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Headshot Photos 101

At some point in our lives, we’ve all had a need for headshot photographers. Whether for brand photography, work, professional development, or senior graduation, it’s important to find the right headshot photographer and make sure you get exactly what you need! In this post, we’re going to go over headshots photography 101. From definition to cost and how to find the best headshot photographer for you!

What is a headshot photographer?

A headshot is an image that clearly shows your face, usually taken from the chest up. They’re used for business cards, biographies, social media profiles, and more. A headshot is a critical part of your personal brand, which encompasses the larger collection of imagery and marketing material you use to promote yourself and your business. Traditionally, these are taken with a backdrop in a studio. Modern headshots are more informal, in workplace settings, outdoors, or other on-location options.

A headshot photographer is someone who specializes in taking headshots. Corporate photography is its own genre, and not every photographer offers headshots. Sure, your family or wedding photographer could take a picture of your face. But a headshot photographer will offer a better service than a photographer who offers headshots but typically works in another specialty.

Headshots vs Brand Photography

Headshots fall under the umbrella of brand photography. Brand imagery encompasses all the images and graphics you use to promote your business. You want them to have a similar look and feel so your brand is consistent and recognizable. A brand photographer can capture your headshots, team photos, behind the scenes and educational imagery, product photography, corporate event coverage, and just about anything you need for your business. This allows you to have a collection of consistent imagery to use for collateral, your website, social media, packaging, and general marketing needs.

How much do headshots cost?

It depends! Most established corporate and brand photographers charge $75 to $800, typically delivering (limited) edited digital images from the session. Photographers are independent companies with varying pricing. Rates depend on their business expenses, years of experience, quality of their work, hourly rate, and the type and quantity of product they’re delivering. Then, there’s variables like mileage and availability to consider. Finally, artistic style and skill play a role. If you’re looking for a new headshot, you’ll have to reach out to individual photographers to see what photographers are charging near you.

Generally speaking, an isolated headshot outside of a personal branding photography session will cost a couple hundred dollars. Photography is an industry that is easy to enter, so novice photographers are out there charging less. Headshots are also more affordable in group rates, where photographers may charge by the hour or by the person. When it comes to booking one individual headshot, your per image cost is going to be high. If you need to save, try booking with a group for a better rate or invest in Pop-Up Mini Branding Session to get more variety and imagery for your time and money.

How to find a headshot photographer

You could Google it. Heck, that might be how you found this post! But… Let me let you in on a little secret. Google, search engines, directories, Facebook, etc only show you businesses who know what they’re doing in the marketing department. A business that exists and does great work doesn’t automatically get listed on Google without registering, creating great content, and meeting certain technical parameters. This means it’s possible to show up at the top of the list if you have a great keyword and marketing strategy but poor quality work, and it’s possible to not show up at all if you have a fantastic (likely offline) business but haven’t put time and money in digital marketing strategy.

Like any other service you shop for, the most reliable way to find a great professional is to ask people you know. If you’re rebranding, your brand designer or web designer may have people they have worked with in the past that they can recommend. As a working professional in a group practice like law, real estate, medicine, etc; your colleagues likely have good recommendations. Scroll through Google for some options too, but don’t forget to ask your network!

Vetting a brand or headshot photographers website

  1. Ensure they’ve done headshots before. You’d think I don’t have to say this, but I do! If you’re working with a family photographer, wedding photographer, or some other specialty, ask to see prior headshot work. A headshot requires specific framing and posing that doesn’t come naturally. You want to make sure they’re experienced in this line of business.

  2. Consider their artistic style. Do you like the work they produce? If you’re able to look at multiple examples, is it generally consistent? Make sure that their photography style is going to suit the look and feel of your brand too.

  3. Look for reviews and testimonials. Can you find more than one? Are most of their clients having the same great experience, or do results vary? You want to make sure that the photographer is reputable and pleasant to work with.

Looking for Headshots in Charlotte, NC?

If you’ve stumbled upon my site looking for a photographer, hi! You nailed it. Hi! I’m Amanda Richardson, and I’m a headshot and brand photographer! I only work with businesses and professionals. I’m based in Charlotte, NC, but I travel all over for comprehensive, on-site headshot and brand photography. Here is the link to inquire or sign up for for Headshots:

Pop-Up Sessions - The first Thursday of every month | Pricing - Breakdown of Services. I can't wait to meet you!

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