Making the Most of Your Headshots

Making the Most of Your Headshots by Igor Reiant

Casting directors may look at thousands of photographs of actors on a given project. With numbers like that, it’s vital to get a good headshot that communicates a vivid impression in an instant. That’s a tall order, but a good headshot by an experienced photographer can make all the difference. At Casting360, we urge all our talent to get the best headshots possible.

A headshot is generally an 8 x 10 inch photo of the actor’s head and shoulders. Its purpose is to convey a sense of who an actor is and what sort of roles he or she plays. Currently, most headshots are in color because most commercials, films, and TV shows are in color. There are two types of headshots: commercial and theatrical. Photographs intended for auditions for commercials generally feature happy, smiling expressions, while those meant for theatrical productions show a wider range of emotions and character.

Simple clothing (solids, no dots or stripes) and plain backgrounds work best; they should never take the attention away from the actor’s face. Good makeup is essential for both women and men because the camera shows every imperfection.

Equally vital is finding the right photographer, one who can communicate what the actor wants to portray and has the required technical skills. A good set of headshots does not have to be pricy.

--Casting360 is a talent database in San Francisco; Igor Reiant is its Managing Partner.