With the advent of selfies came the heightened sense of self-awareness to look great. I loved this Wikipedia description of what a selfie is: “They are usually flattering and made to appear casual.”
A Headshot is meant to be your most authentic self THAT GETS YOU WORK, which may not necessarily be your most “gorgeous” or “cool” photo.
I hear the voices in your head debating this already.
Yes, of course, you should pick a photo that makes you look super and professional. You should love the image that represents you.
But will that same photo get you working?
Final headshot selection requires knowing where you ultimately fit in for casting and therefore how you want others to perceive you.
If you do a Facebook survey on a few of your new Headshots, you will get answers like this: “gorgeous”, “sexy”, “friendly”, “handsome”, “I’d hire you”. So is that your type? Are you the beautiful sexy type? Are you going to play the vixens or romantic leading men and women? Are you trying to do commercials and so the polished beautiful photo works for you? If not, that feedback won’t be so helpful other than making you feel great. (Which is also affirming!)
Hone in like a laser. And then casting folks will know what to do with you.
Before you heavily retouch your most “beautiful” photo for a Headshot, have you checked in to make sure that the photo will inspire Casting Directors with very specific roles?
Should you be playing the Doctors, Lawyers, and Moms? Or are you playing the Action Heroes, Cops, and Best Friends? YES you can go for opposite Types but be sooooo specific with each type.
And, yes you guessed it, don’t expect one photo to necessarily nail ALL of your Types. That’s like asking you to show your entire acting range in one monologue. Right?
Final selection of your Headshots needs to fulfill the categories of your top Types.
Figuring out Types takes a real knowing of an actor’s range. Survey friends and colleagues who have a real intimacy with your acting possibilities. (This is actually part of my first assignment for Part 1 Class! It’s a crucial step!)
Research your Types with your current colleagues that know your work.
Beware: the type you played last year may not be the type you are playing today.
In fact, it probably isn’t. It’s probably expanded! Because your acting range has expanded. And something about your energy and your look is evolved.
This is why annual Headshots have become the norm. I know, I’m sorry about another actor expense! But thankfully the digital era makes it so much more workable. Please note that Casting Directors expect and need extremely current photos.
Attract the work that you want with the most perfect headshot selections!
Okay! Your turn. Share below any guidelines that you use to select your photo!