So you are an aspiring actor who has decided to pursue a career in film and television. You have gone through the casting calls that we’ve recently published and found one you are interested about and the casting director is asking for a headshot. You are probably thinking on sending that one of your great selfies. To get hired, a selfie won’t do the trick. You need a professional headshot. One that reflects what the real you is all about.
But don’t fret! In this article we will help you prepare for your next photoshot, the one that will have all casting directors over you.
Importance of a headshot
A headshot is an 8×10 close-up picture of your face, with your name on the bottom right of the photograph. It’s your calling card, the link to Casting Directors and future acting jobs. It is the difference between getting the gig or not. Along with your headshot, you must include your resume. In your resume you will have important information like height, weight, hair and eye color, as well, as your training, skills, and experience.
There are two kinds of headshots that most actors should have:
- Commercial: In commercial headshots the actor looks friendly and trustworthy. The performer is smilling and the light used for the photograph is usually bright.
- Theatrical: these are geared towards being cast in plays, TV shows, and films. Here you want to show more emotion as you are selling your personality.
What do casting directors look for in headshots
When a casting director looks at headshots, they are trying to see the nature of the actor. Your headshot is a nonverbal communication of yourself. A good head shot shows the casting director your personality.
What makes good headshots
There are some basic elements that will make your headshot standout:
Framing, lighting, and background
A good headshot should be framed from the chest-up and should have good lighting in your face. You must look into the camera, and it should focus on your eyes. It is preferable for the background to be blurred as you want the main attention to be on your face.
The headshot is all about you so for it to be good, you first have to be comfortable with who you are. You have to be able to show your personality, type, brand, and age. It should capture your true essence, who you are now.
Make-up and clothing
Don’t over do it. If you want the photograph to capture the real you, you must use makeup and clothing that reflects just that. Don’t try to hide your imperfections, instead try to use them in your favor. Show that your comfortable with yourself. Wear clothes that make you feel good and comfortable. Do the same with the makeup. Don’t hide your face under foundation and concealers.
How to prepare for a headshot
If you already have your appointment with your photographer then it is time to prepare so you can get the best results. Here are a few preparation tips:
Keep yourself hydrated and eat healthy foods.
If you want your skin to look radiant for your headshots, start drinking plenty of water and eating healthy foods one week before the headshot. You can also apply a facial cleaner followed by a soothing mask. It is also advisable to get a good night sleep to avoid those horrible black circles under your eyes!
Know what you want
Remember that your are trying to express your true self in the photograph. Think ahead what kinds of emotions you want to express and then practice, practice, practice. Practicing in front of a mirror is a good option.
It’s all about communication
Make sure to talk to your photographer before your session. Ask him questions and listen to his recommendations. During the session he will give you recommendations which can help release the stress.
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Hopefully this guide will help you prepare for your headshots and nail that gig you are looking for. If you want to keep receiving tips like this, become a member and you will also get full access to our entire database of more than 1,500 major film and tv projects currently in pre-production and active development.