NY Headshots vs. LA: Things to Know Before You Move


[Great Headshots Los Angeles by Vanie]

Working as a headshot photographer for over 13 years in Los Angeles,

I’ve learned that there is a big difference between what is considered an acceptable headshot in LA and what is considered acceptable in NY.

New Yorkers arriving in LA are all too familiar with the experience of being asked to get a new set of “LA-style” headshots.  What they are being asked for are specific marketing looks that showcase their age range and the auditions they will be targeting.


Josefina hatton: Fashionista / Edgy / Office Girl

BEING THAT NEW YORK IS A SMALLER MARKET, as long as your headshot looks like you, it works.  In LA, not only does your headshot need to look like you, but in addition, it needs to closely resemble the description of the breakdown of the role being called for.

In other words, if the breakdown calls for a lawyer, then your headshot has to showcase you in a suit or a button down shirt. Because LA is a much more saturated and therefore more competitive market than NY, the more specific your shots are, the greater than chances of getting in the door.


Ellis Meng: Urban Hip / Student

Nathan Woodworth: Grad Student / Hipster

headshot-photographers-laLaura SantaCruz: Hispanic Love Interest / Intern

I’m frequently asked if I would be willing to travel to NYC to shoot headshots, so I finally did back in August.  Throughout this blog are a few of the shots from that trip, as well as my local work.

My approach in NY was the same as it would be in LA, because having specific shots in NY does not work against the actor. INSTEAD, it gives him or her an edge that other New Yorkers don’t have!

Please send me a note if you’re interested in shooting with me in NYC or subscribe to this post to receive notification when I visit again.

Now to figure out how to get to Miami…apparently I have fans there too!




Brent Medaugh: Suburban Dad / Upscale Business

great-headshots-los-angeles Dionne Audain: Hipster / Christian Mucci: Computer Tech


Samuel West: Blue Collar Dad / Anne Rutter: Upscale Mom


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. beau thompson

    I am searching for a solution to a proble that only actors can get into. Sorry if this is a tad long. I am having to redo headshots because I have lost over 80lbs. The problem is I work more on the East Coast but live in Texas. I have a couple of months to figure it out but I don’t like to waste time. Not real confident about Texas Photographers being able to pull it off. You know what you are doing (obviously). So any suggestions or hints or anything else lol. And yes I have to update my website.

    • Vanie Poyey

      Gosh I wish I knew someone to refer you in Texas, but I’m afraid I don’t.????

  2. Tom K.

    Your portraits continues astonish. These are absolutely glorious. So much more than head shots. These are art in the finest sense.


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