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Feature stories about performing, auditioning, and the arts.

Starting at Zero: Headshots

Setting Goals: p.1
What to Expect: p.2
Finding a Photographer: p.3
Cost: p.4
Dos and Don'ts: p.5
Getting Ready: p.6
The Shoot: p.7
Your Proofsheets: p.8
Makin' Copies: p.9
Headshots Online?: p.10

What About Headshots Online?

While it might be a good idea to have headshots online as an adjunct to your printed headshot, so far, that's all it is - a good idea. A number of online services charge you a fee for posting your headshot and resume online. The problem with this, in our not so humble opinion, is that casting people rarely - if ever - look at them. Casting directors and casting agents still mostly refer to printed headshots. And none of these online services has achieved "critical mass" so that they've accumulated enough digital headshots representing a wide enough sampling of available performers to make it worthwhile for casting people to use them. Now we're not saying that at some time in the future this won't happen or that it's inherently a bad idea. It's just not likely to be worth your investment, as of this writing. It also might be an outright scam.

All that being said, if you want to put together an online portfolio, with a number of photographs of you in various poses and, perhaps, some production shots, that's not such a bad idea. It can't hurt. But it's still not the stock in trade that a headshot is. You might want to include the URL for your online portfolio on your resume. That way, if you've already made the initial contact, if a casting person has your headshot already, he or she can look further to see other shots.

And you don't have to spend a lot of money to put it online. There are plenty of places that you can get free space on the web for that purpose - GeoCities,,, and a whole host of others. Once you've established your URL with one of these services and put together your portfolio, you can include it on your resume.  If you're a more established performer and want to market yourself online, you might want to get a domain name and really do it up. In either case, your opportunities for promoting your career online are virtually unlimited.

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