lighting and distracting backgrounds. Actor photos are meant to show how professional and serious you are to casting directors and agents.

7. Most importantly, great headshots in Los Angeles require great photographers! Do your research and talk with several photographers before deciding on one. It’s important to get a sense of how a photographer works. A shoot’s atmosphere will largely determine how your photos turn out so make sure you feel at ease with your photographer.

Head shots that possess these qualities will dramatically improve your chances of success in the acting world. Don’t settle for mediocre actor photos when you market yourself to casting directors and agents. Make sure your photos make a lasting impression by carefully selecting a photographer who truly understands what a great headshot consists of and who is capable of bringing out your best qualities.

Surefire Tips For Getting Spectacular Kids’ Headshots

Too stiff, too age-inappropriate, not what casting directors want to see – these are some of the problems that occur when parents try to take kids’ headshots on their own. While it’s understandable that many of you want to save a few dollars when you are just starting out, your child’s success depends on his/her actor shots so it’s incredibly important to invest in great shots. You have to hire an experienced, professional photographer who knows how to deliver the kinds of photos casting directors, managers, and agents want to see.

Pick a Photographer Who Likes Children

Not only should the photographer you hire have experience shooting with children, he/she should also ENJOY shooting with children. There are several Los Angeles headshots photographers out there who aren’t open to shooting children so make sure that when you speak with potential photographers you ask them how they feel about the matter. It’s essential to find a professional who gets along well with children and who knows how to communicate with them. Actor shots must reveal a child’s communication with the camera and only a photographer who likes kids and enjoys shooting with them will be able to bring out this natural expression.

Another important factor to consider when hiring someone to take kids’ headshots is whether the photographer works quickly and efficiently. Speed and efficiency are essential when shooting with young children because after 10-20 minutes, children get antsy and are about ready to melt down. In this short amount of time, a photographer must be able to get several great shots. In addition, it’s always helpful if a photographer is easygoing and has a great sense of humor in order to bring out your child’s natural smile and persona.

Achieving the Right Look

Kids are supposed to look like kids in their photos, not mini-adults. Los Angeles headshots photographers with experience taking actor shots for children will tell you that the most important thing about children’s shots is that they must look natural. Actor shots aren’t pageant photos so don’t put your child in a frilly dress or tux. Keep clothing casual, simple, and clean cut. Avoid shirts with characters or logos because they are distracting. Make up is generally not necessary and as for hair, a natural style will usually do. One of the keys to a great shot is that the child looks his/her age in the photo. In most of the shots, your child should be pictured with a warm, natural smile and in other shots with a more serious expression.

How to Prepare for a Shoot

When is your child the most alert and pleasant? Make sure to schedule your shoot within that time frame. Grumpy, sleepy children don’t make for good kids’ headshots. If your child usually naps in the afternoon, schedule the shoot earlier to avoid interrupting his typical schedule.

Make sure your child gets enough sleep the night before the shoot and feed him or her a nutritious breakfast on the day of the shoot. Avoid sugary foods because sugar tends to make kids hyper and distracted. A healthy, balanced breakfast of fruit and oatmeal or something of the like will help your child feel focused and energized for the shoot. Don’t forget to bring bottled water and light snacks to the shoot in case your child gets hungry.

When speaking with different Los Angeles headshots photographers, ask to see examples of their work to review. Do the children in the photos look happy? Do they appear natural? Are the photos flattering? Is the child the focus in the photo with nothing else distracting from him/her? If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you have potentially found a photographer who’s capable of taking spectacular shots of your child.

Whether you’re hoping your child will be the next Haley Joel Osment or you simply want to test the waters of the acting world, great kids’ headshots are absolutely essential because they will get your foot in the door. Fabulous shots will help your child get more work and achieve success as an actor. This is one area in which you don’t want to try to scrimp and save – hire a professional photographer and get professional results!

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