Some useful tips and pro advice about actor headshot photography
WHAT MAKES A GREAT ACTOR HEADSHOT?
Agreat headshot will make a great first impression. A great headshot captures your personality, beauty, energy, character, and has your confidence radiate through the photograph. It must represent who you are, your essence your spirit, your quirks, flaws, and features. The point of a headshot is not to come out of the studio with bunch of makeover type shots or a model portfolio. It must capture what it is that makes you different from other actors and performers.
As an actor or performer, you must be realistic and understand yourself. Are you a leading man or lady? Funny friend or grumpy uncle? Quirky oddball or straight guy? What roles out there are you right for, where do you have the most casting success or, if starting out, which amateur roles have won you the most praise? Do your homework, talk to your agent or if you’re new to the profession, your acting coach, drama teacher or members of your performing arts group. They may think you’re one thing. You may think you’re another. Find out where your strengths lie to identify which roles you are best suited to.
This stage is all about confidence, energy and attitude. The best headshots are always the ones where the actors or performers are rested, prepared and know who they are. Be ready to play. Clothes, make up, hair and the ‘look’ are all important, but your personality and what makes you the actor or performer you are (or want to be) is what we want your headshot to shout out. The objective is to shoot a headshot that jumps off the page and has the casting director wanting to meet you, then making sure you represent that headshot when you walk into the audition. There is nothing a casting director or new agent hates more than calling someone in off their headshot, and having that actor or performer turn up who looks nothing like the image they have in front of them.
In our opinion, you should get new headshots done whenever you look different or get a new agent. If your appearance has changed because of a new hairstyle or facial hair, weight gain or loss, then you need to think about getting a new one. We look at it like this; if you’re called in for a casting and you cannot ‘change’ yourself to look like you do in your current headshot then you need to get a new one. Another reason you may consider new headshots is if you change agent or are in the process of looking for a new agent to help give you a fresh start on the casting scene.