How Much To Charge For A Headshot Photography?

Photography is often taken as a hobby. Few people find themselves slinging on cameras to capture moments and objects in their life and environment.

The advent of phone cameras has deepened this culture around the world, so much so that almost everybody with a camera is a form photographer. However, when it comes to commercial photography, headshots rank as one of the most demanded  forms of photography.

Perhaps you are considering taking your photography to the next level and you want to begin charging clients or you already have a brand and you want to restructure your pricing, this article will provide all the answers you have on How Much To Charge For A Headshot Photography. We will also look at the factors that determine these costs and the several types.

What Is A Headshot In Photography?

A headshot is a photograph of a subject usually measured 8 by 10 inches. The subject must be camera aware, meaning they should be staring into the camera’s lens. A headshot can be from the shoulders up; it can also feature the entire subject’s body depending on its use. Irrespective of the area of the body covered, it must be produced in 8 by 10 inches.

The “headshot” is linked to the entertainment industry. It is one of the most important assets in the portfolio of actors who are looking to be auditioned or cast in a movie.

Its use also extends into the modeling industry, used by agents for the preliminary sorting out of models. However, it has extended beyond these two industries and has become a primary item for professional purposes.

How Much To Charge For A Headshot Photography?

The cost of a headshot can range between a few dollars up to a thousand dollars. Brands would determine how much they would charge clients for a headshot depending on a lot of factors.

Some of these factors will be discussed. However, it is important to note that whatever price you charge clients for headshots would be largely determined by your business acumen. 

There are 4 levels of pricing for a headshot and these include, the low range, mid-range, high range, and premium range. In creating your structure, you do not need to follow the scaling provided in this article religiously, however, you can use them as a guide. Your final pricing structure will be largely affected by conditions unique to your brand.

01. Low Range

A low price range starts from 20 dollars and with a likely cap of 80 dollars. This price range is reflective of a freelancer or an upcoming brand/photographer. Clients who opt for this shouldn’t expect much in terms of professionalism or quality.

Limited work is expected, and gain is made from the number of sales, which means you hope to snap as much as you can in a day to break even at the end of a month

02. Mid Range

A high price range starts from 100 dollars and ends at 250 dollars. You can change this for a more serious service, although you wouldn’t be going all the way.

If you are more comfortable handling a camera and can produce a believable quality of work, then this price range is appropriate. However, breaking even in your business will still require a lot of work as the amount is relatively small.

03. High Range

Some of the best photography firms settle in this high range.It falls between 300 dollars and 800 dollars. At this level, your brand is established and you are more concerned with quality.

At this range, you are using one of the best cameras for photography and you work on each photo extensively. Your clients expect the best as their career hangs on the quality of your work.  

04. Premium

This costs above 1,000 dollars. The premium range is reserved for brands/photographers who service clients who are at the top of their industries, including CEOs, A-list actors, high-ranking civil servants, and others.

To offer this service, you are a professional and are well-known. You have served as a photographer for a while and your brand is trusted. In this scenario, you have become a master and would only work personally with top clients

Factors That Determine How Much To Charge For A HeadShot

As stated earlier, the amount you charge for a headshot is dependent on a lot of factors. Often photographers create a price list and clients are allowed to choose.

The different categories in the price list are often more or less a reflection of some of these factors. In this section, we shall be looking at the factors extensively.

01. Experience

Your experience goes a long way to determine how much you will charge clients. Professional photographers often come equipped with a degree or relative certificate, a couple of years under the belt, and an impressive portfolio. If this is you, then your work will reflect the high amount you will charge.

However, if you are merely interested in photography, and lack all the required skill, or expertise needed, you would have to start low and then build up yourself and your brand.

02. Outdoor or Studio

Headshots feature the subject staring into the lens of the camera. The subject fills up a large portion of the frame. The background however sometimes can be used to creatively position the subject.

The requirement of the client on the background can determine whether the picture will be taken within a studio or outdoors. Studio photography is less demanding compared to outdoor photography. 

Outdoor photography would require you to move gadgets and devices to a location. The logistics involved would affect the price. So, in setting a price, put into consideration if the picture will be taken outdoors or in your studio

03. Hair And Makeup

Extra services like hair and makeup before a photo shoot has become the norm, even for headshots. For professional headshots, your clients will be particular about looking their best, however, as natural as possible. Factoring this into your pricing is important. This of course means you will have to hire an in-house make-up artist.

04. Number Of Outfits

Clients would take headshots often based on the requirements of a job, or a gig they are gunning for. Some of these requirements sometimes include multiple changes of clothes, as is common in the entertainment industry. A client coming in with multiple changes of outfits would require more of your time.

This should affect how much you would charge. Oftentimes, photographers include change of clothes as a factor in their pricing list, so clients can have foreknowledge before they engage them.

05. Post Processing

New photographers and non-professionals rarely work on the pictures they take. Often time they just shoot and send it to clients. However, post-processing and editing in photography are major aspects. It is so diverse that it’s a skill set that stands on its own.

Some o the software used are overpriced and effects and plug-ins have to be bought. However, it is worth it as a great headshot taken can be transformed into an even more awesome picture with editing. 

Consider post-processing when structuring the price for your photography services. Just like hair and makeup, you might have to hire an editor to handle this aspect while you focus n handling the camera. Irrespective, factor it in your pricing, 

What Are The Types Of HeadShots?

Often the type of headshot a client wants would determine the degree of work required. Most of the factors discussed above come to play depending on the type of headshot which eventually affects the amount you expect a client to pay. More importantly, a knowledge of the types of headshots will help you properly direct a photoshoot.


As the name suggests, commercial headshots are taken with commercial internet, They are often used for publications, magazines, billboards, television, commercials, etc. These types of headshots reach a very wide audience and so would require a lot of attention in terms of editing, and professionalism.

Theatrics Headshot

This type of headshot is taken by clients to be cast in a play, tv, or film. Theatrical headshots often require multiple takes, with the subject displaying multiple emotions per picture.

Similar to commercial headshots, these also require a whole lot of experience, from the photographer. The demand makes them one of the most expensive types of headshots.

Professional Head Shot

Professional headshots as the name suggests are taken for career and business. These types of headshots are affixed on curriculum vitae and used as display pictures on professional sites like LinkedIn and other social media handles. These headshots are often taken by clients to be used to represent their brands as professionals.

Professional headshots are often the most demanded type of headshot. It is expected that a client who is serious about professional branding should have at least a high-end headshot taken by a professional photographer.  

Summary of Price For Headshot

The table below shows a detailed price list covering 4 ranges, each with factors that should be fulfilled.

$20 – $80


$100 – $250


$300 – $800


$1,000 and above




None/ Beginner






Industry Expert








Studio and Outdoor


Studio/ Outdoor/ Client’s choice






Nil Provided






















Quality Gadgets




1 Maximum of 2


1 to 5





So far, we have established what headshot, the type, and several factors should be considered before you set out to determine how much you should charge your clients. All that has been addressed in this article should serve as a guide, helping you make wise business decisions.