© Karen Engel Photography© Karen Engel PhotographyKaren Engel Photography Headshots Hollywood Kids Actors Actresses Agents Casting Directors My name is Karen Engel and I’m the principal photographer behind Karen Engel Photography.   I am fortunate enough to be one of the top agency preferred headshot photographers that specialize in children and actors in Southern California, and Central Valley (Bakersfield, Kern County / San Joaquin Valley). My clients work on motion pictures, TV shows, commercials, product and fashion industries, and advertising campaigns.

I have been working in the entertainment industry since I was a teenager. First as a professional musician/songwriter doing recording/touring/films - then for the past 15 years as an agency preferred kids headshot photographer.  My kids grew up in the industry, so I know a thing or two about the entertainment industry and what agents and casting directors are looking for.

​I’m a perfectionist and I will always make sure that I get the best results out of you or your children. I am a true believer that a great headshot can make all the difference in someone's career. I take great pride in my work and it makes me super happy and proud seeing all my clients booking acting and modeling jobs!​​

I can't wait to see what opportunities my headshots will create for YOU!

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Headshots Are Your #1 Marketing Tool

It's time to go pro

We all have that friend with a camera or can find some local amateur with a website online who shoots for free or cheap and may even give you "all" the photos  - so why hire a professional headshot photographer? 

A great headshot is your No. 1 marketing tool that you can use to help you get requested for auditions. It's your first impression and what casting directors will remember if it's done right. It is your calling card from which you will get hired.  You want it to be outstanding - and to show your best possible side. If your headshot is bad, you will look bad - and it's hard to make it out of the reject pile once that's how you're seen.  As a performing artist you are a business and you need to treat it as such and invest in it to make it successful. You must have a high quality, professional headshot if you want the industry to take you seriously. 

As a professional headshot photographer, who does this for a living, I have a great understanding of all the advanced photography techniques and post production tools to make you look your best - and know exactly what agents and casting directors are looking for. 

Choosing a PRO will get you the results you need - results that make a difference that amateurs just can't achieve.  It's not a better "deal" if a photographer gives you tons of photos to make up for their lack of skill.
Select, curated images of highest quality always will be the right choice.  Quality beats quantity!  The lowest cost, cheapest
 price decision will almost always end up with amateur quality photography.  That's not a great look for a professional.

Wouldn't you rather have spent a little more than you wanted - than not as much as you needed?

I want to get you the images that will help you stand out, be competitive and your agents will LOVE.

Hollywood Kids Entertainment Industry HeadshotsChildren, Teen Youth Headshots for Models, Actors Musicians Creative Portrait Agents Agencies Talent Film TV Motion Picture Commercial Advertising


What are your RATES and PACKAGES - and how do I book with you?

You can review our rates and packages HERE and book your session right thru our website via the BOOK NOW button above! The prices listed represent the standard rates before our talent agency discount is offered. If you are with a qualifying agent, just pick out the package that you would like - and have your talent agency contact us directly, to activate your discount.


GET NOTICED With Photos That POP! 

Not all photographers are equal - and the trained eye can see the difference between amateur photos and professionals so if you just choose the cheapest that's exactly what you'll get and people in the industry can tell.  
Post production matters - it takes creative vision and a specialized skill set to be able to create truly impactful images that have that extra POP!  

Before and After - Post Production Image Sample

What to expect

Once your appointment has been scheduled and reserved, I will send you all details and wardrobe suggestions within a day or so. If you would like to email me your outfits prior to our session I would be happy to give you advice on what would or wouldn’t work so we have everything all set on the day of. If you chose to ask my opinion on wardrobe please make sure to read thru my guidelines first and email me your option 72 hours prior to your sessions so adjustment can be made if needed.

Typically sessions are around 30 minutes to max 2 hours long depending on the package selected. If you have hired a HMUA you will need to arrive 30 mins prior to your appointment time to get hair and make up started. 

Hair and make -up

HMUA (Hair and Make-up artist) is highly recommended for ages 8 and up for best results. 
If you don’t have a pro hair and makeup artist set up for your session, then you need to arrive hair and makeup ready. Kids should look age appropriate and wear little or no make up under age 8.

Wardrobe Suggestions

Wardrobe can make or break a session so I highly suggest following my guidelines and getting approval from agency if necessary. I recommend rich jewel tones to make the images pop. Most agents prefer no white, grey, black or pastels, busy graphics or large logos (unless it specifically calls for a certain type). Patterns are ok as long as they are small as they tend to be less distractive. Layers are great. Make sure clothing is form fitted. It’s generally best to use smaller clothes for shoots that fit well. 

For older kids and adults it's important to portray specific character looks with wardrobe instead of just using clothing that you like. Think preppy, sporty, nerd, all american girl next door, business type, soccer mom etc. or whatever types you generally go out for. The character specific outfits should look authentic and not staged or costumed like cosplay. I highly suggest that you talk to your agent/manager and discuss with them what looks to target.

I am happy to look at your clothing options and give you my advice on  any changes if needed. If you choose to go that route please email them to me at least 72 hours prior to the session so adjustments can be made if needed. It’s best to send images with your child wearing the clothing so I can see the fit as well.

Baby, it's cold outside...

Please make sure that when you shoot outdoors with me in the winter months that you select winter appropriate outfits so your child is not cold. Even though we live in California it can get very chilly and freezing kids don't do well on photoshoots! Layers, jacket, vest, tights, fitted sweaters are perfectly appropriate options for your session and they will still look super cute on photos. Attached some examples below. When shopping for clothing I recommend you check out Old Navy, Target, GAP, H&M, Macy's, Gymboree, Janie and Jack and Crewcuts for solid jewel tone items. Remember no graphics or distracting patterns!

After your session

In about 1-3 business days after your photoshoot you will receive the lightly processed cropped unretouched medium resolution proofs in a watermark protected online gallery from which you can select your favorites to retouch. I also offer a rush delivey service as an add on option that will allow you to receive your gallery 12-24 business hours after your session if you are in a hurry. Usually the agent/manager selects the favorites, so I would recommend forwarding them the gallery and asking their opinion as well. Once those are selected I will retouch them and email you the web sized versions to use for the casting sites and email. All high resolution web size, and print size edits will be added to an online webgallery so you can download and use right away. 



I highly recommend The Actor's Photo Lab for all your acting related printing needs.       https://www.theactorsphotolab.com