A contact sheet showing several actor's headshots

Avoiding Choice Overload

Selecting Professional Headshots: Overcoming Choice Overload.

The hardest part of a headshot photo shoot is sorting through the photos to select the best ones; this is a real-world example of paradox of choice. Trying to select the best photos out of 100 good shot is next to impossible. Narrowing your options to a reasonable number of great photos makes it easy to select the best ones.


I usually shoot between 150 and 350 frames of a customer during a headshot session. This gives my customers 60-200 good photos to choose from. I’ll delete about half of these because of blinks and bloopers.


Choice overload is the tendency for people to get overwhelmed when presented with a large number of options.


I have a proven method that makes it easy to narrow my customer’s choices from 100+ really good photos to the 12 or 15 most fantastic shots from a headshot session in about 15 minutes.

Avoiding Choice Overload.

One of my most important jobs as a headshot photographer is to remove the stresses involved in a photo shoot. Part of that is to make it easy to select the best photographs for your particular needs.

I usually take 15 or 20 minutes to work with my customers at the end of their headshot session to help them select their photos. Below is a list of the 5 steps I take to simplify my customer’s choices and help them make good decisions about which are the right photos for them before they leave the studio.


Step-by-Step with help from a professional.

  • Before I show the photos to anyone, I remove any funny faces, blinks, or bloopers.
  • I will show my customer a quick slide show of the candidate photos. This gives us an idea of what we have to work with. (Professional software does this at the press of a button.)
  • The next step is an elimination round with my customer. I’ll bring six or eight photos in the same outfit up on the screen, and the customer will decide which ones they don’t like.
  • We’ll go through this process a few times for each outfit until we eliminate all but the 12 best of the best photos from the shoot.
  • Once we get to this stage, my job becomes one of helping my customers maintain a clear vision of their objectives and helping them understand how well their photos suit their needs.

Dumping 100 or more photographs on anyone is not nice, especially if you don’t have the expertise needed to do the job with professional detachment. Editing photos and offering my customer only the best choices is one of my duties as a professional photographer. It’s also one of my greatest strengths.


Your headshot photographer should be there to offer their guidance through this most challenging part of a photo shoot by offering an objective, professional critique of any photograph to help you decide which ones will help you move ahead in your career.


Dean Birinyi-

I make the time to help my clients select their headshots. 

Due to information overload, selecting photos is the hardest part of any photo shoot. I’ve been doing it for 35 years and am very good at it. 

You’re in control.
I’ll offer my unbiased opinion and professional interpretation of any photo if you want.

Working together, we can narrow your choices from 50+/- great headshots to the 8-12 absolute best in about 15-20 minutes.

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