How much do professional headshots cost?
Cost for a headshot can vary wildly across photographers and studios. That leaves many wondering, who the heck should I choose? The cheapest, most expensive or somewhere in the middle?
While there is no black and white answer to this question, professional headshots cost in the range of $100 - $250 on average for an individual headshot. Of course there are photographers that can be a bit lower and up to $1,000+. If you're looking at photographers on the very high end, you probably know exactly who and what you expect, so let's rule them out for this discussion and focus on the average price range and why it costs what it does.
Professional Headshot Costs
The cost of delivering a professional headshot is based on several factors, including the photographers time, camera & lens, professional lighting and backdrop equipment, location & length of shoot, and ends with post-production time & image delivery. A professional photographer has invested heavily in the equipment and skill to deliver a high quality image.
At SocialPhoto, headshot costs start at $125 for an individual headshot and $400 for a Corporate Headshot package for up to 10 people. All our services are delivered at our clients office, home or selected location. Our cost per person is greatly reduced when we shoot several people in one shoot since we've already incurred the cost of showing up.
Studio vs. Environmental vs. Outdoor Headshot Photography
Studio style headshots tend to cost a bit more than outdoor headshots because of the cost for lighting and background equipment, the time to setup and tear down a set and potentially rental of studio space. Yet, studio headshots can also be the easiest as the conditions can be controlled and predictable.
Outdoor headshots may be cheaper as they can be done with minimal equipment and no lighting, however many photographers will also use artificial light outdoors so the cost could be similar. Also, outdoor headshots have the unpredictability of weather, optimal time of day limitations and possibly crowds depending on the location.
Environmental headshots may be taken inside an office with studio lighting and a natural office background. They tend to be shot a little wider than traditional headshots to bring elements of the surrounding into the frame. These would typically cost in the same range as a studio style headshot.
Regardless of style, there are always factors that could drive up the complexity or creativity of the shoot that can create extra cost.
How to choose your photographer
To make your final decision, here's a checklist of things to consider:
Do you need it to look like a professional headshot? If yes, then don't go with an iPhone photo and strongly consider if the cheapest person you found has a portfolio that meets your needs. A small investment will get you a quality headshot that is well exposed, with minimal contrast and has you posed properly. You'll use that headshot for a while.
What style of headshot are you looking for? Studio, outdoor, environmental? Modern or traditional? Some photographers lean towards traditional styles of lighting, poses and backgrounds. Some like to produce highly creative and moody images. At SocialPhoto, our go to style is clean, simple and modern. Most photographers can and will vary their go to style to meet the clients needs but the style you hope to achieve is something you should consider before booking a shoot.
What is your budget? You know you need a headshot, otherwise you wouldn't have read this far. If you can swing between $100 - $150 you should have a number of good options to choose from. If you're budget is less than $100, try to find a group of friends or co-workers to join you and find a group rate so you can each save some $!
Where is the most convenient place to get your headshot done? Do you prefer going to a studio or would you rather the photographer come to you? Many people get very nervous about a headshot session. Having the photographer come to you may ease your stress and give you more time to get ready.
How many edited images will you receive in your final delivery? Any headshot session should include multiple posed shots from various angles. However not all photographers will deliver the entire set of images to you. Ask what you get in the end and how many of those images will be edited to correct any color, exposure or blemish issues.
Hope this helps answer your questions. We're here to help if you have anything specific you'd like to ask. Just drop us a comment or contact us over email.