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-Make sure there’s a BATHROOM/CHANGING AREA with SINK and MIRROR (especially if guys want to shave between looks).

-Factor in whether or not RETOUCHES are included in the cost (DON’T KID YOURSELF--EVERYONE DOES IT TO GET THAT COMPETITIVE EDGE, especially with online photo submissions).  While my shots don’t NEED to be retouched, the MAIN point of retouching is to make an already great shot EVEN better, and ofcourse to remove any skin issues that would go unnoticed in person.  You want your headshots to be an honest representation,  but the camera picks up details that the naked eye doesn’t.  An expert retoucher (like myself) will know the difference, and can clean it up without changing the way you look to others.  (Do NOT over-edit to where you look fake...Agents, Managers, and Casting Directors INSIST that you look like your photos).

-DOES YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER DIRECT YOUR THOUGHTS and EMOTIONS, or do they just leave it up to you to figure out?  (This is HUGE!)

-DO NOT SHARE YOUR SESSION with STRANGERS.  That is absurdity at its best.  It’s one thing if you elect to shoot with a friend or loved one.  But how comfortable can you be primping in front of people you don’t know, followed by taking turns being photographed in the same spot and location, like an assembly line cranking out the same shots for EVERY client?  The shoot should be all about YOU, and it should be original.

-APPROXIMATELY HOW MANY IMAGES WILL YOU GET?  A digital shoot should not be limited like 35mm rolls of film.

-D0 the BACKGROUNDS & LIGHTING PROPERLY SHOWCASE the SUBJECT’S FACE?...DON’T GET PASSED OVER!   Casting directors view thousands of headshots at a time, as thumbnails.  Faces get lost in distracting backgrounds and obscure lighting creates uncertainty as to what you look like in person.  Push the envelope, but don’t sacrifice a clear view of your facial features for backgrounds and lighting - these are NOT stills or editorials!

-MAKEUP-GUYS:  Spot treating and powder is fine, but Agents/Managers and Casting Directors do NOT want to see guys in full makeup.  (I don’t care what  ANY other photographer tells you...headshot rules have changed)!  The only exception is uneven and problematic skin.  

-MAKEUP-LADIES:  You want to look as natural as possible, and not overly done up.  If you don’t know how to do your own hair and makeup, you should learn-it’s a necessity in this field!  No one expects you to be as good as the experts, but a pro hair/makeup artist will not be there the day of an interview or audition, and you need to look like your headshots!  Should you elect to hire a pro, make sure you can duplicate the look and style they give you.

-REALITY CHECK:  Headshots are a crucial investment--you get what you pay for, so DON’T CHEAP OUT!  You will NOT get the “money shots” for bargain prices.  Working actors realize this, but many rookies insist on learning the hard way, which only inhibits a career.  While you shouldn’t pay an arm and a leg, a GOOD photographer’s rates will be atleast COMPETITIVE or REASONABLE, but NEVER cheap.  On the flip side, expensive is NOT always better, especially if they just repeat the same backgrounds and poses for everyone.  Having headshots that look like everyone else’s will make you blend in.  Your shots need to stand out, and NOT in a tacky way...they still need to be effective.  Unless you’re lucky enough to be in that tiny percentage of actors who just happens to have a look that gets them called in regardless, your headshots need to be GREAT, because good enough won’t cut it in this biz!