Affordable Headshot Photographers in NYC
Your headshot is the most important piece of marketing material you can have as an actor. It’s the first thing the casting director sees – well before you even walk into the room. It can be the difference between getting called in and getting tossed onto the trash pile. Your headshot represents everything about how you are presenting yourself to your audience.
But what makes a good headshot? Unfortunately, there’s no definite answer to this. Everyone has a different opinion. So how do you know who to go to for a headshot? Photographers in New York can range from $50-$1200 or more for headshots. If you’re still in college or just graduating, you might not know quite what you’re trying to market yet. What’s your type? What roles are you going for? If you aren’t sure, you might not want to spend upwards of $1000 on a picture that you’ll outgrow.
I’ve collected a few options for affordable headshot photographers. Many of these photographers offer student discounts. They all have very different styles. It’s up to you to decide what style or look you’re going for. Pro tip: contact more than one and see whom you get along with best! You’re going to get the best results when you find a personal connection with your photographer.
Lowest price: $100/session for students
Mia is an up-and-coming photographer who turns out phenomenal work at an unbeatable price. Currently based on Long Island, she is willing to travel into the city and to certain locations depending on accessibility and scheduling. Mia truly has a knack for getting personal with her clients. She somehow knows exactly what to say to get a photo-worthy expression on your face. Over the course of your session, Mia starts to feel like your best friend or a member of your family. Throughout college, she took my headshots and I always felt like royalty when Mia was taking care of me.
Mia has a keen eye that not only allows her to take great photos but also gives her the ability to notice the tiny details. She’ll carefully tuck your hair back or adjust your sitting position so that you don’t have to worry about editing out frizz or awkward t-shirt bumps after the photo shoot. She also does portrait, family, event, couple, performance, and dance photography. Mia is a renaissance woman in the world of musical theatre and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in the photos she takes; in fact, you won’t be able to choose just one to use as your headshot!
Amanda and Jake are a stellar team of photographers. Graduates of NYU, they have been involved in theatre in many different ways for a long time. They have experience shooting live performances as well as taking headshots. They understand how expensive good headshots can be and they’re trying to offer quality work for an affordable price. And let me tell you, they definitely succeed! They’re the team I chose for myself when I needed new headshots after college. I ended up having over thirty solid photos to choose from and the experience I had with them was nothing but positive.
From their makeup artists (shout out to Alex Rivera!) to their help choosing outfits, I was comfortable and laughing all the way through. Amanda and I have similar hair, so she was great in helping me adjust my curls and smooth down any frizz. That personal touch really made me feel at ease with her. They also had some great ad-libs to help get my face into the right expression. My favorite was when they asked me to smoothly express the famous Cover Girl makeup line, “Easy, breezy, beautiful – Cover Girl!” and make the facial expression that I thought would match the phrase. With a hair toss and a laugh, I got a perfect shot on that line!
BONUS: They are also offering a 10% discount if you mention this article when you book your session!
Lowest price: $250
If you’re up for a fun, fabulous photo shoot, go to Michael! His philosophy on headshots is that…they’re just not that deep! He believes you shouldn’t stress out, you should just focus on being comfortable. Michael aims to capture your unique spark and create a headshot that simply shows you off. His $250 package includes 90 minutes of shooting time and approximately 4 looks. It also includes unlimited ’90s pop music to get you in the mood for fun!
I can vouch for the fact that Michael is the easiest person to be vulnerable and open in front of. He’s the official before-and-after photographer at Mark Fisher Fitness. I was comfortable stripping to my underwear for my before-and-after shoot in front of Michael within two minutes of meeting him! If he’s that good in that amount of time, just imagine how comfortable you’ll be by the end of 90 minutes!
Lowest price: $450 for students
Emily offers student prices on every package on her website. The lowest price listed is $450 for an incredibly generous amount of shooting time. Her style is cinematic, dreamy, and raw. Emily achieves this by matching backgrounds to the client’s preferred aesthetic as well as to what will get the client called back in the audition room. Her goal is to create specific headshots that equip the actor with an arsenal of options from which to choose. She focuses on character-driven headshots rather than just taking photos of uncomfortable actors in front of the camera.
Lowest price: $300/session for students – that’s $100 off her normal price!
Shani offers a very intense and fun package for getting the best headshots, including a questionnaire to help her get to know more about you. She considers her approach to be very character-based and has found that it’s easier for actors to get the look they’re going for if they’re thinking of characters or scenarios they might play out on stage. All of Shani’s clients receive high-resolution photos and three retouched images. Extra retouches are only $10! She also works with and recommends some highly skilled makeup artists to help you out all the way through your photo shoot. Based on her website, which includes some wacky behind the scenes and candid photos, Shani’s clients really have a great time when they’re with her!
Lowest price: $500/session for students
David works with a lot of custom price packages when he shoots. But although the prices may vary, the quality is always superb! The headshots on his website mostly feature white or gray-toned backgrounds that make the subject of the photo pop out. His subjects have very intense expressions but they also have warmth in their eyes that comes from being comfortable in front of David’s camera. David’s portfolio includes portraits, advertising, iPhone photography, and beautifully artistic landscape shots. He’s worked with a number of well-known organizations and magazines but his passion is connecting with people.