You are faced with a bazillion choices in your career about training, marketing and networking services. It’s overwhelming and (imho) overcrowded.
Acting dates back to Ancient Greece and over the centuries it’s developed into a viable career option for the masses. With that goes all the different “services” that are marketed to help your career, whether you need it or not.
Makes me wonder if Thespes had to do One on One’s.
The same is true with headshots because everyone with a camera can decide to offer to take your picture. I’m all about taking your creative endeavors to a commercial market but very few hone their skills to a professional level before advertising their services.
You must be your own advocate when it comes to making a choice of who to work with. Just as you do when deciding where to take lessons, how to market yourself, and finding representation, you need to be as selective with your photographer.
Here are 5 basic rules of what to look for before choosing:
- Look through their portfolio like Sherlock Holmes looks for clues.
- Their entire body of work should be consistent and high quality.
- Make sure they focus on headshots.
- They don’t have to be a headshot photographer exclusively, but it needs to be one of their specialties.
- Decide if you want outdoor or in studio photos. Rule 1 applies regardless!
- Studio gives you more consistency and control of the environment.
- Outdoor can have a more commercial vibe.
- Expression. Expression. Expression!
- Are the clients showing some personality? 75% of my job is to coach you for different expressions that show who you are as a person.
- Is the overall look of the portfolio a look you want?
- Clean and crisp, dark and moody, bright and commercial etc.
If you start with these you are well on your way to making a choice that benefits you in the long term. It’s not just about getting “something” to show people. You need to look professional and the only way to do that is for the photographer to be professional.
“Photography is like a moment, an instant. You need a half-second to get the photo. So it’s good to capture people when they are themselves.”
— Patrick Demarchelier