I proudly claim that I will charge you more for a headshot than most other guys in the area. So why do my headshot sessions in the studio “start” at $225 for business professionals, and $345 for performing artists while some will only charge you $40 and come to you? I treat my headshots as a personal branding session for you. It’s not just about setting up a few lights, snapping a few images, making a selection in 10 minutes and handing you the file. You may prefer or can only afford a quickie like that, but what is your personal brand worth? I am much slower, smoother and methodical about creating your personal brand for use across all of print and social media.
A little extra effort goes a long way: 1) I spend more time with you to pull the right expression that conveys the message you want to deliver to viewers; 2) Consistent quality so you get exactly what you see in my portfolio. My images look similar from shot to shot session to session other than the background, which varies from white to gray to black; 3) for women I arrange for one of my make-up and hair artists to be on site; and 4) your final selection will be retouched by a professional who only retouches images all day everyday. When you consider all these issues together, I am actually the best deal in town if you are looking for a Dallas headshot photographer with a cinematic style.
To get the right expression, I spend more time with you in the studio. 30 minutes is usually sufficient for a business professional, while an aspiring actor may need at least an hour preferably three to get the right expression. A headshot is about how you want to be perceived by others so my headshot sessions are about getting the right expression from you. In other words, you ARE the product. Most headshots I see from local photographers make their clients look bland, expressionless or out to lunch. If you are a business professional, you want to look confident and approachable. If you are an aspiring actress or actor, you will need that plus many more depending on the audition you would like to participate. The perfect headshot, in my opinion should make the viewer try to imagine what you are thinking about.
Yes I can make your image technically perfect on the first shot or two. That includes lighting, exposure and your body position so you do not have an unflattering double chin for example. A lot of photographers will often show you an image, that’s too dark, out of focus, lighting looks horrible, or the color looks whacky then will often say “We can fix that in PhotoShop.” My answer is why? You should always start with an image that is already near perfect. The more you do to an image in post-production, the more fake it looks.
But that is not enough! Every client want some retouching and every photographer promises it with varying results. I know I can do a fine job, but I want my clients to have the best service. That is why I use a professional retoucher, who only does headshots. He and his team retouch headshots all day everyday for business professionals and performing artists. There is no limit as to what they can do. They are that good. A lot of photographers do their own post-production to save money or to put more money in their pocket. Some do a fantastic job, some do an okay job, but most will do a horrible job. The worst retouching jobs are those that make you look like a mannequin or definitely fake. The best result is when people are uncertain whether a final image was retouched or not. If you start with a near technically perfect image, there will be a greater chance that the final retouched image will not look as if it were retouched. In fact, click here to look at some of my before and after retouching shots.
Most people have varying definitions of what retouching or editing means. It could range from simple color correction and exposure adjustment all the way to wardrobe changes and replacement of body parts. My basic retouching package includes color correction, facial lines, shadows, eyes, and teeth, smoothing skin, hair and make-up.
For women, I also highly recommend using a professional hair and make-up artist to pamper you on-site. It’s worth the extra money. Not only will they do a much better job making you look perfect for the camera, but you will automatically feel much more confident before the session.
So yes you will spend more time and money on your headshot when you come to me. However, you will leave feeling confident that you have a finished image that will serve as your personal brand in print as well as online throughout all of social media.
Ed needed a professional image, which is expected to appear in a national trade publication publication read by many Chief Information Officer’s around the country. Since his LinkedIn profile and his only photo is one of himself backpacking across the Rocky Mountains, he wanted a something more in the context of the article to be written and something more appropriate as a Dallas corporate headshot. Most photographers create headshots that extend from the person’s belly up to their head. However, we prefer our composition to highlight the person’s eyes and lips as opposed to their attire.
There are so many photographers out there to choose from to meet your needs. Some are focused on just one segment of the market such as weddings while others are a jack of all trades. Headshots is one area that is gaining increased attention because of the proliferation of social media for personal and professional applications. More and more individuals recognizie the need for something more than a self-portrait, a photo taken by a friend or relative or heaven forbid–a party cutout. Many photographers offer headshot photography as part of their services but very few concentrate on just being the best Dallas headshot photographer. Here are a few things to think about before you select someone to create that distinctive Dallas corporate headshot that makes you look confident and approachable or that amazing actor headshot that will help you get more auditions.
“It’s about the expression, without it you do not have a shot.” My mentor Peter Hurley mentions that all the time during his workshops. Photography accounts for only 10% of a dynamite professional headshot. The balance is the photographer’s ability to coach or direct the right expression from you. There are photographer’s out there who can get some of the photography right. That is, they’ve got the fancy camera and lighting set up as well as actually know how to use it. The images are properly exposed, well lit as well as nice and sharp in all the right places. But the image falls flat on its face because the client has a blank stare, looks scared, looks mad, looks too eager, or just plain old out to lunch, etc. The headshot is an image created for you with yourself as the product. Yes! It’s a commercial about your personal brand. It’s extremely important. It’s not just a place holder. It’s worth spending more than just $40 at the local Sears or Wal-Mart. The headshot on your resume or website may be the difference between someone taking a second look at you and what you have to offer. In behavioral science terms, your headshot can serve as either “negative re-enforcement” or “positive re-enforcement” of your brand.
A dynamite headshot is an investment. If you want a distinctive image, photographers who specialize in headshots will charge you either on an a la carte basis or a package for the following services: 1) the creative session which can be as short as 20-30 minutes for a corporate executive headshot or a few hours for an actor headshot portfolio generally ranges from $200-$1000; 2) retouching services for each image you want to use depending on the package starts at $45 for basic services; 3) the rights to use the high resolution images for either personal (non re-sale) or commercial use for things that will be resold such as products, book covers, etc. and 4) a make-up artist on-site for women. If you are a woman, you should also plan on budgeting for a make-up artist to be on site, which starts at about $75 for one look or $150 for three. So for budgeting purposes, plan on spending at least a few hundred dollars to easily more than a thousand for your headshot depending on how many different images you need, how much retouching you request beyond the basic package and the cost of the make-up artist.
I should briefly address retouching. And “retouching” has become such as over used word that most people do not really know what it means. The basic retouching package should include color correction, softening of facial lines, adjustment of the shadows, eyes, teeth, smoothing skin, hair and make-up. But most important of all, after the retouching, the image should look finished NOT retouched. I’ve seen so many botched retouching jobs where the person looked like a plastic doll or mannequin in the final image. I don’t do my own retouching because there are people out there who do nothing but retouching all day long every day. Many professional headshot photographers do not do their own either. After trying several retouchers, I’ve decided to use Colorworks in New York City exclusively. The best is subjective so let’s just say their work matches the style and quality I want as well as a workflow that strikes the right balance between client and photographer friendly.
Here are two images of Shelby Feil, who is Miss Jr Teen of Texas 2012. One image is straight as it came out of my camera. No adjustments were made other than to convert the RAW file to JPEG for viewing on most screens. I would say that image is pretty much ready for use. However, the image was sent to Colorworks for basic retouching. You be the judge. Which do you prefer?
Throw out that self-portrait, amateur photo or party cut-out. Get out there and work on your personal branding. Whether you are a business professional or a performing artist, get a headshot that matches the image you want to present to others.
I recently had an opportunity to photograph Shannon Marketic, who is Miss California and Miss USA in 1992. She came into the studio with her mom and her daughter as well as their new puppy. She is an extremely friendly person who has had an equally interesting history which you can read about on her blog. Nowadays she is a Blogger, Author, Actor, Host, Producer, Actor, Writer, Producer and Founder at Ransomed Princess Ministry
I was a tiny bit nervous before her arrival given her fame. However, a celebrity headshot is not that different from any other portrait other than celebrities tend to have a greater awareness of their image and how they look in the camera. When she arrived direct from another set, all nervousness disappeared as she treated as if she had known me all her life. The same goes for her mom and daughter. Once the formalities and introductions were out-of-the-way, I turned her over to Ricky Flores, who is my make-up artist.
Ricky is a fantastic a professional hair and makeup artist working in the Dallas area. He currently works at Salon Pompeo at the Hotel Palomar and for the Campbell Modeling Agency. He has been in the hair and makeup industry now for over 10 years. He can create just about any look you need or want, but I prefer a more natural look where the person is made up but does not look as if they were. It’s a lot harder than it sounds to make someone look good without making them look like they have a boat load of make up.
Once she was done, it was time to shoot. It was an interesting interplay. Shannon has been photographed by some of the most accomplished photographers in the world, she also has her own posing style, and I obviously have my own as well. She was very coachable and I learned from her as well. My forte is creating professional headshots using my cinematic style to make people look confident and approachable. I always tell people my style bridges the gap between traditional and celebrity portraits. I make ordinary people look interesting and fascinating so those looking at their image would stop and pay attention. This is Miss USA 1992 so people are going to stop and pay attention no matter what since she is blessed with internal and external beauty.
I shoot tethered to a Macbook Pro and a 27 inch Apple Cinema display so after every couple of dozen shots or so we would stop and collaborate on what we liked and did not like. She wanted to keep some images that I did not like and vice versa, but there were a lot we both liked. It was a fun experience shooting with her. At the end, I was even able to shoot a few frames of her with her mom and daughter. In the end, I believe I was able to create a celebrity headshot very different from anything in her vast portfolio. And, she was very happy given the accolades she included about me in the images she posted on Facebook.
She did share her book proposal/outline with me. It was a great read and when the book is released, I’m sure it will do quite well.
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