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How to Get a Great Actor Headshot

Few things seem to strike more fear into an actor than the dreaded headshot. If you’ve been acting for some time, you may be less than satisfied with at least one set of headshots or the photographer who took them. Perhaps the lighting was a bit too dramatic. Perhaps your makeup was too heavy or too light or your clothes were not only appropriate for the type of role you wanted to play.

Maybe the images were OK when only black-and-white headshots were acceptable. But now they look really dated.¬† If you’re just starting your career, you’ve probably heard all the horror stories about headshots from friends in your acting class. You’ve been told the only way to get a professional headshot is to go to New York or LA and spend a small fortune.

You don’t have a small fortune. So you decide you’ll have your sister’s boyfriend take your “professional” headshot. After all, he took some really good pictures of the family’s Grand Canyon trip last year. How hard could it be? The pictures will be fine, you say. Guess what? They probably won’t. To help you out, we have come with some useful tips. Continue reading this to know how to get the best headshots.

Here are a few tips for getting your actor headshot right the first time and feeling good about the experience.

Finding the right photographer.

One of the best ways to research a headshot photographer is – you guessed it- browsing their website! Answering the following questions before you book your session will easily narrow down your choices.

  • Does the photographer even do headshots? If so, how long he has been working with the actors?
  • Is there an example headshot on the website? Are all the same image, or there are a variety of poses and styles?
  • Does the actor look comfortable and approachable?
  • What is a typical photo session like? How long it lasts? What is the responsibility of the actor?

Assuming all your questions have been answered, it is time to pick up the phone or send a detailed email. Note how long it takes for the photographer to call back or send a personal email response. You have to get the attention of potential photographers  within about 24 hours.