Until you have name recognition, a very important element of your success will be your headshot. If you want an agency working for you, then you must have an honest, great, beautiful headshot. Headshots that work for you, not against you.
You probably hate getting new headshots. You’re an actor or t.v. personality. So I’m betting you’d rather be in front of a cinema camera moving around rather than shooting still photos.
Here’s the thing. Unless you have that name recognition and you don’t need to audition there’s no getting around it, you have to have a great headshot. It’s the way most agents, managers, and casting directors will get their first look at you. Bottom line is that you gotta do whatever you have to do to get a winning head shot.
Over many years of shooting all sorts of people, here are a few things I’ve found that will help you get great headshots:
Always, and I do means always, use a true professional photographer. Not just any professional photographer. But one that specializes in headshot/portrait photography. Now is not the time to hire your friend with a camera. Or a professional that shoots food, still-life, architecture, etc. You need, want, a professional headshot photographer. Knowing lighting, camera angles, exposure, body movement, is paramount in creating successful headshots. Lighting faces is difficult. Make sure whoever you hire is great at it. Not just good or okay, but great.
Woman, unless you are great at applying your own make-up and doing your hair, please use a professional hair and makeup artist. It’s a worthy investment.
Men, make sure your facial hair looks perfect. It’s far too difficult and expensive to fix with retouching. Far cheaper to get a great shave or trim as needed. Same goes for the top of your head as well. Get that haircut and look your best when you walk on-set. Hiring professional hair stylist is not as critical. But can still be worth every penny spent.
Relax and look alive. Enjoy the experience. After all, you’re on camera during your photo shoot. Don’t hold back. Be yourself. Present yourself honestly in your headshots so casting directors will know who you are before they even meet you in person. Don’t try to fool anyone. It just won’t work.
Understand the roles you are casting for. And get headshots that present you authentically in those specific roles. Your headshots should reinforce that you are right for the part. If you have highly stylized glamorous headshot, but if that’s not what your casting for, do yourself a favor and get new headshots. Headshots that don’t align with the part you are after. do more harm than good. And make sure the photographs are aligned with the shots you need to get the part you want.
Be clear on what roles you can honestly portray. Don’t try to fool casting directors. Give some serious thought to the roles you can play before you shoot. Speak with your acting teacher or coach and other professionals to better understand where you are today and what roles you can honestly play.
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Based in Los Angeles.
Actor headshots for agents, publicists, movie studios, casting directors, public relations, social media, web sites, and blogs.