What the Headshot Crew Means to Me

I am on a plane, leaving one of the most amazing, most human events I have experienced. More than 100 headshot photographers from around the planet gathered in Palm Springs, California. Most had never shaken hands, but together we had been honing our craft, headshot photography.

It was a Headshot Crew event called HeadshotMania. Peter Hurley, the worldwide authority on headshots, founded the group. HeadshotMania did two things really well, and more.

Teaching things often unknown to headshot photographers

There was hands-on training and presentations on everything from branding to creating experiences that get clients’ best expressions and from how to build a great website that drives business to learning about the way light behaves, each taught by experts.

I think this conference taught us about everything serious headshot photographers should be practicing, learning, and doing to run a successful business that changes lives by changing people’s perceptions of themselves.

Building great camaraderie even deeper

The Crew was already tight before HeadshotMania. I could have listed dozens of people I could just call and ask for advice if I needed it. The crew is invested in me, and I’m invested in the Crew. I am about as excited when I get a booking as when a Crew member locks down one of my referrals.

But boy, meeting them in person, having one-on-one conversations with them, and hanging out as a group bumped it up a notch, somehow.

I don’t give up sleep for much. I had to leave the resort at 4 this morning. I tried to say goodbye around 10:30 last night. It was almost midnight before I had spoken to the people I most wanted to say goodbye to, because we got talking.

I headed up to my room, but it felt like I was leaving family. I packed my bags, and went back downstairs. Instead of going to bed for 3 hours, I hung out with Crew members, one of whom walked me through to run ads effectively on Google for about an hour. I crashed for twenty minutes and caught my ride to the airport. That’s love, people!

What the Headshot Crew Means to Me

Peter Hurley and everyone who has helped me from the Crew have changed my life. In 2016, I wanted to make money with my photography hobby. I shot real estate for a bit because I knew I didn’t want to photograph people – too awkward and difficult!

I ended up being offered my first paid gig – a headshot. It didn’t go well. I found Peter and the Crew through YouTube.

In one year, after an investment of about $200, the Crew changed me from being scared to shoot people to very focused and intent on shooting them, striving to do this full-time, and charging much more than the annual membership for each headshot session.

Do you know of anywhere else you can get this kind of love and care for building you up in a viable career path? From top experts in the field no less! If so, are those experts willing to drop everything and help you figure out how to improve your work? I don’t think so. If so, does it cost $200 per year?

This week, I had a sale I wouldn’t have made without Peter coaching, and it was 3x bigger because I took Tommy’s advice.

That’s where the rubber meets the road. It’s not just a bunch of nice people who all want to help each other do this really cool type of photography. This is real. It has real effects.

I’m a lifer.

My name is Jon Meadows, and I am the headshot photographer and expression coach at High-End Headshots based in Washington, D.C. I am honored to be an associate headshot photographer of Peter Hurley, who runs the Headshot Crew.