Acting : Agents and Photographers by Madeline Romine

Agents and Photographers

I'm not sure if this topic has been brought up before but I'm going to ask anyway. I need to get headshots done again and I don't want to use the photographer that my agent asked me to use. I understand that you get what you pay for but I think that $350 for headshots is a little pricey. Do agents get kickbacks from photographers? I have a photographer in mind and would like to use them instead. Any input would be great. Thanks!

JD Hartman

Of course they do. Even worse, you go to the studio of some well known photographer and he's sub-rented his space out to some hack. Be certain to get all the files from your session. Don't let the photographer sell you "prints".

Richard Gustason

The only thing I know is that yeah agents do get kickbacks from some photographers. That has actually been around for years. My opinion here but if you feel like you want to use that photographer lined up then use them. And I have experienced the "get what you pay for" in my life. And frankly, I have seen where if I pay more I get more. Maybe that has not happened to you. But hopefully you get a good photographer and get that headshot updated.

MJ Starshak

Most headshot photographers (here in Chicago, anyway) will meet with you for free. That way, you can see if you two click and if he/she is the type of photographer that you feel you can be comfortable with. Obviously, whomever you work with should provide all the files and not just prints. Good luck!

Madeline Romine

Thanks's nice to be able to ask about this stuff and get honest and straightforward answers.

Erica Marks-Baker

Too bad you are not in Los Angeles, I would have been able to give you what you needed for less and we would have had a great time. Good luck. It is best to meet the photographer to make sure the chemistry is there to get the images you need.

Madeline Romine

Erica I will keep you in mind...I'm only a 5 hour drive from LA.

Erica Marks-Baker

Well Madeline, we might be able to meet half way, say Palm Springs and make it happen.

Nelle Nelle

Madeline, I can tell you that your headshots are very, very important. I'm not an actress myself but worked at a very successful acting studio for a while (we never had arrangements with photographers but got to experience the range of quality lol). It's not like taking a photo where you just need to "look good" a great & experienced headshot photographer will be able to help you decide how to best communicate your type. It is vital to your success that you invest in these materials. I'm not saying that the photographer that your agent suggested is the right one, what I am saying is that you need to find the best person and not let price (investing in your passion, career, and self) hold you back. Remember that in every single action you take as a serious actress. I would routinely sit down with actors to go through 500 headshots to find the perfect one (or two). They all looked good but it was about how they stood out and what character they were gunning for. Many actors have multiple headshots depending on the job category. Anyway, best of luck! Also, on the point of kickbacks, probably some do but you need to ask yourself do you trust your agent or manager to give you recommendations? If not, you have more questions you need to ask yourself. But if you do then you should know the % he might make (not saying he does) from a measly $350 headshot is nothing to what he makes for sending you to a photographer he trusts to give you the photos he believes will get you work. Your agent's main focus is to get you booked (or should be! If not...) and he gets his cut from that. Which let me tell you is a lot more than a cut of $350. There's a standard, especially if you are submitting for certain kinds of jobs. And you don't want your materials easily discarded because they come across as amateurish.

Tony Fisher

Thats interesting, my agent recently recommended that I get some new headshot. She gave me the details of two studios and let me make up my mind as to which one (if any) I wanted to use. When I spoke with the studio they had no idea who my agent was but were happy of the recommendation.

Ginger Marin

You can use whichever photog you want. Do your research . However agents do request that you get certain types of photos that they deem right for you, so pay attention to what your agent is asking for. But ultimately it's your money and you must be comfortable with the photographer and be on the same page as to what you need and how they work. With that said, if it's $350 for a single look then that's expensive. You should be able to get 2-3 looks with a moderately priced (and decent photog). Remember you'll need to pay for hair and makeup too. Good luck.

John Totten

Definitely ask to see a portfolio first. Ask for references. Way too many photographers have absolutely no idea what is a "headshot." If the photos aren't of a sufficient quality, they won't do you any good and you will have wasted your money. I'm a photographer myself and I need a headshot for my LinkedIn, and out of all the photographers that I know, either they don't know what a headshot is, or they have failed to deliver any photos whatsoever.

Other topics in Acting:

register for stage 32 Register / Log In