This is a question I’m hearing all the time and after looking around on the Internet, there’s a lot of conflicting reports on the subject. Some places are saying you don’t while others swear up and down that it’s MANDATORY. To put it simply: Headshots usually aren’t REQUIRED, but I’d go as far to say they’re STRONGLY RECOMMENDED. (Ages 4-5+)
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Of course a photographer is going to say headshots are important! It’s his job!” The reality of the situation is that if you check out any child modeling agency, 99% of the talent featured will have a professional headshot of sort. This is not a coincidence. When you invest in your child’s headshot or comp card, you’re telling the casting directors and talent agencies that you’re serious about your kid’s involvement in the industry (ESPECIALLY when you’re first starting out and don’t have a portfolio to showcase). While it’s certainly possible for your child to land gigs without professional photographs, presenting professional images to casting directors/talent agencies will help get your child noticed in an otherwise competitive field. If a casting director has spent the last 5 hours browsing through 1000’s of pictures, getting him or her to take that extra second to notice your child is HUGE. Furthermore, presenting AMAZING photographs to these people shows proof that your child is at least capable of producing something their clients could be proud of. For example: If your child was able to take an amazing photograph for a comp card, then he or she will be more likely to take an amazing photograph for a client.
So then how often should your child update his or her headshot? For adults, the industry standard is every two years. For children (5-18ish), we recommend every year. Because of this, we offer heavily discounted prices for children’s headshots. For children younger than four, we maintain that the best course of action is to simply book a normal family photography session. Why? Because you’ll get the most bang for your buck (we charge for time in family photography sessions versus per look in our modeling packages). Be sure to reach out and we’d be happy to send you a price list for the services we offer!