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How Much Do Acting Headshots Cost?

Acting headshots costs may vary from photographer to photographer. So it is obvious to get confused while choosing a service. So how much do acting headshots cost? 

An acting headshot cost may go as low as $25 to as high as $2500. This depends on the photographer’s experience and the additional services you use, like editing. 

Here I will provide all the details about how professional photographers charge for acting headshots and why they charge. Also, I will help you choose the right services for your requirements.

How Much Do Acting Headshots Cost

How Much Do Acting Headshots Cost?

There are various types of photographers, but most can be divided into these categories.

  • Beginner 
  • Amateure
  • Professional
  • Studio

Let’s see how each type of photographer charges for acting headshots. 

1. Beginner

Anyone with a professional-grade camera can be put into this category. They generally don’t have much experience as a professional photographer. 

They are the people who are interested in making a career as a photographer and may have some knowledge of photography through a course, or they are self-taught. 

For Acting headshots, you can expect them to charge you around $25-50. 

Why do you choose them? 

If you are on a budget and want a simple headshot for one of your auditions, you can go with a beginner. 

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Also, one thing to remember is that not all beginners are the same. They may not have experience, but some can be naturally talented and understand many things about lighting, colors, etc. 

So before you hire them, see a lot of samples to get an idea of their skills. 

If you are on a budget, I recommend you check out my article on taking headshots at home.

2. Amateure

This type of photographer usually charges you between $75-120. You should go for amateur photographers again if you want headshots on a budget but don’t compromise too much on the quality of the headshots. 

The difference between amateurs and beginners is that amateur photographers have good knowledge of photography, lighting, shots, and other technicalities but lack the finish that allows them to click perfect headshots every time. 

You will find some great and average pictures if you see their samples. 

So while working with them, you will have to try many things before you get your perfect headshot. 

Unlike professional photographers, they might lack the required skill of editing, but you can always hire a professional editor to enhance the quality of the photo. 

3. Professional

You must go to a professional photographer or studio to ensure the headshots are perfect. 

Professional photographers have years of experience and the right knowledge. Also, they are fast and provide quality results without wasting your time. 

If they are well established, they will take care of the lighting, make-up, costumes, editing, etc., for you. All you have to do is walk in and provide your requirements. 

But all this is not cheap. It can cost you between $800 – $2500. If it is a studio or company, it can go even higher. 

I suggest only going for these headshots if your agent or casting team has requested you for the best possible acting headshots.     

How Do Headshot Photographers Charge You?

There are plenty of ways they charge you based on session, looks, or all-inclusive. Let’s look at all of these in detail:

1. Per Session

Per session means the photographer charges you a few for the time he spends shooting your headshots. It doesn’t include the cost of editing etc. 

This can be further divided into hourly charges. The longer you shoot with him or her, the bigger the charge. 

You will generally find photographers providing mini or quick sessions, which can cost from $50 to $100. This session could be around 15-30 minutes. 

If you take headshots at a different or outdoor location, the session can go up to 2 hours. This will definitely cost you more than $200. 

2. Per Look

Contrary to the session, you will pay for the number of looks short by the photographer. This is sometimes much more beneficial if you want to make a complete portfolio for acting. 

You can save much money because you are not charged by the hour. 

The fee for each look, you can expect it to be around $100- $300. If you hire a high-end photographer, the headshot cost can be even higher than $500. 

When hiring a photographer based on the per-look pricing, you must ensure how many headshots will be delivered for each look. Sometimes photographers deliver one edited or edited image and some more images as a package per look. 

3. All Inclusive

Compared to the per-session or look-based pricing, all inclusion could save you a lot of time. 

Most accomplished photographers or studios offer this kind of service. 

All-inclusive means you will get hair and makeup, lighting equipment, location, costume, and editing. You just have to show up at the studio, and the photographer takes care of everything. 

If you want to avoid the hassle of arranging everything by yourself, you must go for this service. 

When you hire photography with an all-inclusive package, you will have to pay some front fee before the shoot. 

One thing to keep in mind is you will be charged extra for additional services like hair, make-up, costume, etc. 

Before purchasing the package, please get the details from the photographer or the studio.                                           

Why Do Headshots Cost So Much?

A headshot may look simple, but many things go into it, like your hair, makeup, editing, lighting, location, logistics, etc. 

And sometimes photographers charge you extra for this thing separately.

Let’s just give an idea of how you will be charged in addition to a session fee:

  • For editing, photographers charge separately because they employ an editor. 
  • You will be charged extra if you want them to provide you with a hair and makeup guy. 
  • You will have to pay the rental fee if the photographer doesn’t own lighting equipment. 

The cost goes higher when you add up all these extra charges and the photographer’s fee.

What Are The Additional Charges For Headshots?

In addition to the cost of photography, there are additional costs that the photographer can charge you. These services include hair, makeup, costume, location, and photo delivery. 

1. Hair And Makeup

To look good on camera, you need some make-up and good-looking hair. And for that, you should hire a professional. 

Most studios or photographers recommend their makeup and hair professionals. If you want to use that service, you will have to pay the extra charge in addition to the cost of the headshot. 

It is generally an optional service you can deny if you have a good hair and makeup expert or a friend willing to help you out for free. 

As far as the cost of hair and makeup is concerned for the headshot, it can range from $150 to $400. 

2. Costume

Another aspect of an acting headshot is the costume. You can definitely wear your clothes. However, if you are required to have a certain kind of look in the headshot, you can definitely ask your photographer to arrange the required costume. 

There are many instances where an actor is asked to present a certain look in the headshot. It could be a period movie or something that demands you wear certain clothes. 

In such instances, this service could be a great help to you. 

The cost of the costume depends on the type of costume you want. 

3. Editing

Editing is an additional cost you will always encounter while making acting headshots. The cost is usually included in the headshot shoot package, but if you need retouching or require certain effects, you will have to pay extra for the editing. 

For editing, you can expect a price range of $50 to $100 per look. 

4. Delivery

Generally, this is also included in the package, but if you want the photos printed on a certain type of paper, you will have to pay for the extra printing cost. 

Photographers usually provide you with a soft copy of the photographs, including edited and raw images. 

Based on your request, they can provide printed copies too. But make sure you inquire about the cost of the printing. 

Final Thought

I recommend you have a list of headshot photographers that includes all kinds of photographers. You don’t always have to go for the costly acting headshots. Always choose the headshot service as per your requirement.