Headshots

Written by Rylee Newton
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Headshots provide actors with a marketing tool that is second to none. If you live in Los Angeles or New York, you simply can't work as an actor without a head shot. One of the first things most actors do when they get to town is search for reliable and affordable headshot photographers. This can be an overwhelming process, but finding the right photographer can make the difference between working as an actor and dreaming about becoming an actor.

If you don't know what headshots are, let me explain them to you in simple terms. A headshot is a photo representation of yourself that allows casting directors, agents and other industry professionals to get an idea of your overall look before calling you in for an audition. These photos come in 8x10" format, and typically feature an actor from the shoulders up. Almost without exception, these photos are shot using black and white film. Only on special occasions do people present color photos to casting directors and agents.

Getting Unique Headshots

Any professional photographer, agent or manager will tell you that casting directors want your headshots to look exactly like you. Many new actors think these photo sessions present an opportunity to take glamour shots or pictures like those you see in model photo shoots. This is not the format for such photos. You need to let casting directors know exactly what to expect when you walk in the door. Anything else will only frustrate them and leave the impression that you simply don't know what you're doing.

When you find a good photographer it's a good idea to sit down and discuss your goals. If you want to get called for more commercial auditions you will want to shoot more expressive, more eccentric photos, than if you're going out for dramatic roles. If you're trying to showcase your skills as a stand up comedian, you probably don't want to be too stiff in your photos. There are exceptions to these rules, but the one constant in head shot photos is to be yourself. The right photographer will bring out the features that make you unique and special. Otherwise,you're just another pretty face in a town full of pretty faces.


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