Your acting headshot is your most important marketing tool for acting work.
You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Here are some suggestions to make sure that your acting headshot is a hit with casting directors.
10 Tips for a Great Acting Headshot
1. Lots of Personality!! Many people may have a similar look to you- it’s your personality that makes you special.
2. Look like your acting headshot. This is not a time to be a beauty queen. You need to give casting directors and clients an accurate version of yourself.
3. Keep your clothing choices simple. Avoid patterns and prints in favor of solid colors. No white or very light pastels. Simple clothing helps the viewer see YOU.
4. Spark the viewer’s imagination. Don’t dress like a nurse or a police officer. You want the viewer to be able to imagine you as many different characters from one picture.
5. Go easy on the makeup! Yes, you want to look your best for your acting headshot, but that does NOT mean layers of eyeshadow and blush. If you can, hire a makeup artist. Keep in mind, you should pay close attention to what your makeup artist does so when you go to an audition or to meet an agent you can walk in the door looking as close to your picture as possible.
6. Don’t show a lot of skin! Ladies, this means no excess cleavage. Guys, keep your shirts on. Casting directors want to see you…but not that much of you!
7. Keep in mind what kind of work you are trying to get. Do you want to do theater, film, or commercial work?
8. It’s all about the eyes. Of course your smile is important, too, but the eyes can make or break your picture. Your eyes give you the opportunity to show the layers in your personality. Rather than thinking about the viewer looking at your picture, think about you looking at the viewer.
9. Face shot or ¾ shots. ¾ shots are useful to show a casting director your body type. This can be good if you are looking to do commercial work modeling clothes. Be careful, though. In a ¾ shot, your eyes can get lost.
A face shot is the best way to show your eyes and your personality…
Which brings me to my last tip:
10. Did I mention PERSONALITY? Be yourself and show what makes you unique.
Recommended Reading about Photo Shoot Preparation
- How to prepare for a photo shoot
- What to wear: Proper clothing selection for your modeling portfolio shoot
- Things to remember on the day of a photo shoot
- What to bring to a photo shoot