Is There Such a Thing as a Cheap NYC Headshot Photographer?
It’s no secret that our nation is in a financial crisis, and between the already plunging economy, the effects of the Writer’s Guild strike, and the possibilities of a SAG strike, many actors and actresses in need of the best headshots money can buy, instead find themselves buying the cheapest head shot they can find.
This is not a good thing!
I’ve already written about why choosing your headshot photographer based on money is a bad idea, so I won’t go into that here–instead, I would like to take minute to discuss how an actor can:
- afford a high quality New York headshot
- shoot with an established New York headshot photographer, at a discount
- make the most of the money he or she spends
Good New York headshots cost anywhere from $500-$1,500 depending on the headshot photographer. When looking for someone to take his or her headshot, how can an actor justify spending the money? And how much is too much? And is there any way to shoot a cheap headshot without doing it yourself?
There are quite a few New York City “headshot photographers” willing to work for next to nothing, but when it comes to amazing photos that will really contribute to an actor’s career, there’s no escaping spending some money. But you don’t have to pay a fortune to get good shots.
Change Your Perspective -
Is That Head Shot Photographer *Really* Expensive?
Yes, $600 or $700 is a lot of money. Of course it is! That’s 600 cheeseburgers from McDonalds (as my brother likes to say)!
But when you think about your headshots as an investment, that $600 doesn’t sound so bad…
A nationwide, broadcast television commercial can easily net an actor $10,000. Would you be willing to spend $600 to make $10,000? That’s a 1,666% return on your investment!
A lead role in a pilot for network television, even if that pilot doesn’t get picked up, can mean $50,000+ for an actor. Would you be willing to spend $600 to make $50,000?
Most people would answer with a resounding yes… put in that perspective, $600 seems like a pretty cheap headshot if it can get you one step further towards making an income.
Discount Sessions -
Inexpensive Headshot Options for Actors on a Budget
Most professional headshot photographers in New York City have options available for actors on a budget. I offer a returning client discount to help out performers who are updating their look, student discounts for performers getting headshots while in college or high-school, discounts for children’s headshots, and reduced-look sessions for performers who would love to shoot a session with me, but simply can’t afford a full session.
The absolute best option for a working, professional actor is a full session with multiple looks… but if you absolutely can’t afford that option, or are pursuing acting part-time or just feeling it out, a reduced session could be the right choice (especially if it means working with a good headshot photographer).
Not every photographer advertises or posts reduced session rates, so be sure to ask. My rates are now all online, and if you aren’t sure if a particular discount applies to you, please contact me and ask.
The Long Tail -
How Can I Afford a Professional New York City Headshot?
If reading the above still hasn’t given you an option that you can afford, to shoot with a headshot photographer you love, it might mean taking a hard look at the value you place on your career.
A typical headshot should last about two years. If you shot a full session with me (5 looks), that would be $625. That’s $26 a month, or $6 a week, or $0.85 a day (depending on how you look at it). Are you willing to spend $0.85 a day on your career?
Do you go to Starbucks every day? If you change your Venti Caramel Macchiato ($3.65) to a tall ($2.80) you save $0.85 a day–which is exactly the price of your headshots!
So when you’re thinking about updating your shots, or getting professional headshots at all, ask yourself if you really need that hot coffee in a Venti size… because the difference could mean a headshot that gets you in the door!