This post applies to both my actor headshots and corporate headshots clients alike. There are countless photographers and options for headshots in NYC. New York is a super competitive market and having the right headshot can make or break your chances of success. Here are my top 5 tips for getting your headshots in NYC.
1. Select the right headshot photographer.
NYC is home to countless photographers, especially those specializing in headshots. Ah, the smell of capitalism! The sheer amount of options out there are daunting and at times overwhelming. Each offers a variety of packages, price points, style, and each has their own unique personality. Start by narrowing down your top 3-5 choices. Don't call them first. Before calling, take a look at their online portfolio to get a sense for their style and who they are. Also look to see if they can photograph both sexes well and/or can do photograph actors as well as they photograph business professionals or vice versa. Additionally, look for testimonials, not only on their website, but also on social sites such as Yelp and Google. And lastly, does their personality seem to mesh well with your own? Do they seem fun or cold? If everything looks great, give them a call. If they're available and willing to take a few minutes to discuss your needs, you're likely making the right decision! If not, go to the next person on your list.
2. Budget is important, but don't skimp.
As my Dad loves to say, "Son, good ain't gonna be cheap and cheap ain't gonna be good." These wise words have stuck with me through my adult life and should be in the back of your mind when selecting a headshot photographer. New York is a really expensive place to live in. And if you're an actor, you may not be raking in the dought quite yet so you think to yourself, "Hey, I really should save some money on headshots." In my experience, that usually ends up with you getting headshots that not only you loathe, but headshots that don't capture the real you. Crappy lighting, bad retouching, and a half-hearted experience from a photographer who probably doesn't care if you succeed or not. Being cheap often ends horribly when it comes to headshots. Now that doesn't mean you should break the bank and spend $1000 on headshots, but it's generally best to avoid the $99-$199 headshot guys. They're usually focused more on money instead of meeting the specific and often unique needs of their clients. Ultimately, it's your money, but don't end up buying twice because you want to save a few bucks. Make an informed decision; buy right and buy once.
3. Know what you need to convey in your headshot.
Preparation is key for a successful headshot session, but perhaps one of the things you must prepare for is actually knowing what you need to convey in your headshot. If you're getting corporate headshots, does your company have a friendly, approachable image(pediatrician, real estate agent, personal trainer) or do they have a more serious image (criminal lawyer, journalist, wealth management firm)? And if you're an actor, do your or your agent see you as the girl/guy next door, victim, witty best friend, criminal, strong hero, or young Mom/Dad? Knowing the marketing specific to your needs will allow us to focus solely on that during your session, ensuring we're moving in the right direction. Save yourself a lot of headache and time by knowing what you need to convey even before your headshot session.
4. Select the proper wardrobe.
I've talked extensively about wardrobe on a couple of occassions here and here, but it needs to be said again. Bring the right wardrobe to your session will make or break your experience. Don't bring your absolute worst clothes that you haven't pulled out in ages. If you're an actor, select wardrobe that matches your character type as well as is the most flattering for you. Avoid those frilly dresses, graphic tees, and generally frumpy looking attire. This is NYC, so a bit of style is often expected and bad styling can make you look green in your headshots. For actor headshots, if your headshot makes you look green casting directors will think that you can't act and we don't want that now do we? Corporate headshots in NYC are no different. Avoid those pinstripe suits, keep your jewelry small and simple, and make sure your attire is pressed before your arrival. If your wardrobe is properly selected, that'll be one less thing you'll have to think about. The only thing we want you to worry about during your session is getting the right expressions.
5. Go into your session with the right attitude.
This tip probably should have been number 1, but I guess we're saving the best for last. So you've followed all the tips above and you're preparing for your headshot session. I know having your picture taken can be a nerve-racking, anxiety inducing ordeal, but it doesn't have to be. First, woosah and relax. Now, remember we're just taking pictures. I know they're super important to you, but we're just taking pictures. You won't be rushed during your session, I'll work with you every step of the way and we'll be previewing your work as we go along. Come to have a good time, be talkative, request the type of music you like, and trust your headshot photographer. A headshot session is a give and take between the photographer and the sitter. Trust them, their expertise, and their process. It takes two to tango as they say and if you give a lot in your session it will definitely show in your photos. Having your trust will give the photographer the freedom to play and create great spontaneous moments that capture you at your absolute best. I love to have fun during my sessions and I encourage you to do the same! Coming in with a great attitude and a cooperative spirit will ensure your session runs smoothly and is fun to boot!
I hope these tips help you. If you liked this post, show us some love! Click on the like button, comment or share it!