Updated: Sep 16, 2022
If you are wondering how much headshots cost well, as an actor and an experienced professional headshot photographerl I have some answers for you.
I have been a headshot photographer in New York City for a few years now and have found that prices for headshots for acting and other things can really vary and, therefore, people's reaction to my rates vary heavily and are super interesting. Sure, most people don't have much to say and feel that my rates are just within reason but I get a bunch of outliers on both ends.
I do headshots for actresses and actors, as well as corporate and professional headshots, and headshots for models.
I meet many who say how amazed they are at how inexpensive I charge for such high quality images. While you'll get others who say I am way out of their price range and are just too expensive.
I appreciate and respect both sides.
I, myself, am an nyc based actor and photographer (who travels to Los Angeles a lot) and you can see my headshot photography rates here.
I think my rates are right in the middle. Being an actor first, I have seen the varying rates for headshots for years. Some of the top headshot photographers will charge upwards of $2500 for a headshot session and will only deliver to you one to three edited images total. And there are photographers who's rates start in the $600-$700 range for just a few images.
On the other hand, you can surely find headshot photographers who will shoot you for just one or two hundred dollars, and even less. If you are lucky you could find that diamond in the rough who charges such low rates and delivers a top quality product, but more often than not you will get what you pay for and photographers on the lower end of the spectrum will deliver a sub par product.
When I started out, I charged as low as $200 for a session and I also shot a TON of people for close to nothing (and many for nothing)! But I was learning and had A LOT more to learn about the craft and my camera (as I still do!).
But as I became more sought after I raised my rates to reflect the value of my time and now start my rates at $375, which I think is a really solid price. That is a one hour shoot and comes with two looks, eight total images, and four of the eight images retouched. I also have two larger packages, including one that comes with unlimited looks for $650. And there is a cheaper option for those who are just looking for modeling digitals.
My best advice is don't waste your time and money on a photographer unless they have shot work that you like. If they are out of your price range, check and see if they will come down...maybe in exchange for you recruiting other actors or models to book them and then getting a discount. Or look at hiring them as an investment into your acting, modeling, or professional career.