That little jpeg image that determines whether we get seen or not sure holds a lot of weight and I can honestly say, it’s taken me about 6 years to finally get a set of actors headshots that look like the real me. I say ‘real me’ like there are several layers beneath the mask, what I mean is, for some reason, my previous actors headshots just scream CRIMINAL or IDIOTIC BLONDE WOMAN, of which I am neither.
The actor’s headshot is the most important tool to market you as an actor and you can’t afford to cut any corners on this one. If you buy cheap, then you buy twice. Getting your actor’s headshots spot on, really isn’t as simple as showing up on the day with concealer under your eyes.
Even in a social media infused world, using anything from your Instagram or Facebook page isn’t going to do it, no matter how dazzling you looked back in 2015. For the best actor’s headshots, below are some tips to help you out.Spend the Money
1.Spend the Money
The actor’s journey can seem like a constant investment with little return, but if your going to put your money anywhere, let it be in the hands of a brilliant photographer. Make sure you see a photographer who is experienced with actors, not your mum’s friends hubby who does weddings. Photographers who are experienced in actors headshots will know how to light you correctly and what the best back drop will be for your photo’s. There are plenty of highly experienced headshot photographers across the UK with an approximate starting price of £150/£200 onwards. In short, don’t go cheap and do your research.
2. Make sure you look like you
Um, yeah? Oddly, people often don’t look like a true representation of themselves in photographs and it’s essential your chosen actors headshots capture you in the best light. If you look one way in your photo and rock up to a casting looking different, it’s already off to a negative start. Don’t strive for perfection or wear more make up than the norm. People want to see you for who you truly are with all the trimmings because that is what makes you unique. Your actors headshots need to be just that.
Keep this simple and satisfying. Classy and cool. If you struggle with what to wear or all your tops are ridiculously loud, buy a few plain shirts (black, white, grey) you don’t have to spend a lot on t-shirts. Anything to busy or colourful will distract from your face, think about the colours that suit you best for your actors headshots. Take a look at agents websites to see what their current clients look like in their actors headshots for some inspiration.
If you have done your research on the best photographers for your actors headshots, they will be pros in lighting you, but only you know what sort of actor you are. Thinking about what sort of actor you are may help determine whether you require a studio backdrop that is well lit or perhaps, outdoor natural light instead. This provides a more ‘film’ look which some photographers prefer.
5. Keep your branding the same
I used to be a serial hair colour changer when I worked in a salon. I got layers in here and there, picked up the short hair bug and then got a fringe in. You MUST avoid this when you’re an actor especially when you have your actors headshots. Once they are printed, it’s never a good idea to change your look dramatically because getting in the room is the first hurdle and if you turn up looking like someone else, its over. (Not forever just in that moment)
6. Ensure you have enough range
When researching your photographer for your actors headshots, ensure that you know how many touched up photographs they will provide in their package. Usually, it’s about five, this is enough for a photographer to capture your range to fit different casting briefs. Some photographers only include three touched up photos, make sure you feel happy with the range they show if you choose a photo package of three headshots.
Getting a great head shot can involve some trial and error, when I was just starting out, I was going through puberty with fluctuating weight. I also didn’t really know what I was doing, apart from being a fifteen-year-old business woman, obviously. It took a few different photographers and a few years of soul searching for me to finally find my feet and a photograph that shows me off for who I am. I hope it doesn’t take you as long as it took me! But don’t worry if you’re not absolutely in love with your first set of actors headshots. You’ll get it!