It’s Not You, It’s Your Photographer


[Headshot Photographer Vanie Poyey]

Have you ever had a photo session where afterwards you felt like everything was off?

👉If you didn’t like your makeup after receiving your pictures, it’s not you, it’s your photographer.
👉If you didn’t like your hair, it’s not you, it’s your photographer.
👉If you didn’t like the backgrounds… you get the idea.


Alexandra Wright: Best Friend / Hip Tomboy / Office Girl

The list of complaints I hear when talking to potential clients is endless, not to mention the woes of having wasted their money.

When an actress expresses to me how wrong her hair and makeup were from her previous session, the first question I ask is if the photographer gave her a chance to view the images.

Surprisingly, the answer 99% of the time is yes but the reason for the failed results is always because she didn’t speak up.

Why? Because she figured “they knew what they were doing.”

Actor Headshot Samples

Brad Anderson: Blue Collar / Casual Dad / FBI Agent

Headshots Detroit

Cara AnnMarie: Detective / BBQ Mom

This story is always the same.

The photographer and the makeup artist both raved about how good her hair and makeup looked, giving her the impression that she should trust them even though she herself wasn’t thrilled. There’s a misconception that what you don’t like in person, will magically turn out better in a photo because others like it.

With photography, what you see is what you get. The camera doesn’t produce magic. It only reveals the photographer’s ability to capture the reality as he/she sees it.

The truth is, no matter how experienced a team, nobody knows what they’re doing when it comes to your personal preference.

Actress Headshot Examples

Erica Allseitz: Grad Student / Helpful Employee / Heroine

Headshot Photographers LA

JP Hubbell: Musician / Suburban Dad

Kids Headshots

Val Temirov: The Bully / Best Friend / Nerd

The trick is to find and work with photographers who create an environment that is conducive to speaking up by simply asking you what you think of the makeup, the hair, the wardrobe etc.

Do your research carefully and if you’re not lucky enough to work with a team willing to accommodate your preferences, no matter what, unapologetically express your opinions. After all, you are the one paying for those services!

Related article: What Does “Interviewing” Photographers Really Mean?

Have you ever had this experience? If so, how did you handle it?

LA Headshot Photographers

Shawn Hunter: Casual Business / BBQ Dad


I love helping you by putting out this free information (often written on weekends and evenings) so please help me spread the word by commenting and or sharing this post on your social feed!🙏🏻

1 Comment

  1. Jim Mueller

    Well said: “It’s not your fault”. Few people are comfortable in front of the camera or consider themselves photogenic. I’d say 80% of the photographer’s role(s) is cheerleader, coach, and rapport-builder


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