Alright, I was thinking about some of the questions I get asked a lot. One of the major questions is:
“Where should I get copies of my headshot made?” Well, it depends on what you need.
If you want a stack of 8×10 prints, ready to mail out to agents and casting pros, you simply must use a headshot printing company. Despite my full-service inclinations, I don’t normally handle the printing of these, because, lets face it, it’s a pretty easy process to do yourself, so why pay me extra? But because I’m a full-service photographer, I did the work and I googled for you here. Which one should you use? After talking to several agencies and actors, I have a list of places that I feel pretty comfortable recommending. You’ll have to ask me for it though…. You should know what you want. Most printers will be able to print a resume on the back of your headshot, but some don’t. By the way, this is a suggested practice. As one agent told me, you don’t want to send the headshot responsible for causing a staple-cut on the Casting Agent’s hand, do you?
On the other hand, if you don’t want to commit to a hundred headshots, and prefer to print as you need them, there are a lot of easy-to-use local photo labs. Just make sure you do your research and find one that offers consistent work. I’ll share a story…
A few years ago, I thought it was super-convenient to have a drugstore photo lab across the street from me. To make things even easier, I could upload my digital file on their website and just stroll over 20 minutes later and pick up my prints. Well, I did a sample 8×10, and it looked pretty good. But, being the full-service headshot photographer that I am, I wanted to test further. The next day, I sent the same file, and then did the same thing again for 3 days. When I looked at my finished 8x10s on their own, they all looked okay. However, when I looked at them together, they all looked different. Imagine going to Home Depot’s paint department and looking for a sample of gray paint. There’s 50 gray samples that are all gray, but all slightly different. You can see the same phenomenon with photos.
While day-today consistency may not be terribly important for you if you’re using one 8×10 at a time,consistent output is important for me, because I want to know that the skin tone I see on my screen is what I get on the finished prints. I eventually found a local lab that does regular maintenance on their equipment, and their output is the same, day-to-day.
I would not advise you to use a copy shop – except in a dire emergency. Excepting specialized headshot printers, you should always photo should have your headshots printed on photo paper to get the full spectrum of color and exposure, not using a laser printer as you’ll find at copy shops.
Gotta go, the baby is crying……