Some Dos and Don'ts ... Mostly
Here's a list of general dos and don'ts regarding headshots:
No Kodak Moments. Whatever you do, don't use
snapshots. We'd even go so far as to say, don't use a snapshot even
if the folks you're auditioning for say it's o.k. to use a snapshot.
Snapshots are for family vacations and for taking pictures of your
pets, not for professional use. Even if you're just starting out and
you're asked for a photograph, you do yourself a disservice by providing
only a snapshot.
No Xerox Moments, Either. Don't use photocopies.
While agents and casting directors often pass photocopies or fax copies
of your headshot among themselves, it looks really unprofessional
(and/or cheap) if you provide only a photocopy of your headshot.
No Glamour Shots. Don't use Glamour Shots, Olan
Mills, Sears Portrait Studio or any other chain photographer for your
headshots. While such photographers might suit your needs for family
pictures, you won't be taken seriously if you show up at an audition
with one of these in tow. And when you're first starting out, while
you may not have Annie Liebovitz clamoring to do your headshots, there
are plenty of reputable, talented photographers who can.
Act Your Age. Don't try to get your headshot
to make you look younger (or older) than you really are. You won't
be doing yourself any favors. As soon as you meet with the casting
people, they'll be able to tell that you're 40 trying to look 25 (or
16 trying to look 25).
Mind Your Character. Be careful about having
headshots taken in character. Don't lock yourself into such a specific
look that you limit yourself in other ways. If you get headshots taken
with a specific character look (such as country bumpkin or city slicker,
hooker or schoolgirl, diva or down-and-dirty), you narrow your appeal.
You might know that you'd make the best Tom Joad in the world, but
if you have your headshot taken as Tom Joad, you're not going to be
considered for roles that require sophistication or elegance. You're
much better off being generic and leaving the specifics up to the
imagination of the casting people. When you get called in for the
"Grapes of Wrath" audition, then you can prove what a great
Tom Joad you'd make.
Use Black and White. Headshots, for the most
part, are still shot in black and white. It's a convention that really
is a holdover from a bygone era. So, while color headshots may be
technically possible, they're still not the preferred tool of the
trade. If you're assembling a group of photographs to use in a modeling
portfolio, by all means use some that are in color. But for your run-of-the-mill
basic headshot, black and white photography is still preferred.
Be Yourself. Remember that people want to see
you in a headshot, the real you, the truest version of you
- not how vast and exotic your wardrobe is or how many funny faces
you can make.
Previous | Next
© Copyright 2000. TVW Enterprises, Inc.
All rights reserved.