Guidelines for a great acting photography session
The Acting Headshot is the single most important marketing tool for an actor. It will be sent out and emailed to tons of casting directors and agents, who see hundreds of these every day, on their desk and on their computer. If your headshot is bad, you look bad. You want to be seen as a pro, not an amateur, so the way you present yourself in your picture is everything. If you want people to take you seriously, you must have a good, high quality, killer headshot. The purpose of an acting headshot is to see the soul in the eyes, to see spark, character, intensity- you cannot just pose if you want a casting director to respond well to your images. Following these tips will ensure that you are well received by agents who may be looking to sign you for future work.
1. Dress simply with a pop of color.
You want to stand out for the right reasons in your Acting Headshot. Wear a simple, solid colored t-shirt, think primary bright colors and no collared shirts or fancy dresses. We want to bring attention to your face and bring out your eyes. Anything elese will only take away from your face and distract from the range of emotion you can display, and that is what you are trying to sell.
2. Don’t go crazy with the makeup.
These aren’t glamour shots, so keep the makeup to a minimum. Focus on makeup to even out your skin tone and minimize the shine to enhance the lashes. Do your hair the way you would for any audition. You want to look the best for your headshot, but you don’t want to come across as looking fake.
3. It’s all about the eyes.
Just like with on-camera acting, it’s all about the eyes, and what’s happening behind them. It’s your closeup, your moment. Your eyes should be perfectly in focus, alive, and energized, and not dead and glazed over. There should be strong inner thoughts, implying a backstory and a life behind the eyes. Strong piercing eyes will bring a picture to life and help it stand out in a pile of hundreds.
4. Think about your character.
Will you be going for a tough guy role? The sensitive type? Think about what role you are going for, and take the time to put yourself in their shoes. What color would they wear? What is their backstory? What emotion are they going to bring to the camera? You want all of this to come through in a single shot.
Rehearse at home in front of a mirror. Practice poses and expressions. Visualize different emotions while looking in the mirror, and watch how this changes your expression. If you’re having trouble with expressions, watch your face in the mirror while running lines from a favorite scene. Imagine you are acting out a scene and pause the recording at that perfect moment that conveys all of the emotion of your character. Pick a few of these moments and study your expressions.
We want you to be successful and by following these guidelines you will make your session the best it can be.