The Actors Headshot

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Now that you have learned about and acquired a certain skill set when it comes to acting, it’s almost time for you to step into the audition room. There are a few things you will need to work on first, though. For example, nearly every audition that you go to, the director or casting director will ask you to provide a headshot and resume.

These may seem like simple products to put together but in reality, there are specific industry standards that can often be a tell-tale sign of an unprofessional actor when not taken into proper consideration.

In this blog post, I will only be covering acting headshot industry standards, but stay tuned for my next blog post where I will go over what is expected of an actor’s resume.

If you are planning on taking your career as an actor seriously, it’s best that you find a reputable photographer, preferably one that specializes in taking headshots for actors. Here is a link to the photographer that I worked with on my most recent headshots (pictured above.)

When it comes down to booking a photographer, look for someone who shoots people that are similar to the way you look. You can easily decipher this by quickly scrolling through the photographer’s portfolio. Does their photography style utilize lighting that compliments your skin tone/color? Does this photographer primarily work with people in your age range? While it may seem silly at first to find a photographer who shoots people with similar attributes as you, it gives you an idea of how your photos will turn out.

Most headshot photographers will price their sessions based on how long you would like to shoot and how may “looks” you would like to have. These “looks” are essentially different shots of “characters” that you are willing to play and can play very well. Some examples of commonly used looks are “girl next door,” “business man/woman,” “quirky/nerdy,” etc. Think about what represents not only you as a person but also what you can bring to the table in an audition.

Having a vast variety of looks can make it easier when you are preparing for an audition. For example, if you have an audition for a comedic style show, having a headshot that fits the style of the character you’re auditioning for can give you leverage when it comes down to making decisions on the directors end in the casting process.

An extremely important aspect of having a professional industry style headshot is the way your headshot is formatted. What’s expected from an actor’s headshot in regard to professionalism is size and a border. Your headshots must be printed on 8×10 photo paper with a glossy finish. Most headshots will also have a border with your name on it. If you prefer to go by a stage name, use that instead of your legal name! Your photographer should be able to format your headshot with the correct border with your name on it in the bottom right hand corner so that all you have to do is find a printing service to print the finalized headshot on the correct photo paper.

A proper headshot shows professionalism above all else. Headshots also work in a way that can make you memorable in the casting process and to a director. If you nail an audition but your headshot is not up to date with industry standards…better luck next time!

On the back of your finalized, printed headshot, you will staple your resume so the casting director can easily flip back and forth. I will touch more on this in the next post.

I,ll see you next time!

All the Love,
Lauren Lacey Erskine

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