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Published On: Wed, Sep 30th, 2020

Breaking into acting? Here’s how to go about getting your headshot

Having decided to focus your life on an acting career, the first major step is to get a good headshot. This is your calling card, from which people will hire you. Bear in mind that agents and casting directors see hundreds of these each day, either on their desks or their computers. For this reason, a good, color 8×10 image of your face and shoulders is essential. The following are tips on how to go about getting the perfect headshot and jumpstarting your acting career.

Imagine de Pexels de la Pixabay

  • Amateur or professional?

Let’s face it, that photo your friend took of you at the beach might be perfect for Instagram. However, a good head shot should be much more than that. Rather than getting your friend the amateur photographer to help you out, go professional. This is essential for your agent and casting directors to take you seriously. Search online for a photographer who specializes in actors’ headshots in your area, go through their portfolios and ask for a consultation to get a feel of how they photograph your type. 

Going professional might cost you a bit, but in the end it is worth it as that investment will pay you back with plenty of work.

  • Personality counts more than looks

Many people are known for “Photoshopping” their images to make them look glamorous. Airbrushing the wrinkles, pimples and gray streaks might make for a gorgeous image. However, when the casting director finds out the real you looks nothing like your headshot, you are out of the door. Ensure your photographer draws out the best of your personality in the headshot and that it is the real you at your best.

  • Cut back on the makeup

On that note, don’t pile on tons of makeup to make you look your best. Ensure you have the headshot taken on a day where you feel and look your best – keeping things natural. Make sure your hair is as it would be for any audition, and ensure you reduce any shine on your face. A professional headshot should make you look good naturally, without excessive makeup or airbrushing.

  • Framing and background

The best headshot is from the chest up, with good lighting over your face and no dramatic shadows. Let your eyes draw the viewer, by looking directly at the camera, ensuring your face is absolutely clear. The background should be blurred, making your image stand out. Where the image is taken is unimportant, as the headshot is all about you.

  • Lighting

It is important to decide whether natural light or studio lighting would be best for your headshot. Some photographers can offer both. Studio lighting does tend to be more polished with a neutral background, but natural light can give a real “film” look.

  • Clothing and props

For your headshot to get noticed, clothing should be simple, professional and classy. What you are wearing shouldn’t draw the eye away from your face and who you are. A shirt or top with a solid color that fits you well and matches your eyes will do the trick nicely. Avoid white or any graphics that might distract from your face. You don’t need to have any props in the image, just you, looking your utter best.

Author: Anne Sewell

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