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Feb 26

We’re going on a Headshot Hunt…

Checking out the smart tools offered to drama students & actors by slick new photographer-comparison site, Headshot Hunter.

Headshot-hunter-actors-headshots-comparison -site

Headshot Hunter is in its lunch period

People sometimes mishear when I say a portion of my work is focused on Headshot Photography, and confusedly assume that I’m an expert in Hedgehog Photography.

I only wish I was – just look at the endlessly cute possibilities.

Safe to say though, new headshot photographer comparison site Headshot Hunter, probably isn’t going to be following Comparethemarket.com‘s Meerkat-themed ad campaign with hedgehoghunter.co.uk – rather sinister overtones.

But it is aiming to bring the sort of ‘compare and contrast‘ tools offered by just such insurance, financial and holiday-focused services, to the highly competitive, photographer-packed actors (and business) headshot market.

“Where do you start in a saturated market?”

It is a smart idea, that’s the brainchild of actor Phillip Duguid-McQuillan, who says he wants the site – currently in early public roll-out – to become “a tool to make the whole process of finding a headshot photographer easier.”

An actor himself, and an ‘agent’ with a leading London co-operative agency, City Actors Management, the impetus for the site came from his own experience:

[pullquote align=center” textalign=”center” width=”30%”]”There’s such a saturated market full of photographers, where do you start? I imagined a place where they were all in the same place and you could compare their details and what other people think of those photographers.” Phillip Duguid-McQuillan[/pullquote]

Drama Tools

The launch has been supported by drama schools including Guildhall, GSA, Mountview, DSL and Birmingham, to name just a few, who like the control the site’s tools will give their students in quickly comparing and contrasting prices, packages and even photos from different photographers, side-by side.

And with search tools for everything from postcode to price-bracket, from lighting type to number-of-photos-on-the-contact-sheet, as well as advice from industry professionals, when fully up to speed, the site should be a real asset for students and working actors alike.

Comparetheessence.com?

Of course, there are qualitative decision-making elements in choosing an actors headshot photographer, that aren’t the same as the quantitative assessment you might make when buying insurance, say.

I know many of my actor clients make a decision on their photographer over many months, often heavily influenced by friend’s recommendations, the advice of an agent or drama school, and good-old fashioned gut feeling.

That probably won’t change in itself, though the site will make it a easier to compare the details of 3 or 4 photographers making up a shortlist, as opposed to flicking between their websites.

However, the detailed review functionality, should also allow actors to address these more touchy-feely sides of working with a good portraitist, alongside rating them on more quantitative aspects of the service received.

But like any online forum, careful moderating and a right of reply for photographers is essential to ensure this becomes a fair, balanced and compelling side of the site’s functionality.

And with a business model apparently based on charging fees to photographers for profiles, the site will need to show serious traffic stats and industry-engagement to make a compelling case to those photographers.

On the way…

These thoughts noted, the site has already gained some traction among the serious headshot photographer community – with the likes of Faye Thomas, John Clark, Nicholas Dawkes, Simon Annand, Claire Newman Williams, Pete Bartlett, MUG Photography and myself signing up, to name but a few.

Personally, I’m all for a service that uses technology cleverly to help make our lives easier, and Headshot Hunter does just that, with a rather natty design, so I am a fan.

It’ll be interesting to see how the site grows and evolves over the next year, and in the meantime, head on over and show it some love!

Site: www.headshothunter.co.uk

Michael Wharley on Headshot Hunter

26/02/2014 MW

 

**** DISCLAIMER: No Hedgehogs were injured in the writing of this blog ****

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