It’s the great and terrible day.
Your rep, friend or co-worker stated they had seen your headshots and thought they were boring. Or maybe they felt that it didn’t look like you. It could be that the background was too distracting or your hair and makeup wasn’t quite right. That day, although discouraging, could actually be the best day in your career as an actor.
If you’re an actor, they are a critical part of your tool set. With a great one, you might find yourself in front of some of the most prominent casting directors. With a bad one, you will spend years wondering why, with all of your talent, you haven’t gone further in this industry.
So what makes a good headshot? A great headshot photographer! Period.
What’s needed to find a great photographer that can help you write your ticket into some glorious casting offices? That’s the question we will answer.
Don’t let the price of a photographer persuade you either to use him or not.
Remember, your headshot is the first and most important impression you make as a professional actor. It’s much better to save your money and hire someone who can truly help you get in the room, then to spend $99 ten times, in hopes of grabbing at least one good shot! That said, more money doesn’t necessarily mean better quality either.
Before you decide on a photographer, give your reps and/or friends/family you trust, four or five different choices of their work. Send them the link to several photographer’s websites. Allow them to choose who they think is the best for you.
After you narrow down your choices to two photographers, meet with them or have a phone consultation. Remember, the chemistry that you have with him/her will be revealed in your headshots. This is not an audition. Your session with a photographer should be a fun, productive collaboration between two artists with the same goal. They want you to look good as much as you do, so make sure you choose someone you like and want to work with, has a good reputation and above all, takes some kicka** headshots!
Only hire a headshot photographer!
I can’t tell you how many times actors have said to me: look at how beautiful these photos are. And I take a look and they are wedding pictures!
Not every photographer can take headshots. It’s an art. It needs to tell a story! Would you go to a doctor that specializes in ear surgery for your heart issue? It’s the same thing. Headshot photographers are specialists!
If you live in a small town, you might want to venture into a larger city to hire someone who makes a living as a headshot photographer and isn’t the cousin of the mailman’s wife who “takes pictures.”
Bottom line here: your headshot is your first impression and possible ticket into that audition that you want so badly. Once you get in the room, then it’s up to you, but if you aren’t able to get there, then you will never get the chance to prove how great an actor you are