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Survival Guide for Performing Artists

Reviews of Photographers
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Here's what some performers say about various headshot photographers...

Love your headshots? Tell us about your headshot photographer (be brief and specific, please) and we might just post it here. Email your "review" to Please include a copy of your headshot if you like and indicate whether we may use your name. If you have a Web site we can link to, let us know.

Only comments from actual customers will be posted. Photographers may not recommend themselves!

Editor's Note: We are no longer accepting criticisms of photographers, due to legal ramifications. If you would like to heartily recommend a photographer, we'd love to hear about it.

Prices quoted may be out of date. Refer to photographers' Web sites for current information.

Sokrates FrantzisNovember 2008: Thanks to Nancy Jo Gilchrist (LA), I've heard at least two agents say, "Great headshot." And one of them ended up signing me! I really enjoyed my session with Nancy Jo, too.
—Sokrates Frantzis



Anna GiselleOctober 2008: Daniel Colegrove (LA) is probably the most interesting and hardest working photographer I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I am from Argentina and I had already been to 3 photographers here in Los Angeles and it just wasn't "clicking" (pardon the pun). My agent had originally booked a simple studio shoot with Daniel...Daniel was very, very patient with me but after one half hour he stopped shooting and said "this is not going to get it". He took only one camera and drove us to a big beach resort hotel where he told me to go and just take a walk. We walked around the gardens for an hour just talking about everything, my home in Argentina, his children, the entertainment business and how crazy it is. I enjoyed the the scenery and talk a great deal, and somehow he managed to shoot about 50 spectacular pictures without my even noticing. I have told my agent that he is now my photographer in the USA and do not bother to book any one else.
—Anna Giselle

August 2008: Robin Gentile (NYC) is the best. She displays a true passion for what she does. Robin's personality is warm and makes you feel right at home. It was a pleasure to work with her.
—Scott Sternbach

July 2008: My experience with Robin Gentile was definitely a positive one.  When I first met with Robin, I was overwhelmed with all of the decisions I had to make; but she was very quick to resolve them for me.  From make-up to hair to wardrobe, Robin knows exactly what works and what doesn't. Her warm and friendly personality makes her easy to work with and the photo session was so much fun.  She also took the time to sit with me and go through all the headshots, along with making herself available afterward until I was 100% sure of my choices.
—Linda Sandles

June 2008: Robin Gentile is one of the most down to earth people I have ever met. She is willing to try anything but also makes sure it is the right thing. She understands the business of marketing headshots, so she tries many different ways and many different looks that can be used to get you into that audtition room. I have worked with other photographers before but none of them have ever kept in touch with me even a day after the shoot. I had my photos done in the fall of 2007 and it is now June 2008 and Robin still keeps in touch with me, forwarding my headshots to agents and managers. She knows many people in the business that are always willing to look at the shots she has taken so going to Robin is definitely a plus in getting started or getting back into the field.
—Robert Stubbs

May 2008: My experience working with Robin Gentile was amazing. She is such a sweet person that it's hard not to feel comfortable with her right away. I was so nervous and she really went above and beyond to make me feel safe. She was accommodating from the very beginning. She helped me pick out different outfits, helped me with my make up, and I felt in good hands before we even started shooting. She cared so much about making me happy and providing me with the best shots I could have.  I couldn't be happier with my shots and will continue to recommend her to every actor I know. When we were finished shooting she took the time to sit with me to help me pick out the best shots. This process of choosing is usually overwhelming, but with Robin by my side helping me it was pretty easy. She even touched base with me a few days later to make sure I felt I made the right decision.  She is so talented, lovely to work with, and I am happy to say I had a terrific head shot experience!
—Kim Weiler

Paul Kassel's headshot by Robin Gentile February 2008: I HIGHLY recommend Robin Gentile [pronounced "gentilly"]. I’ve been a professional actor for almost 30 years and have used a number of photographers, including some of the most notable, but Robin is the best. ... I am an actor and a teacher of acting. I have a lot of students who seek a good photographer when they are ready to make the transition from college to the profession. After I had my headshots done by Robin, I asked her to come up and speak to my students about “the biz” and finding a good photographer. She was wonderful, informative, and enthusiastically received by the students. But more than this (and this is a telling and important point), Robin offered to look at their shots, even if someone else did them. Anyone can say this, but my students took advantage of this offer and did. True to her word, Robin took a good look at the shots and offered her suggestions. This kind of generosity and confidence in her work speaks volumes. I give Robin Gentile my highest recommendation.
Paul Kassel (pictured)

Paige Cutrona's headshot by Robin Gentile February 2008: Robin Gentile in NYC has done every headshot I have ever used. She is wonderful! Not only is she an amazing photographer, but she also has a casting background too so she knows what works and what doesn’t. Her warm personality makes you feel at ease. I have always gotten great compliments on my pictures. They are genuine and totally Me. Robin Gentile always captures a moment so you never get stale pictures or dead eyes. She is a joy to work with and always listens and collaborates so that my ideas and her expertise come together to get the best shots. Her rates are very fair and she takes her time with you. Plus, you can leave that day with a CD of your pics.
—Paige Cutrona (pictured)

Craig Yochem's headshot by David J. Martin September 2007: After lots of research and asking around to fellow actors in NYC, I finally decided on David J. Martin (NYC) to do my headshots. Awesome, couldn't be happier. I wanted to update my black & white shot to color but couldn't see spending $800 and I was skepitcal of the really cheap digital deals out there. So, his $400 rate was perfect. He's real fun and I wasn't traumatized on this shoot—it showed. Plus, casting directors say it actually looks like me. —Craig Yochem (pictured)

July 2007: After getting so many positive comments on my headshots I can strongly recommend Daniel Colegrove in Southern California (LA). Aside from being an excellent photographer he is an incredibly interesting person. His services were very reasonable and the headshots he set up are right on. I have had several auditions where they almost raved about my commercial 8X10, and my agent says they are all perfect. I almost don't want to share him, he is that good. Daniel Colegrove's business is just north of L.A. in Ventura, California.

Feb. 2007: I just got back headshots from Carla Coria in New York ( and I'm completely impressed. I went to Carla because she originally came out and shot some amazing pictures of my band for a promo we were doing. She's awesome about working with you to really capture your strengths and bring something new to the photos. It was also a completely relaxing process cause she guides you through everything and is great at making the work space very comfortable (bring your iPod, she'll put on your music). Very reasonable prices and a great versatile location.

Jan. 2007: Tim Lampson completely rocks. He's quick, uses natural light, and is a dream to work with. I've used him several times. Not expensive either and very low-key, user-friendly. For color digital pix it's worth every cent to go to Peter Hurley! I had over 60 shots that I could use! he really knows what he's doing. You can view the pix as you go! A real class act!

Dec. 2006: I definitely recommend Anthony Grasso ( He does only Actors Photos, so if you are planning to do acting and only acting go with him. He is friendly, professionally studied art so he knows lighting. Anthony takes time during the shoot to connect with you. He finds out what your type is (if you don’t know already) so he can capture your best marketing point. He is also very reasonable compared to ["Photographer X"]’s prices. Anthony shot over 800 exposures during our shoot as to the mere “unlimited” 54 exposures that ["Photographer X"] gave me. He also provided an assortment of libations... Amanda Lippert (Anthony’s make-up artist) stayed the entire shoot. She gave me a full studio make-up session. She makes your make-up very subtle for the camera so you can look your most natural and real. Then she gave me a make-up card so I could recreate the look for auditions.

Nov. 2005: Douglas Gorenstein did my new headshots and he is AWESOME!!! After seeing a bunch of photographers I decided to go with Douglas and I am really pleased I did. He shoots digitally so you can reproduce the shots in color or black and white. He put me at ease and I ended up enjoying doing something I normally hate to do. Everything about the shoot worked for me from the natural make up to his professional directors approach to my agents happy response! I suggest you visit his excellent website which showcases his work and gives all the rate details ($695 to include all shots, which I personally think is a great value for the quality of the headshots I got).

Feb. 2003: I love my headshots. Ron Rinaldi shot them. He does all digital, and he's a real pro. I felt very comfortable and I left there with a book of 8x10 prinouts of all the shots he did. Later I got a CD with all the pics. Check out his web site at

June 2001: I just had my headshots taken with Douglas Gorenstein and had a fantastic experience. He really took the time to get to know who I am as an actor. I had a terrible experience with another photographer a couple of years ago. I just felt so uncomfortable. The shoot with Doug was relaxed and fun. The make up artist created a beautiful natural look. I especially love the way he captured my eyes and spirit! It was definitely the best headshot shoot I have ever had.

--I had mine done by Nick Granito, who did a great job. He understands the type of shots needed by different people, i.e., opera vs. musical theatre vs. conductor vs. administrative, etc. And, he is very reasonable.

--My headshot was done at Nick Granito. It cost me around $300 for six rolls of film, the final 8x10 with touchup and name on the bottom. I liked him, but what do I know from headshots. You could go by and look at his portfolio...he's on 28 and Park. He does more Broadway than opera folk. 

--Chia Messina was (I think) $395 for 3 rolls, $495 for 4 rolls and you get Polaroids, contact sheets, and one 8x10. hair and makeup was $120.

--You should definitely call John Hart (212) 873-6585. He is wonderful, and he's in your price range! A lot of opera singers, as well as actors and models use him. I'm sure that you'd recognize a few of the faces on his wall! He is a doll. You'll have a wonderful time if you decide to work with him.

--I've always had good luck with Nick Granito He used to do mostly actors but for the past 5 years or so has done lots of opera singers. Just tell him exactly what you want (i.e., he's used to photographing women in maybe more casual or revealing clothing than opera singers are used to - just tell him you don't want to wear a strapless gown - unless you want to!) He shoots about 12 rolls of film for $250; this includes a touched-up photo, and you pay for multiple copies on top of that - this was a while ago. He doesn't do make-up or hair but recommends a make-up artist whose name escapes me (Steve Harrold, maybe?), but he's very good, and he charges $50.

--There are two brothers, the Kriegman's. they advertise in backstage. I think their names are Tom and James. They don't work together, but maintain separate studios. They inherited the business from their father. They usually do very good work and not outrageously expensive. They themselves are not stylists. but they are cheaper. Then you could hire a stylist to go with you and observe the shoot and make sure you look ok. I would suggest that.

--I think [Christian] Steiner and [Lisa] Kohler shots [known for opera singers & classical musicians' shots] are too much $$ and I have grown quite tired of the Kohler "look". Those are my two cents... 

--I just got new headshots last week from a superb photographer. She did my photos four years ago and I went back to her with no reservations.  Her name is Jinsey Dauk (pronounced GIN-SEE DAWK) and she's in the archive building on Greenwich street in the village. You can get her number from info. She shows her book, so you can call, make an appointment, and go see her work.

--A guy by the name of Ken Howard did mine a few years ago, and he is quite good, as good as [Christian] Steiner, etc., and I believe not as cheap. He is the photographer for Opera Theater of Saint Louis, as well as San Diego [Opera], LA [Opera], and several others. 


More about Headshots:

All About Headshots
| Finding a Photographer | Performers' Reviews of Photographers | Reproducing Your Headshots


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