Actors’ headshots and how to get a great one

It’s time for some new Actors’ Headshots. You know it and your agent has been telling you that for months, even years. At last, you’ve booked in your headshot shoot and you’ll probably do what you normally do at these things – wing it on the day and hope for the best.  But should you do it differently this time? Put a little more effort in and get more in return?

What IS a ‘great’ actors’ headshot?

You don’t just want a headshot to pass to your agent – you want a GREAT headshot.  But what is that exactly? What will make the difference this time and how can you make sure you get something that’ll get you noticed and through that door?

An Actors’ Headshot shouldn’t just be a pretty picture of you. It needs to be more than that – far more. Your headshot needs to draw the viewer in, reflect your personality plus the personalities of the roles you want to be seen for.  It needs to tell the casting director that you are a perfect fit for the part at hand and a shoo-in for that role.  

A hard task? Nah, easy – you’re an actor after all!

How to prepare for your actors’ headshot shoot

Preparing for your actors’ headshot shoot. What’s that all about? Can’t you just pitch up and take it from there? Well yes you can but to get the most from your shoot and to ensure you don’t end up with a one-dimensional pic there are a few things you can do beforehand.  Not much I promise (no need to run for the hills!). Just a little think about what sort of roles you could be seen for and how you can capture those looks in your face as well as with a change in outfit. 

Next time you’re in front of your mirror have a little look at your face.  A proper look (don’t get distracted looking at blemishes and plucking eyebrows!).  Have a bit of a play with different looks and characters in mind.  You never know, you may not have considered certain characters in the past but now realise they are options after all.  

Sometimes it helps to have a little dialogue ready in your head for certain ‘types’ and roles.  Just a couple of words could be all it takes to take you to that place and help with the attitude required for that particular character.

It really is all in the eyes after all!

What to bring to your actors’ headshot shoot

It may all be in the eyes but there’s a lot to be said for having the right outfits to go with these characters.  Have a good look through your wardrobe and make sure you have something to cover all ‘looks’. 

Are you a leading actor?  Do you have something for that edgy part? A jacket or shirt that’s just right for a barrister? Best friend? Mum at home with kids?  Your photographer should give you a good idea of what sort of clothes to bring but it’s worth you having a think too.

Once you’ve collated them and they’re lying all over your bed – don’t just shove them all in a plastic bag!  Make sure they’re all clean and ironed – it’ll make such a difference, not only to how your pics look but to how you feel on the day!  Fold them and pack them beautifully ready to make the most of your headshot shoot.

Then all you need to do is get a really good night’s sleep – yes really. No going out the night before! Ovaltine and an early night ready to get your GREAT HEADSHOT!

Oh – and enjoy it. Really. Hard to imagine that before the event I know (God how I hated having my photo taken back in my acting days!) but you really can, honest!  And the more relaxed you feel the better the outcome.

Of course, that does mean you need to come to me to take your headshots – but if that fails I’m sure there are a couple of other photographers out there who can relax you as much as me – one or two perhaps….;)