How to achieve an actors headshot that commands attention
October 31, 2016
There’s no hiding from it, if you want to be taken seriously as an actor you need to have professional actors’ headshots that make you stand out from the crowd. But how do you know what the casting director is looking for? Well, we’ve been doing our research and that along with our experience has given us a good insight into what steps you need to take to make sure your professional casting headshots have the right impact.
It’s more than just a shot of your head!
May sound strange but we’ve seen shots that are just of the actors eyes, mouth, nose and chin! This isn’t enough obviously. Step back, listen to what the photographer is saying to you and take direction from them. Casting directors need to see a but more than your mouth!
We can’t emphasis this enough. The casting director will make a judgement on your suitability for a role based on your headshot. If it’s too glamorous, doesn’t look like you in real life or misrepresents you then it’s a definite no-no. It’s important to find the right photographer that you have a rapport and can work well with and take their advice onboard throughout the shoot.
Have at least 2 of them
There are 2 basic kinds of headshots that should be in your portfolio:
Commercial Headshot – show your personality in this one, smile, relax and use this image for commercial and musical theatre.
Theatrical Headshot – get serious and intense, brood, pout – this is your chance to create a professional headshot that you can use for theatre, film, dramas and TV.
Actor Headshot requirements transform over time so here’s a list of the current basics:
- Portrait, not landscape
- Colour or Black and White, they’re both fine
- Stay away from severe off camera angles, straight to camera is usually better
What to wear
Once you’ve found a photographer that you’re happy to work with, check with them about the clothing you might need. Colours can enhance skin tone, make your eyes pop and bring out your best features. We always work with our clients and ask them to bring along 4-5 outfits that they can change into (we have changing rooms at our Leeds studio). Avoid overly bright or patterned clothing and no big logos!