Blog by Los Angeles Headshot Photographer, Vanie Poyey.

When searching for a headshot photographer, are you “interviewing” them by sending a few emails back and forth?  Is it really possible for you to know whether a photographer you’re going to spend a few hours with, from who’s images you expect results for your career, is the right one for you if you don’t even hear his or her voice?  More importantly do you believe you can achieve results without preparing the photographer for what you need?  Have you ever booked a session with a photographer you didn’t speak with only to be disappointed with the results?

I often receive emails from actors who share with me their disappointment with headshots taken by another photographer. Yet these same actors aren’t willing to get on the phone to speak with me during their research to share their expectations.  Even though I encourage actors to call me, many opt to email instead.  Here are a few typical comments taken directly from our email exchanges:

“I am interviewing other photographers as well and will let you know what I decide.”

“It is important to me to find the right photographer and get the right shots.”

“I’m very photogenic but I have a hard time getting shots that really sell me.”

“I saw my friend’s headshots so I made an appointment with that photographer but my headshots didn’t turn out well.”

Sure, email is a good place to start the conversation, and perhaps even ask a few questions about prices, etc., but only by speaking to the photographer can you have an in depth discussion about your headshot goals.  Share with the photographer what you expect from the session and learn about how that particular photographer works during the session.  It seems simple enough and perhaps even obvious to many actors, but I’ve come across enough people who email back and forth all the questions they have, don’t return my calls, and eventually ask to book a session with me!  When that happens, my personal rule of thumb is to politely say, “I don’t take any bookings without first talking to my clients.”  The reason is because I use the information you give me to share with you what you might bring to the session so that I’m better able to meet your expectations and do my job more effectively.

I suggest you take the time to telephone the photographer you’re interested in to really interview them.  Discuss your marketing needs and prepare the photographer to help you achieve your goals.  Ask questions and share your thoughts, otherwise you’ll have no way way of determining who is the right photographer for you.

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