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Headshot Photography Prices

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Headshot Photography Prices

Headshot photography, commonly known as portraiture, can be used for quite a few reasons but mostly for actors, models and business men and women. Professional headshots, also known as portraits, can help sell you as a person and shows that you have put the effort into wanting to put yourself out there and represent yourself or your business professionally, as opposed to snapping a quick pic on your smartphone. The average starting cost for headshot photography in the UK is £125 and most headshot shoots last for about an hour or so.

Minimum You Should Pay £100
Maximum You Should Pay £150
Average £125
Average Range £100-£150


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Kinds of Headshot Photography

As headshots can be used in a range of ways, there are quite a few different kinds that are used for different purposes. Let’s take a look at the varieties of headshot photography:


Editorial headshots require a bit more creativity and are used to help illustrate a story. These headshots seek to show the subject in their environment and convey more information about their personality than a standard headshot. They may involve props that further add to the shot. If you have a specific idea in mind for what you expect your shot to include and convey, it is a good idea to discuss this with your headshot photographer.


Corporate or business headshots are simply used to show what someone looks like. The main uses for these kinds of headshots are social media profile photos, about us sections of websites, author pages, marketing materials or corporate catalogues or brochures. A good corporate headshot can make such a difference and requires a skilled photographer to capture one that has just the right balance of being corporate while showing off a little of the subject’s personality. Typically, most corporate headshots are quite close up and are usually focused more on the eyes. Find out more about commercial photography rates.

Actor Headshots

Actors use headshots as a marketing tool to convey the actor’s casting type; this is achieved with a portrait that is engaging, but is not generally overly creative. As a creative director will browse through hundreds of headshots to scout for talent, they can tell the difference between professional, quality headshots and those that you shot at home with your smartphone! This means your headshot can make the difference between landing a job or losing one. You will commonly find that actors use a range of both horizontal and vertical headshots, and most are now in colour, although black and white shots are sometimes used.

Modelling Headshots

Modelling headshots are generally used for those that wish to get hired for a beauty or fashion industry. A good modelling headshot requires both skill of the photographer as well as the model, as a good model should be able to be extremely expressive with their eyes. Unlike actor’s headshots, modelling headshots are more creative and are intended to be very flattering. There is a lot more involvement in setting the mood for a modelling headshot, which can be achieved with correct use of lighting.

What Should I Wear for Each Kind of Headshot?


As the purpose of an editorial is to tell more of a story, you will want to wear something that aids in doing that. For example, a chef will want to be sure they are wearing their chef’s apron and hat. Props like a knife, mixing bowl or whisk would also be ideal.


As these shots are more professional, you will want to dress in a way that shows your professionalism. Some corporate headshots include your shoulders, so it is important to dress well. For men, choose a suit, perhaps something black, navy or grey. Avoid bright colours or patterns, as they tend to be more of a distraction. If you do wear a tie, choose a simple one that is not shiny, as that can create a glare when the photo is taken. For women, a suit can be worn or something office appropriate. Bold, bright colours and patterns should also be avoided, as should short sleeves, which can sometimes be perceived as unprofessional. For men or women wearing jewelry, it should be simplistic and not too flashy - the attention should be on you, not what you are wearing!

Actor Headshot

Similar to corporate headshots, the attention should be on you and not so much on what you are wearing. There can be quite a bit of controversy over what you should wear for an actor headshot, as some think you should be dressed neutrally so a creative director can envision you in a range of roles; on the other hand, some believe that you should dress for your type. Regardless of which you choose, you should avoid bright colours or patterns which can act as a distraction. It is usually recommended that you wear something that matches your skin tone and helps emphasise your eyes. You can add subtle textures such as denim or lace to add a bit more of a dynamic. It is also a good idea to bring several changes of clothes which will allow creative directors to help visualise you in a variety of roles.

Modelling Headshot

As modelling headshots may feature more of your body, you will want to wear something that is flattering and fits your body. For women, it is a good idea to wear layers so that they can be removed to show a range of looks; neutral colours can be a great way to emphasise your skin and eyes. Men should avoid clothing that looks overly corporate and should opt more for a casual look; crew neck and v-necks can be difficult to make look good in a headshot photo, so it is best to avoid those.

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What is the Difference Between a Headshot and a Portrait?

While many people use the term headshot and portrait interchangeably, there is actually a difference between the terms! You may not have ever guessed, but the difference between the two is actually the intent behind the shot. Headshots are taken with a professional sense in mind and is a visual representation of a person. Portraits are used to tell more of a story and are generally less formal. Portraits may feature different use of lighting and can also include props.

Factors That Affect Price

Type of Headshot

Different kinds of headshots require different lighting, backdrops and may require more time. It is important to specify which kind of headshot you require so your photographer is prepared and can quote you accordingly.

It is also possible to have a headshot which branches into another form of photography. For example, product photography for a pair of earrings may involve both product and headshot photography, so make sure you inform the photographer about the purpose of your headshot.

Find out more about product photography pricing.


Number of Shots

Most people aim for anywhere between 20-100 shots, so depending on the type of headshot you may need more or less. The number of shots required can also dictate the length of the shoot. For actor and modelling headshots, it is recommended that you refresh your headshots every couple of years.

Photo Format

The most common format for receiving your headshots is online through a password protected gallery. You can request them to be provided on a USB or CD, or you may even want physical prints; this will, of course, affect the price you pay. Do remember that the photographer owns the rights to the photos, so if you wish to purchase these rights, this can be quite costly.
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On average, most headshot shoots last for about an hour. If you have multiple outfit changes and want to have a few different backdrops, this can affect the time spent shooting. Most photographers will charge a set fee for a certain amount of time, so if you know you will want more than this, they normally will offer an hourly rate in addition to the set fee.


Most headshot shoots will be taken in a studio, but some can be taken at a specified location, especially for editorial headshots. If travel is required, there is likely to be an additional fee to cover this. Do also remember that the location of the studio can affect the price you pay; studios in London cost a lot more than many other locations in the UK.

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The experience of your photographer will affect the rates they charge. You can get an idea of how experienced a photographer is by reading their reviews and taking a look at their portfolio. Photographers that are new to the industry tend to charge less to build their clientele, but quality can sometimes be compromised.

Headshot photography is a great personal marketing tool that is used within many industries. For some people, especially actors and models, a quality headshot can land them a job, so there is great importance in hiring an experienced, skilled photographer to ensure a headshot is the best it can be! To sum up a good headshot photographer, this quote hits the nail on the head: “It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like. It’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are.” ~Paul Caponigro.

If you are looking for headshots for a particular occasion, such as a wedding, it may be wise to approach a photographer specialising in this wider area, as they will be better suited at photographing the whole day. Find out more about wedding photography prices.