This is a question I get most via phone, email, or messenger. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy to answer as all that.
One person may only need a simple studio head and shoulders image on a plain, neutral background, yet the next person’s idea of a headshot might involve a full-length image on a green screen with a desk full of props in the foreground, and drop in a law library in the background with a logo overlay and six levels of retouching to choose from. This is not what I would call “a headshot,” but it could very well be the client’s only terminology they have, to convey “a marketable digital image.”
In its simplest form, “a headshot” at Newsome’s Studio is $199 for the first image purchased.
If you want your headshot to become more involved (as in the latter example), it’s not what I call “a headshot,” it’s more of “a branding session.” A branding session is a collaboration between your ideas and my skill set in bringing them to life. The cost of which, is dictated by the level of time and talent needed to bring it all together. Sometimes, additional costs are incurred, via the need to purchase a stock image to use as a background or me going on location to create that image myself. Maybe you need several “reworks” of retouching because you don’t think you look slim enough, or young enough, or whatever!
Today’s digital world has opened up an ocean of possibilities when it comes to creating a great marketable image. Retouching is no longer a simple case of removing a few blemishes.
Today’s digital world has opened up an ocean of possibilities when it comes to creating a great marketable image. Retouching is no longer a simple case of removing a few blemishes. In this day of Snapchat and Instagram filters, people are accustomed to presenting themselves as younger, slimmer, and more photogenic than they might actually be in person. There is actually a real danger to a client insisting that you go what might be considered “overboard” in retouching them beyond recognition. I caution clients of that, but still, they persist.
All of this boils down to time and talent, and time and talent are the only commodities left in the equation of running a profitable photography business. I don’t sell pixels, I sell my time and my talent.
So, how much is a headshot? Well, how much of my time and talent do you expect you’ll need? It could run anywhere from $199 to $999 for that first image. The only way I can accurately answer that question is for us to have a conversation about your particular needs, but suffice it to say that “a headshot” BEGINS at $199. And no, just because you “only need it for Linkedin” doesn’t make it any less valuable to you, or any less time and talent consuming for me.
If you’re going to market yourself with it, it should be taken seriously, by you AND your photographer.