A professionally taken headshot is critical for an actor or actress as the profession is incredibly competitive for both new and seasoned performers. Get it wrong and it could cost you more than an audition or casting. Make sure you get the best professionally taken headshot that you can afford.
Your headshot is incredibly important. It’s an investment for forwarding your acting career in the professional acting world. The headshot should look like you and be engaging and pull the viewer in to want to know more about you, the actor. Taking a quick snap on your holidays really isn’t going to cut it. You need to know how to shape the light and make the sitter feel confident, happy and engaged to get the best casting headshot.
I was horrified to see a bad headshot recently taken by an actor’s son on his actor’s Spotlight profile. The colour temperature cast was red. The lens distorted his already large nose. The framing was way off and didn’t have any bokeh and was sharp from the tip of his nose the back of his cluttered living room! This is an extreme case but, a real one none the less. This is why some actors don’t get called in for professional acting roles. That is why it’s critical for an actor to have a professionally taken headshot. It makes good sense to look like a professional actor or actress if you’re serious about working with other professionals.
Professionally taken headshot
My professional headshot recipe for a professionally taken headshot is the way to go. I think it’s obvious but, so many actors miss these vital tips, as do some not so professional photographers. My following tips should give you a better idea of where to start to get that Professionally taken headshot.
1. Take a professional headshot photographer and check out his or her headshot and portrait reviews and feedback. Always check their portfolio for updates. Make sure the site been updated and is current for today’s working actor.
2. Call and speak to the photographer about what you want to achieve during your portrait session.
3. Don’t make any important appointments on the same day and stick to your allocated session. Meet a friend that is supportive after the session is always a good idea. Avoid going an audition on the same day. Both deserve attention.
4. If you are in the mood for a new haircut do it a least 5-7 day prior to your photo shoot. Having a hair colour or cut is not a good idea on the same day as the headshot session.
5. Turn up on time! It’s very simple. This is your photo session slot which is booked and confirmed. Don’t waste valuable studio time with running about being stressed out. This is an important investment for you.
6. Get your headshot wardrobe sorted a few days before the shoot, not the night before. Think about your brand and casting type. Make sure you understand what your brand is, so the clothing choices match. see my other page about what to wear for your headshot session.
7. Skincare routines will help the photographer edit your finished headshot images. Dry skin areas should be routinely paid attention to n0t the night before but always!
8. Find a pro headshot photographer that can make you look like you! I have seen so many headshots of actors that are obsessed with looking beautiful and younger. Make sure your headshot photographer understands the concept of “the real you” (Your brand). The casting director won’t thank you when you turn up looking many years younger than your headshot.
9. Make sure that your photographer obeys rule number 8.
10. Retouching headshots and editing are important when it comes to getting your professionally taken headshot. If you have modes they should stay. The director may love moles!
11. Relax. Leave your headshot baggage at home. This is a fresh new chapter for you. The headshot is important, of course, but so many other factors are taken into account when it comes to landing a role. Your age, height, personality, chemistry, your background, and your resume are all part of the process. But be TRUTHFUL when it comes to selling your brand on your headshot.
Professionally taken headshot experience
Trusting your new photographer is key to getting a professionally taken headshot. Your an actor, not a model. Good lighting and correct posing all come in to play when it comes down to the day of your shoot. Once you have booked and confirmed the appointment lookout for images that you like the look of, and imagine what the casting type is of the person in the portrait. The most important aspect is to understand what your own casting type and brand is.
For more tips and bits check out my actor’s toolbox on What makes a good headshot?