My acting coach advised me to start going on auditions to get practice and help build my confidence, and I can admit I was terrified. However, before all of that I had to get my professional material together. Head shots are expensive and I was lost on how to choose the right photographer and how to pay for it. Thankfully, I had a member of my family that is a professional photographer take them, but for those that don’t have the same set up, what do you do? There is no easy way around it, if you want professional looking head shots you have to spend some coins. I’ve heard of scam stories from fellow actors that used an agencies photographer, Craigslist and the like. I advise going through Backstage, asking a fellow student you know, coach, or the acting studio you attend to request recommendations.
Also, do your research. The proof is in their body of work, and if you can, find reviews. Nowadays, everyone has some sort of social media page-so dig up as much as you can before you invest. When you do find a photographer ask for a consultation, you want to be sure that you are comfortable with the person taking your photos. Head shots will easily cost you $1,000+ and as I said in my first post, if you’re going to spend a lot of money do it wisely. Let’s put this in clear perspective: your headshots are the most important marketing tool you will need when going on auditions. It will be presented to casting directors and agents and it can easily land on the desk or computer of a top executive. So make sure they are professionally taken, up to date photos and not Instagram, Facebook or pictures you took on your iPhone.
If you need help on how to look for your head shots here are some simple tips: don’t go over board with the makeup-look like yourself but with some effort. Casting agents want to see the picture and know that when you walk in the room you look exactly like that head shot. Don’t wear a costume, a solid color will work just fine. A chest up, blurred background and good lighting is standard. And finally, let your personality shine through!
There is a part two to this post, so stay tuned for the next one…
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