Just as there are many photographers to choose from, there are many ways and places to get your valuable headshots reproduced. How many you get printed is determined by how you will distribute your shot.
Will you do mass mailings? Will you only hand it out at auditions? Will you scan it and use it through your computer to make your own postcards, post on websites, social media etc?
Labs that do a lot of headshots will also put your name right on the print. You will have a choice of fonts and will need to specify placement of the name, border or no border, etc. The price will vary according depending on which options you choose.
But before you take the photo to the lab, you may want to consider “retouching.”
Before you have your headshot printed 1000 (or even 10) times, you will probably want to have your photo(s) retouched to have fine lines removed from around your mouth & eyes, or to have that single stray hair tamed!
These days, most photography is DIGITAL. So very often the photographer will do the retouching himself (in Photoshop) for no additional charge. This can be a great way to save not only money but time, as taking the photo to and from the retoucher can be time-consuming.
If your photographer doesn’t retouch, they will probably recommend one to you. Reproductions can also advise you, or they can do it for you.
Reproducing Your Photos
For theater auditions in the US, an 8 inch by 10 inch COLOR photo is expected, with your resume trimmed to 8 inches by 10 inches and stapled to the back.
For opera auditions, there’s a wide variety of what’s considered appropriate. Generally these days, a computer-printed photo on 8.5 by 11 inch paper is suitable. Many opera managers provide an audition panel with—in addition to a resume and/or repertoire list—a narrative biography with a smallish photo on it.
Photographic Prints (best quality)
Through experience, our editors have learned the hard way that the cheap repro houses are cheap for a reason. Though you might have no problem, enough of us have photo repro horror stories that we have sworn allegiance to the absolute best photo repro source in NYC:
Fine Photographic Printing for Actors & Performing Artists
6 W 37th Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10018
(212) 629-8304 fax
They are commonly regarded as the best. They are also the most expensive, but not by that much. And when you calculate in the time, aggravation and inferior quality you may get with the cheaper places, Reproductions may well be the best value in town.
And here are some other ones we know of in NYC:
Modern Age Photo Labs
1150 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10030
Phone: (212) 997-1800
Fax: (212) 869-4796
208 W 29th St., Ste. 408
(b/w 7th & 8th Avenues)
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 967-1610
Fax: (212) 967-6654
National Photo Imaging
114 West Illinois Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610
Toll Free 1.800.211.7978
Lithographed Prints (lesser quality)
If all you need are inexpensive prints (not photographic quality), you might want to consider lithographs. Many actors use these for submission at auditions. Lithographs are prints of your headshot done on “regular” paper as opposed to photographic paper. The quality is not as good as photo prints, but they are much much cheaper. Lithographs are NOT appropriate for printing in programs or newspapers. Some companies who do lithographs are: