How Much Does It Cost for Headshots?

You get what you pay for. It’s a cliché that has a lot of truth when it comes to how much a headshot costs. It’s also complicated to answer how much does it cost for headshots. There are many variables. That said, headshots don’t have to be expensive, at least not as much as many people think.

What are Common Ranges for Headshot Rates

It can depend on your location – more on this in a bit. However, the cost for professional headshots can range wildly. I’ve seen ranges in major metro areas from as low as $50 to as high as nearly $10,000. Yes, $10,000 – I’ve typed it twice as to ensure you know it’s not a typo.

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Headshot Rates Can Vary Widely from City to City or Depending on What They’re For

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What is a Professional Headshot?

You are more likely now more than ever to need a professional headshot. But what is this anyway? First, it’s usually spelled “headshot” but sometimes also as “head shot.” Simply put, a headshot is a professional photo of your face. But there’s more to it than that. Nowadays it’s usually a digital file but there are still instances where prints are needed. A headshot is also often called a profile image – such as those you post on a social media profile.  The next question that often comes up is why does it need to be professional? Well, for a lot of reasons.

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A Professionally Made Headshot Stands Apart Compared with a Smartphone Shot or Other Non-Professional Photo

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What Makes a Good Headshot?

A good headshot can be the difference in getting a gig or not. In certain industries, headshots are not just a luxury, they are necessary – actors know this. But what makes a good headshot? One can argue it starts with the subject, or person, being photographed. Removing this, and so our question applies to anyone, let’s rephrase the question to what makes a good headshot regardless of the subject?

I believe there are four components to making a good headshot and we’ll break down each one. Note the word “make” because that’s the difference between working with a pro and someone just “taking” your photo.

Think of each these components as each being worth one letter-grade, if you will. So, missing one can be the difference between an A or B score and missing two can mean a C, and so on. These four components are: 1) having a good, technically and creatively sound photographer, 2) using a very good camera, 3) an understanding of how to use studio strobe or natural lighting, 4) and post-production work.

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Sometimes the Goal in a Headshot is An Expression of Creativity

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The Questions One Must Ask When Getting Actor Headshots in Los Angeles

Getting headshots is bound to intimidate a few aspiring actors, which is fairly understandable given how much of their career depends on getting good headshots. Having recently penned an article on the subject for Daily Actor, an online resource for aspiring actors, I feel like it’s important to discuss the questions you should ask the photographer that will be taking your headshots. After all, some people enter the studio without doing much more than simply booking the appointment. There is more to headshots than just taking pictures of someone’s face, so it’s never a bad idea to further discuss details with your photographer. A few crucial questions can make the difference between good and bad actor headshots in Los Angeles.

What to Ask Your Photographer

As I recently discussed in the Daily Actor piece, “It’s arguable that for an actor there is no more important marketing tool for their career than their headshot.” This means that under no circumstances should you take them lightly. Maybe that photography enthusiast trying to make some money means well, but you shouldn’t trust just anyone with your actor headshots. The best way to make sure you are talking to a real professional is asking if they have a commercial studio. If they don’t have a studio, then you should probably not consider them any further. There might be rare cases where you might but usually not. Where do they take their pictures, then? Do they use natural light because they lack a technical understanding for using studio strobe lighting? Just like their portfolio, these things will be indicators of their knowledge and experience. You want to make sure that you’re talking to a professional headshot photographer.

Actor Headshots in Los Angeles

Once you have gauged the photographer in terms of their professional nature, it will be time to evaluate the technical aspects of the activity. That’s to say, you need to know what it is you will be paying for. Make sure you know exactly what will be included as part of your package of choice, specifically the number of setups, retouches, and photos per session. Will this include commercial looks, theatrical looks, or both? What gear are they using to shoot pictures and what software do they edit them with?


These are all things you will want to know before settling on a headshot photographer. You might not need to know specific details about what software or gear they use but you want to know generally. For example, you want to know if retouching is a service or if they just give you files right out of the camera. It’s important because, for example, retouching matters. You do get fly-away hair, or might have a pimple that week – such things don’t need to stay.

Why Ask These Questions?

A lot of people without professional context immediately assume there’s not a lot to headshots beyond them being pictures of your face. That is why you see all those profiles up on Backstage and LA Casting with selfies and poorly lit home pictures. It’s important to remember that headshots are the first thing casting directors will look at and use to make initial decisions. Before they’ve even seen you in person, they will be making these calls based on your headshot, so you want to make sure they look at a good one. Actor headshots in Los Angeles can be expensive, so you probably don’t want to give it a second try with headshots gone wrong.

The Best Actor Headshots in Los Angeles

Lucky for you, you will find the answers you are looking for here at Headshots by The Light Committee. It’s imperative that you receive the best possible service when it comes to headshots in order to guarantee that you get your money’s worth. If you are looking to ask some more questions or to schedule your session, call or text (818) 300-9434.

How to Get the Best Affordable Actor Headshots in Los Angeles

Although most of your own experience as an actor might have led you to believe that in order to get the best headshots you have to spend a lot of money, that is not necessarily true. Sure, headshots can be pricey, but there are some good, affordable actor headshots in Los Angeles. And you don’t have to spend a lot of money to look good in them either. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you look your best in your headshots.

Match Your Personality

If you have any experience with acting, even if it was just as part of your classes, then you probably know by now what types of characters and roles tend to suit you best. For example, you might lean towards being the charming friend or the shy genius. You might want your current headshots to capture just that because that is likely how you might land your first few roles.


“Yeah, this girl looks like she can play the badass cop.” “Oh, this guy looks exactly like the mean prom king type.” Lean into your strengths as an actor in order to make sure that your headshots can accurately give the casting team an idea of the roles you can play.

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