Actors Make Sure Your Headshot Is You!
The most important calling card that an actor has (besides
themselves of course) is their headshot. Your headshot and
resume is an extraordinarily important member of your team. Ask
yourself what makes you pick up something at the store to buy it.
What is it about the movie that first makes you want to go see it.
It's the packaging. Whether it's a shrink wrapped package, a movie
poster, or a headshot - it's the packaging that gets the customer to
unwrap and find out what's inside. After that - it's up to you.
Agents and casting directors see hundreds and thousands of
So, you've got to make yours stand out. But that doesn't mean
that you should try and do something that's not you. If, after
seeing that movie poster that features a cute guy holding a puppy
and it turns out to be a slasher movie - you'll be annoyed that it
wasn't as advertised.
The same holds true for headshots. If they don't look like you and
if they don't represent who you are -- then you'll be called in for
the wrong kinds of roles - and when you do get called in for
auditions you won't be cast.
So, what are the top five things to think about when getting a
headshot? Well, there's probably more than five - but here's our top
1. Get your headshot professionally done.
Certainly you don't have to have Herb Ritts do your photographs
- but don't scrimp either. This is your business calling card. This
deserves to have real budget, and real effort put to it. It should
be taken as seriously as you are taking your career. How much should
you spend? Well, that's entirely up to you... Your next door
neighbor might be an amazing photographer and do it for free... Or,
maybe you're rich enough to hire Herb Ritts. The point is to do your
research and find the right photographer that's right for you. That
means asking your friends - checking out photographers. Looking at
other headshots. Interview them. Look at their books.
2. Make sure that your headshot is about who you are - and
reflects your type
Don't take a "glamour" shot if you are
marketing yourself as the boy next door. Celebrate your uniqueness
and have your headshot reflect who you really are. A good
photographer should help you here - and should shoot you in
different looks so that you can pick a few to have on hand.
3. Your name should be on the front of your headshot - and it
should be legible.
Your resume is usually on the back of the headshot.
4. Get opinions. When you get your contact sheets back
get professional opinions. Ask your fellow actors. Ask your acting
coach. If you have access ask an agent or casting directors. Get the
opinions on which ones are the best. But don't be afraid to go with
the one that you feel is best.
5. When you are getting your headshot reproduced - again don't
Don't have one made and then get it photocopied. Get it
professionally duplicated. But don't get so many that you'll spend
the next five years sending them out. Get them in a few hundred at a
time. You don't want to invest so much in reproduction that if you
discover there's a bad reaction to them.
Your headshot is your packaging. It's what's going to get you the
audition, or the meeting with the agent, or the meeting with the
director. Remember that it should represent the uniqueness and
special qualities that make you shine.