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Jonathan McInnis Interview Part I: So you want a headshot?

From the Editor: So many people struggle finding a quality headshot photographer. It's the bane of an actor's existence. Maybe it's the quality, the photo is bland, or they are way too expensive for you. This is why I am blessed to know headshot photographers like Jonathan McInnis. To say his work is stunning would be an understatement. He has a genuine affect on every client he works with that allows them to open up and be their true selves. This is what a headshot is about. I know how important headshots are to all of you, so here is Part I of a three installment series devoted to headshots. Keep updated the next three weeks!

Where to start?

We have all been there googling for headshot photographers. It is daunting. What are things to look for when researching for a photographer?

JM: Look for a website and blog that is actively updated. That is such a good sign. I'm working to find more time to be able to steadily update my blog. That is why I steadily update my Facebook page. Look up on a photographer's social media to see if they post consistent previews. That's a great sign that shows a photographer can consistently shoot good work, instead of depending on lucky shots or clients who are naturally great in front of the camera.

What is a good price?

JM: Many different photographers have many different ways of pricing their work. It's all relative. In Dallas $400-500 is around the higher range for headshots. If I were to charge the same in New York, they wouldn't take me seriously. In New York, around $700-900 will get you headshots that are worth using, but great headshots are usually $1200-1500 sometimes even $2500. I can't speak to what is right and wrong, but I can speak to what I offer. When you shoot with me you will get all the proofs that are web resolution, and you get your first edit free with a session. If you want to use a headshot for professional use you need to get it edited and I charge those at a per edit cost. Some photographers will give away their full resolution shots right off the bat. It's not necessarily a bad thing to do, but I prefer to not have my unretouched work floating around, especially for professional use.

Does price reflect quality? What are red flags when researching a photographer?

JM: Just because they are expensive doesn't mean they are good. That's why I suggest A) looking at their portfolio of work and B) never hesitate to respectfully ask to see a full session. If a photographer doesn't want you to see an entire session, that's a red flag. I will deliver 50 to 100 images in a full session. If someone asks me to see an entire session, I would be more than happy to send them multiple, real proofing galleries that I've sent to clients to show consistency. It shows that these pictures I'm producing aren't lucky shots. Another red flag would be if a photographer has heavily retouched a shot. That's fine for a pageant shot but for a headshot that's not the look an actor is going for.  


Make time for booking. Jonathan is clearly booked often and has times where he can't book right away. Do not make a rookie mistake and think you can get a headshot booked, scheduled, edited, and printed in ten days. This matters, so make time for it! Next post we will get into what to bring for your headshot session, what make up to wear, and how printing is essential.

Jonathan McInnis is an international award winning photographer and stage performer based in Dallas, Texas. With a degree in business management , and a special interest in marketing and design, Jonathan brings his marketing and stage experience together to offer actors one of the main marketing tools they need, headshots. He has photographed headshots for more than 600 actors and creatives since 2011, and is regarded as the leading actor's headshot photographer in Dallas-Ft. Worth.
His work can be found on his studio's website, Jonathan McInnis Photography, at


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