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How To Save Money On Your Headshots

In this post, I'm going to share with you how to save money on your headshots. As someone that's paid thousands of dollars for photos himself and now gets to photograph hundreds of actors, entrepreneurs, authors, speakers and influencers every year - I definitely have some things to share. 

How To Save Money On Your Headshots In 3 Steps:

  1. Don't hire your friend to take your headshots. Don't do it. Unless your friend happens to be a FULL TIME professional photographer who is amazing at what they do. Why? It's simple, anyone who is not fully invested in something is not anyone we want to hire for anything important. Period. I can't tell you how many of my clients went and paid their friends a couple hundred bucks first and then came to me and paid me as well. I get it. I do. There was a point in my career as an actor where I was literally cashing in change to pay rent and eat. I know what it's like to scrape by waiting tables in the most expensive city in the world. But when it came time for client facing marketing materials I didn't skimp. I worked harder and saved up to go with a photographer I knew could get me the shots I needed to move my career forward. 
  2. MEET WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER BEFORE YOU HIRE THEM. This is a MUST. If there's anyone that wants to sit down with me before hiring me for a free consult the answer is always 'yes.' Why is this so damn important? Because what you need most from a photographer isn't visible in their photos. That's right. That photographer's ability to get you the shots you need to move your life forward is invisible until you meet them. You need to know if this is the right photographer for you. And the only way to do this is to sit down with them for a little bit and get to know them. In a future post, I'll talk about what questions you might want to ask but for now just go have a chat. You'll know right away whether this is the guy or gal for you. When I was a young actor, the guy I thought I knew I wanted to take my photos based on his work was not the guy I wound up going with. Had I not taken the time to meet him before, I would've wasted over a thousand dollars on shots that may not have been any good for me. 
  3. As much as you can, take price off the table. Meaning, don't let price be a factor. Now I know what you might be thinking: "What the hell, Michael?! I thought this was a post to held me SAVE money on my photos????" It is. And what I've shared so far will help you by: A. Not paying twice for your headshots. B. Not paying the wrong photographer. Those are the two biggest complaints I get from clients who I've worked with and from all the dozens of actors, entrepreneurs, authors and speakers I know. But why do you want to take price off the table? Because, in the time we live in, photos are the first contact anyone is going to have with you and whatever it is you're selling. Whether you're a yoga teacher, dentist, someone who is looking for a date, coder, in fashion, a designer or whatever. Headshots are magical because they have the ability to do two things...

First, a great photo can make you look far more competent than you actually are. That's right, you could be the worst Real Estate Agent in the world - but if you've got a great headshot people are going to think you're amazing. Perception is reality. On the flip side... 

Secondly, you can be the very best in the world at what you do but there's no faster way to make people think you're wildly incompetent than with a bad photo. It sucks, I know - but it's the truth. 

So how can you save money on your headshots in summary:

  1. Don't go to your friend with a camera who's doing it as a side gig
  2. Meet your photographer before hand (if you can't meet in person at least Skype)
  3. Take price off the table because whatever you think you're you're saving is going to cost you big time in the long run. 

Next week I'll talk about how to interview your photographer to find out whether they're the one for you (or not).