Should Your Headshot Photographer Care About The Outcome Of Your Shoot?

Well they should because it’s your career they’re messing with!

I received this nice comment today from a lady who I photographed yesterday. It’s a fairly common testimonial apart from the last few words – “you cared about the outcome too, so thanks” Thanks for yesterday, you made taking headshots easy and enjoyable! It felt like you cared about the outcome too, so thanks.

Wow! that made me think about my position as a headshot photographer and the results I deliver.

I didn’t think I altered my approach to this client from any other client, I try to treat everybody the same – and I do care about the results of my headshot session.

However it made me think. I’m sure there are actors headshots photographers out there with huge ego’s, who are very busy or maybe don’t need to worry the flow of clients as they think themselves to be ‘great headshot photographers’ and the clients will come anyway. Possibly there are photographers out there who don’t know any different. Admittedly not that many but they are increasing in numbers all of the time due in large part to the availability of fantastic modern cameras that do all of the technical stuff for you. Often this “new era” of photographers don’t have the complete range of skills needed to be a good headshot photographer – they simply point and press leaving the camera to do all of the work.

The crux of the matter is this, do we as headshot photographers care about what happens to our clients once they leave the studio? Should we care whether the headshots we give them actually do anything for their careers, whether or not our headshots help them get work, hep them get past the initial selection process to the audition stage. I think we should.

Headshots and Auditioning

Admittedly once they get to the audition it’s up to them to show their acting skills and ultimately weather they get the part is up to their auditioning skills, but for many clients they won’t even get close to that stage without a great headshot to get them past the keen eye of a Casting Director.

Out of sheer professional duty we should care, but more importantly morally we should care weather or not we gave the client the right headshot, the right advice and weather it’s working for them as an actors headshot. I’d hate the thought of one of my clients being constantly told that “their headshot was rubbish” or ” it’s not showing you very well” or ” it’s just not you”.

It’s a tough business this acting game and everybody expects to take some knocks, but we can cope with those providing there are some ups to go with the downs. However if an actor has a poor headshot – and they don’t know it – because they’ve paid a lot of money to a ‘professional headshot photographer’ – they’ll soon get fed up with the rejections and think it’s themselves who are at fault. When it’s not it’s the fact that they have a poor headshot and may well have been given poor advice. The ego’s of many in this business can be fragile at the best of times lets not add to the difficulties actors face by being sloppy in our attitudes.

I think a large part of my business ethos is to give people a great headshot coupled with expert advice that I have learned over the 20 years of working in this field, after all many of the clients we shoot are young, or new to this business and like all businesses we should work hard at giving our customers a superior service – if only for the purely selfish reasons of customer loyalties and good testimonials.

I’m sure that if I didn’t care bout my work, about the clients needs I am photographing or getting the very best headshot for that person word would soon spread, and we all know bad news travels fast.

And finally remember – it’s your career they’re messing with!