I received a call from an aspiring actress who wanted “really good headshots” she could use in future casting calls. I provided a quote on our rates to which she responded that was on the higher end of quotes she has received from photographers. Completely understanding and respecting her for actually doing some research I suggested another photographer who is very talented and was more within a price range she might be comfortable with.

She then responded to tell me she received a quote for 20% of my rate and 50% of my colleague’s rate and that is the photographer she would probably be using.

I received another e-mail just the other day with a similar response. They wanted to work with me for their portfolio but wanted to do a lower cost, lower level photography shoot first.

This is the number one tool you as a model or actress will use in your marketing yourselves. This is what casting agents will see first. This is how your first impressions will be made. What sense does it make to do the lowest cost option only to have to redo it down the road when the first, cheap, option does not work?

I am not advocating that you always have to hire the most expensive option nor am I suggesting that my team is the best resource for every talent. The point I am making is that one should not feel good about saving 80% for the number one, most important asset they have in their talent career.

James Patrick
IG @jpatrickphoto