How to Take Headshots
There is no better tool than good headshots for landing roles in film, television, or commercial projects. When looking through potential candidates, these images are used by casting directors, but they are also part of the actor's calling card that gets left behind after auditions. That means it is important to have images that show off your talent. Here are some tips for taking headshots that will help you stand out:
Know Your Audience
When looking for inspiration on how to photograph actors, the first place anyone should turn is a stock photo site. These sites offer thousands of images featuring models and actors. Take some time to scroll through and get an idea of what looks and poses work well by searching under the different categories: men, women, business people, children, families, and more.
Don't Go it Alone
If you are new to photographing actors or even if this is an old hat, consider hiring a professional photographer with experience shooting castings to take your photos. They know what works when it comes to headshots and can deliver amazing images that say the actor the second they are looked at.
Know Your Light
Lighting is everything when it comes to headshots. Look for photographers who offer different lighting options: soft, hard, shadowed. If you are not sure what type of light you want, ask the photographer. They should be more than happy to explain what each one looks like and how it will make you look in your portrait.
Keep it Simple
Headshots do not need a lot of props and extras. All they need is you! The most effective shots are simple portraits showing your facial features and expressions using just one or two plain backdrops.
Don't Forget the Details
Whether for film or print, headshots need to be packed with detail. Consider photographing your headshots in a close-up to capture every nuance in your expression, and lighting needs to hit you just right, so there are no shadows on your face or background.
Keep it Fresh
Take headshots often! The more professional photos of yourself that you have to show casting directors, the better chance you have at booking jobs. Not only does this help when it comes time to apply for roles online, but even if you are starting to have high-quality images, it will help ensure that casting directors notice when they see your name pop up in their email inboxes or on industry boards.
Show, Don't Tell
Do not just have a picture of yourself with a sad face or a goofy look on your face in your headshots. Show off what you can do by posing with a prop or action behind you. If you are an actor specializing in comedy, for example, pose with a comedian's stand-up routine in the background to show that you have got the goods when it comes to funny!
Some actors are known for their amazing acting chops. But others are known for their more visual talents, making audiences swoon with a glance or reducing them to tears with a sad look. How do they accomplish this feat? With headshots, of course!