How much do headshots cost?

by | Feb 20, 2022

portrait photography

Pay for only what you need

One of the most common questions I receive from the website is do you do headshots (aka portrait) and how much do they cost? So I’ve done a brief post so I can send a somewhat intelligent response without too much typing.

Headshots have always been popular, but I guess the sudden rush is the influx of new businesses being started in the aftermath of COVID or existing business re-branding somewhat.

Almost everybody who works or has an online presence could use a good one. And chances are you aren’t satisfied with your selfies in the bathroom mirror or your sister’s attempt with her smartphone.

As to how much they cost, that can vary greatly but it’s pretty documented on the web so you can just Google “how much do headshots cost” and you’ll see some ranges below.

The typical headshot session is scheduled for about 1/2 hour, it usually takes less. So here are some average pricing ranges based based on experience for a 1/2 hour shoot:

$25 – $75

This is what you’ll find on Craigslist or at your local Walgreens. These are typically from people just starting out or photography enthusiasts using a good camera, not phone.

$75-200

These guys usually known how to shoot headshots and can get you some good images. On the lower side of this you probably won’t find a full-time headshot photographer, meaning they may or may not be able to direct you into a great pose or expression depending on your level of comfort. Check out their portfolio.

$250-$800

These are guys that specialize in headshot photography and don’t primarily shoot weddings, parties or other things. You’ll probably get access to a stylist and a studio if that’s what you are looking for. You will be able to choose from a set of proofs and probably get a variety of different poses.

$800 and up

These are typically big name photographers that will make the shoot more like a visit to the spa and may have a wardrobe department and props. They probably have a very experienced staff person who is good at touchup work to make you look well… more like you don’t.

Anything in the $1,500 range and you are just wasting your money because you are looking for a very specific person, complicated shoot or your give the vibe of having unrealistic expectations but are willing to pay anything for what you need.

Which one of these is right for you depends primarily how important they are to you and what your end game is.

If you just want a decent shot for your LinkedIn profile or you’re of the mindset that Cracker Barrel is good enough for your anniversary dinner, you may just want to ask your nephew with a good camera to snap a few pics for you. Throw him $25 or $50 for the effort and you’ll be fine.

If your likeness is important to you or your business then you may want to budget for about $150 – $250 and you will get about a dozen good images shot full body and tight in an environmental setting that is relevant to the mood you are trying to set.

headshot photography

You shouldn’t have to pay more than that unless the shoot is complicated, you want lots of re-touching or you are looking for wardrobe changes and lots of different looks.

Imagica head shots depend mostly on what you are looking for, how many variations and the complexity of the shoot. Most people, however, just need or want something simple for a specific application so I’d like to say they average $150 – $225 with little exception. That includes orchestrating the shoot, seeing up, editing and delivering the files to you. You get full-rights-of-use meaning you receive and own all the high resolution digital files, no strings attached.

For more on headshots from Imagica and a little inspiration visit this page.

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About the author Perry Johnson
Perry is a classically trained commercial photographer and graphic designer with more than 30 years experience as a marketing strategist. He is a principle at Imagica, a boutique marketing agency based in Sarasota, Florida. Imagica is dedicated to developing fluid, distinct and highly effective branding solutions for your business. With all services in-house, Imagica delivers exceptional value and provides both realistic and sustainable solutions to thrive in today's new markets.