Posts Tagged ‘headshots’

This is a question I get most via phone, email, or messenger. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy to answer as all that.

One person may only need a simple studio head and shoulders image on a plain, neutral background, yet the next person’s idea of a headshot might involve a full-length image on a green screen with a desk full of props in the foreground, and drop in a law library in the background with a logo overlay and six levels of retouching to choose from. This is not what I would call “a headshot,” but it could very well be the client’s only terminology they have, to convey “a marketable digital image.”

In its simplest form, “a headshot” at Newsome’s Studio is $199 for the first image purchased.

If you want your headshot to become more involved (as in the latter example), it’s not what I call “a headshot,” it’s more of “a branding session.” A branding session is a collaboration between your ideas and my skill set in bringing them to life. The cost of which, is dictated by the level of time and talent needed to bring it all together. Sometimes, additional costs are incurred, via the need to purchase a stock image to use as a background or me going on location to create that image myself. Maybe you need several “reworks” of retouching because you don’t think you look slim enough, or young enough, or whatever!

Today’s digital world has opened up an ocean of possibilities when it comes to creating a great marketable image. Retouching is no longer a simple case of removing a few blemishes. In this day of Snapchat and Instagram filters, people are accustomed to presenting themselves as younger, slimmer, and more photogenic than they might actually be in person. There is actually a real danger to a client insisting that you go what might be considered “overboard” in retouching them beyond recognition. I caution clients of that, but still, they persist.

All of this boils down to time and talent, and time and talent are the only commodities left in the equation of running a profitable photography business. I don’t sell pixels, I sell my time and my talent.

So, how much is a headshot? Well, how much of my time and talent do you expect you’ll need? It could run anywhere from $199 to $999 for that first image. The only way I can accurately answer that question is for us to have a conversation about your particular needs, but suffice it to say that “a headshot” BEGINS at $199. And no, just because you “only need it for Linkedin” doesn’t make it any less valuable to you, or any less time and talent consuming for me.

If you’re going to market yourself with it, it should be taken seriously, by you AND your photographer.


Urban Architecture used as background for a Corporate Head Shot


Objective: Client needed an environmental headshot/bio photo that can/will be used in an ad pieces and web pages. Verbiage to be on the left, image on the right. Semi-nondescript background blown out of focus.

Solution: Utilized select locations in an urban settings for background colors, combining (primarily) available light with reflectors and some supplemented modified flash. Kept client’s shoulders facing to camera left, into the image, offset by one third, leaving room for ad verbiage. One image cropped square to be used for LinkedIn/Facebook/etc.


A wall of Bougainvillea provided color


A square crop will provide a great bio photo for LinkedIn and other social media sites.





I was recently contracted to create business head shots for select employees of the American Automobile Association (aka AAA). The job would require travel. Lots of travel (something they know quite a bit about). They wanted a consistent look among all bio photos, particularly with regards to background, lighting, cropping, and retouching. They had over a thousand employees in the southeast, spread out over 67 branches in three states. And, they had a deadline. “Can you do it?”

I had been selected as their photographer back in October, with a proposed deadline of February 28th. After photographing the first seven locations in Southwest Florida, they realized that my costs had not been budgeted for 2015, so I was put on hold until the first of the year where budgets for this project were now in place. The new deadline was May 1st.

I rekindled scheduling beginning in early February. There were 47 locations in Florida and 10 each in Georgia and Tennessee. Because of prior commitments and shoots with other clients, I selectively fit them into my already-busy schedule where I could, attempting to do two to three branches in a single day whenever possible.

The beauty of working all over the state of Florida, is that no matter where I went, I had friends to stay with. Jacksonville? Tammy Czigan; Tallahassee? Cindy Strickland; Miami? Marybeth Jackson; Sarasota/Bradenton? Manny Cruz. I could base myself just about anywhere to reach a cluster of offices over a one, two, or three day period, and even had an assistant at one time (THANK YOU TAMMY!).

Georgia and Tennessee would require a single road trip and a race to the finish. In fact, my road trip actually started with the Miami offices, beginning in Stuart and working my way south to cover eight branches over three days. From there, I crossed the state and spent the weekend with family in Ft Myers, before heading north to Savannah, Ga. I knocked out all twenty Georgia and Tennessee branches in seven days of shooting.

A bonus in Nashville, was running into my good friends (all Past Presidents of the FPP), Al Gordon, Dana Lunden, and Jackson Koontz III.

My final push to complete the assignment lasted 15 days (with weekends off), covered 28 offices, 328 head shots, and involved driving 3,421 miles.

I set up and tore down the same portable studio 67 times since this began. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve likely seen that setup accompanied with the hashtag #todayscameraroom more than enough times. Some offices were huge, some were tiny. I was set up in everything from boardrooms, to broom closets. The people I had the honor of working with were incredible! Friendly, kind, sweet, and cooperative. I couldn’t have asked for a better scenario or group of individuals to work with.

It’s nice to get out of the studio, even if I have to bring it with me. Road trips are like therapy. I can mentally check out – solve all the world’s problems – and see some great scenery along the way.

“Yes. I can do it.”



As of June 1st, Newsome’s Studio of Photography is open for business in our newest location! Now located in Cypress Point Office Park, behind Starbucks at the corner of Linebaugh Ave and North Dale Mabry Hwy. The official address is 10012 N. Dale Mabry Hwy, Suite 219, Tampa, FL 33618.

The studio is on the second floor (suite 219). Stop by and say Hi! sometime.

Come visit us in our new digs!

Come visit us in our new digs!

How can you reach out to me? Let me count the ways… Facebook, Google+, Email, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, any of my three blogs, the contact form on my web site, snail mail, or the telephone.

Well, no matter what avenue you choose to communicate with me, I’m usually going to choose just one to reply… the telephone. Why? because it accomplishes more, saves time, answers questions in a heartbeat, and establishes a rapport/relationship in a way that all the others can’t.

You have questions, I have answers. Let’s cut to the chase and resolve your queries lightning fast, and you can get on with running your business. You will be happy, maybe your boss will be even happier, and I, most likely will have gained a new client in the process.

It is beyond my comprehension why so many photographers refuse to publicize their phone numbers – even on the “contact us” page of their web site! It’s like they’re doing everything possible to avoid real communication with potential clients.

Maybe it’s a sign of the times, so many forms of communication have been instilled in them since grammar school, that they view having an actual conversation with anyone an utter annoyance. If they’re not looking down between their thumbs, they’re incapable of communicating!

I love the phone, and I love hearing it ring. I think  my clients do too. You got questions about photography? Call me. 813-968-2810. We’ll talk, you’ll get answers, and I’ll have the opportunity to convince you that I’m the right man for the job.

Pick up the phone and call me.

Pick up the phone and call me.

Local crooner, Ralph Alocco of JAMS Entertainment, decided it was time to update his bio photo and publicity shot. We did a series of images to be used in advertising his services as both an entertainer/singer, and his karaoke business. This image was one of our favorites. Classic, Hollywood lighting and posing was used, as his specialty is Sinatra/Martin style singing.

Ralph Allocco of JAMS Entertainment

Ralph Allocco of JAMS Entertainment

I have the pleasure of photographing some very interesting people in my line of work, and today was no different. Today’s executive portrait session was with Tampa attorney, George Melendez. One of George’s noticeable characteristics is his hair. Professionally, he typically wears it in a ponytail, and did so for his official headshot. When I knew I’d captured the image he’d come in for, I asked him to humor me, and let his hair down for just a few shots. He obliged, I pumped up the back lighting, positioned him for a profile light, and watched a bit of magic happen. After viewing the images, he just might end up using this one on his bio page. After all, it doesn’t hurt to think you just might be hiring Jesus Christ as your attorney, does it?

Tampa Attorney, George Melendez

Tampa Attorney, George Melendez