A headshot can be an actor’s greatest asset. Until you have built up an acting CV or showreel that you feel demonstrates your range and abilities, photographs are all employers will have to go on. The old phrase goes that a picture is worth a thousand words. With something like an actor’s headshot, it is easy to see why.
Your headshot obviously shows your physical features, bone structure, age and general expression. But an experienced casting agent or filmmaker can see far more than that. They can see your depth, versatility, and maybe even experience level too.
It is important to make a good impression with the photograph, and this includes looking exactly the way you normally would. Of course, a picture can be a slightly polished version of your daily self. But a striking difference between your headshot and the way you look in reality could cost you a job. Don’t risk it. Stay calm, do your research, and browse the tips below in securing a great actor’s headshot.
Choose A Great Photographer
Many photographers have experience with actor’s headshots. They know how to get the right angle, lighting, and overall finish. They can process images in both black and white and in colour, and will probably send you digital copies as well as originals. But how will you find one?
Getting online remains one of the best ways to source a great photographer. Browsing their galleries can give you a great indication as to whether their work matches your aspirations. Contacting them whether by phone or email can also give you a good indication whether you will get along and understand each other. Finding a great photographer who can achieve professional results is more than half the battle.
Whether you’re a male or female actor, if you choose to wear make-up, keep it very natural. Headshots should be timeless and neutral. They should show your natural features with as few embellishments as possible. A dab of concealer over a pimple or light mascara to enhance the eyes is fine. But try not to be tempted to do anything dramatic.
Your face is unique and memorable. No-one else in the world has it. Be proud of the uniqueness of your face and don’t feel that you have to cover or change anything. Being confident the way you are is powerful in photographs.
Take Your Time
Even small gestures and emotions can be picked up in photographs. Feeling anxious or rushed can radiate from your eyes and expression. Leave yourself time to relax and be in the moment. Your pictures will be instantly better as a result.