While the Sybaritic Singer goes on vacation to the land of sun and gluten allergies, she asked a few magnanimous colleagues to write about their skills and passions.
For a series on headshots, I bring you…Britt Olsen-Ecker, a real-time renaissance woman. She performs classical music and stage plays with authenticity, photographs headshots with serious panache, and does it all with a heaping helping of humor.
I want to take your picture.
It’s true. I get excited about photography just as much as I do performing.
I’m a girl with a lot of interests. My degree is in Vocal Performance, but I do other things… I help run the Glass Mind Theatre Company, I write, act, dance (poorly), and run my headshots business: Britt Olsen-Ecker Photography.
I’ve had a lot of practice taking people’s head shots. What I’ve realized about the process is that it’s a collaboration. It takes a lot from me, as the photographer, and a lot from you, as the client and subject. I’ve taken a lot of bad headshots. I’ve taken a lot of good ones. There are a few key tips that I have compiled over the past four years that I’d like to share with you now: getting the perfect headshot.
Finding the right photographer.
Do they have a website?
All good photographers should have a website. If not, they should have some online showcase of their work including samples, pricing and contact information. You also have to decide: do I want a fashion photographer or a photographer that just specializes in headshots, period? The look your photos have will be different depending on their specialty.
I have a budget… How much do they charge?
It is best not to have too much of a budget when getting your head shots done. It can be expensive, but you know you are getting good, professional pictures done. Believe it or not, you can find deals… if you LOOK. A typical New York City/L.A. shoot ranges from $500-1200, and can go upwards to even $5,000. The headshots I got done in summer of 2009 done by a NYC Fashion Photographer were $260, which included a hair and makeup artist. It was a special, special deal that I found – they are out there!
How many photographs, retouched, do I get?
It usually depends, but most photographers that I have found give you either 1 or 2. Photoshopping is very time-consuming – one picture can sometimes take more than 4 hours. Time is money! For example, I include 1 fully photo-shopped picture in my headshot package deal. Any additional photos are $25 an hour.
Do they have a studio?
Photographers usually have a studio or a space they work out of. They should take a few pictures in the studio – but the ones that go outdoors know what they’re doing. Working with the natural elements is not an easy task. Studio shots are so 1998, anyway. You need something that looks fresh, so get outside and make it funky.