A headshot is an actor’s most important marketing tool.

What is an acting headshot?

Photo © by www.JoeEdelman.com

It IS your first impression — it can lose you the job or get you the audition!

Your acting headshot is your calling card — it represents you — so it better look like you…and when you walk through the door with your headshot, be sure you look like your headshot!

A great acting headshot will intrigue the viewer and make them want to meet you. It will hint at certain aspects of your personality and leave the viewer curious and wanting more.

Color acting headshots are now standard. Traditionally this 8″x10″ print of a ‘head and shoulders’ photograph is used to submit to casting agencies or take along to auditions. The shot needs to include your name somewhere on the print.

Printed versions of your headshot are still crucial, but it is increasingly common for submissions to be done online.

Most casting agencies or agents won’t sign you unless you have an acting headshot, and most will want you to update your headshots with new ones every 6 months to a year or as your look changes.

Some actors may find it necessary to have at least two distinct photos either showing contrasting emotions or looks. For example, an opera singer needs a more glamorous headshot than a commercial actor or musical theater singer needs. If you are an opera singer but interested in doing acting work other than opera, you may find it necessary to have a second shot geared more towards commercial or other theater work. It’s important to have a photo that is the right “look” for your particular industry.

You still only have one chance – one photo to make a good first impression, show what you look like as well as your body type and to convince a casting agency or director that you have loads of personality.

Sound tough? It can be, but with a little thought and preparation you can get the shot.

They say that “A picture is worth a thousand words”… so make sure yours says at least that many!



Recommended Reading about Photo Shoot Preparation