by: Natalie Lipka & Wayne Frazier
As actors, we have spent our fair share of money on our business. It seems like every time we turn around, we spend money on workshops, wardrobe and casting sites. Then there is the gas to get to auditions, parking meters when we get there, and those unforeseen parking tickets when our auditions outlast the money put into the parking meter. And let’s not forget headshots: the actor’s calling card. Good headshots are a must to make it in this business. But headshots can get really expensive, between hiring a photographer and make-up artist and getting your pictures printed.
This is our business and we realize that putting money into it is a must, but there are ways to save money and time. One way we’ve been be able to do this is by making The Actor’s Photo Lab our prime reprinting shop. We love this place because not only do they have the best prices in town, but they also provide something very important: personalized customer service.
Just one of the awesome people we work with over at The Actor’s Photo Lab is Beau Rutherford. We decided to sit down with him to ask him a few questions about how and why this photo lab exceeds all other reproduction houses.
Why is human interaction important for good headshots?
When someone comes into the lab and needs help with their print designs we sit down with them and take them step by step through the process. I deal with many actors and agents on a daily basis to find out what they need, including different set-up options for headshots, zed cards and business cards. You have a product (yourself) and you want people to buy it. So, it’s my job to help people get themselves out there and to pursue their careers. I hear from our clients all the time about how they have tried printing with the other “bigger places” and how little actual human interaction they receive during the entire order process. Often I see how surprised and happy our customers are with the one-on-one service they receive.
Is it hard to be competitive with other, bigger places around?
Actually, customers tell me all the time how great our prices are compared to other places. I did a little research on this and, I won’t name any names, but I checked out one of the other leading shops around. Their basic setup for a headshot costs 2.5 TIMES what we charge. FOR THE EXACT SAME THING.
This business is crazy/immediate sometimes. How do you handle it when actors need rush orders?
We do not charge in any way for rush orders. We realize things come up like last-minute auditions, workshops, agent meetings, etc. Practically every day people request same-day prints and we can almost always deliver.
You seem like you really care about alleviating stress for actors. Why is that?
I know being an actor is tough. You give so much of yourself to pursue a career that every day gives you reason to question if you should keep going. Knowing how little your talent and preparation play in actually getting a role, knowing that you crushed your audition but the guy next to you booked the national simply because his hair was longer or because you weren’t fat enough or skinny enough. So to all of you out there I applaud you. Keep hanging in there. You never know, that perfect opportunity could be awaiting you around the next corner.