The industry in NYC and Hollywood is NO joke! When you're in it you have to be smart, organized and hungry.
But first, artists especially dancers, actors, musicians etc, should have a nice headshot.
Your photo is a representation of your business, which is YOU.
It's very important for your clients to be attracted to your image.
When it comes to the commercial world, you have to keep it poppin and simple at the same time. A lot of times you're just getting booked based on your headshot.
I know I know, us artists like to be unique, colorful, and ALL over the place, but keep it cute ladies and show some swag, fellas. It's good to have photos that can used universally with your business.
Choose a good photographer that knows the business. They must be skilled in their work, so please do your research.
And yes! photos cost money, unless you have a friend that is a great photographer, so you better start saving to invest in yourself!
Below are a couple photographers that I've worked with and recommend:
Mike Quain http://www.quainphoto.com
NYC- Brian Lynch
East coast and the south- Kimara
Last but not least, have fun and play some good music at your photoshoot!