Star Material Choosing an Agent Training Headshots Self Promotion

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theatrical headshot
Color headshot
3/4 headshot
B&W 3/4 headshot

A headshot is your first impression. It's the first thing a Casting Director will see, and they will decide whether to call you in or not based on your headshot.

It can be black and white or color. It can be just your face, or a 3/4 shot. The most important thing about a headshot is that it look like you. A Casting Director called in the person in the photo. If you show up and don't look anything like your picture, they're not going to be happy.

Use a professional photographer. Someone who does lots of headshots. Don't go to the mall and get "glamour" shots done. That's not how you look in real life. You don't need to be beautiful in your headshot, it just needs to look like you do everyday. Don't try and do your own headshots. Mom and Dad, while you may take great holiday snaps, hire a professional to take your kids headshot. Just like you spend money on business cards, this is just as important. Without a good headshot, you're not going to get any auditions.
You might find a photographer who is trying to build up their portfolio and will trade you a free session in return for being in their portfolio. Otherwise, be prepared to spend anywhere from $150 up for a good headshot photographer. Just remember it's an important investment in your career.

Find a photographer you like. It doesn't matter how great their portfolio is if you don't like them. It will show in the pictures. The best headshots come from when a photographer and the model get along. It will show in their eyes.

Find out who will own the rights to the pictures. You want someone who will give you the film. If you have to go back to the photographer everytime you want to develop a photo, it will get expensive.

When you take your headshot, wear something that you would normally wear. Try to wear plain colours. Don't wear anything that will distract from your face. Take out the big earrings. Don't do anything too crazy with your hair. Don't wear lots of necklaces. You want people to see YOU, not your outfit.

If you get headshots done and you change your looks drastically, you'll have to get new headshots. Remember, if you send in shots of you as a blonde and you've since dyed your hair black, the Casting Director may not be happy because they thought they were getting a blonde.

For kids, if they have no front teeth in a photo, and they grow new ones, it's time for new headshots. When they start changing shape, it's time for new headshots. For kids it's better to do a 3/4 shot than a close up. Then CD's can see their age better. Don't put make-up on them. Just take natural photos of them. Unless they're in a pageant, kids don't need to be all dolled up. It's important for kids to look like kids.

Take pictures in several different outfits. Some may look better on camera than others. Do several poses.
Take some Commercial Headshots. That's where people are giving big smiles for the camera.
Theatrical Headshots are normally more serious looking.

Digital or Film?

Old fashioned film is beautiful, but digital means you can take lots of photos and it's much cheaper. It's also much easier to upload to websites and to email to people. With so much being done on the internet, digital is the way to go.