Your Headshot “A” Game: Secret Sauce of a Headshot that Works
Getting Through the Door: Knowing Your Casting
You spend hard-earned money on new acting headshots, and happy day, everyone loves them! Mom, friends, even your enigmatic new agent is pleased. You get your shots up on the casting sites and online profiles, on your IMDB page, your website, and self-submit like crazy… and then, “cricket, cricket.”
Nada. Zippo. Months go by. Your phone rings 5 times a day but the screen usually warns “scam likely.” That’s about right, you think. Scam likely indeed. $600, plus hair and make-up fees, that new outfit, and days of prep, wasted. Maybe you get an audition or two, but they’re not exactly setting your world on fire. The pain is real.
The Actor Headshot: Get “In Character” and Stand Apart
Do you know, really, candidly know, how you are most likely to be cast? Today. Tomorrow. Right now. From your submitted headshot. Not your fantasy role, the lead in everything, but have you done your homework on your casting in today’s media, and do you fully own it? If you haven’t dedicated some real time to watching the shows you would like to be on, the kind of films you want to be part of, and discerned your most likely place within them, before you shoot headshots, or new headshots, this is a crucial time to do this work.
Confident, Stunning, Hired!: Wardrobe Guide for Headshots and Auditions
The best headshot photographers all deliver great images to their clients. Professional headshots for actors are your critical tools to get you seen by Casting Directors, but standing out among the hundreds of thousands of images they view online routinely is a challenge you must somehow overcome to start your career, or expand it.
Do I really need professional hair and makeup for my shoot?
What’s good for your headshot session is good for your auditions, almost without exception. The same basics apply. What wardrobe is most flattering on you, (and your skin tones) isn’t distracting, and conveys to the casting team your clear understanding of how they should hire you.
To that end, I always offer a wardrobe consultation before any shoot. I recommend bringing more options, rather than less to your shoot, as we’ll go though all your selections, and some things you might have thought were great, don’t make the cut. Having “plan B’s” is a good thing.
Shooting Inanimate Objects: Discovering the Spirit Within
Everyone should seriously consider having professional makeup services provided. When you walk on set, you have been in the make-up chair, always, men included.The camera sees everything. Sweating equals retouching. Under eyes frequently want a little help. Light color correction, evening of skin tone is often needed. Look through my site, most, but not everyone chose professional makeup, and I’m confident you can spot those who did not. I do my best to correct what I can, but heavy eyeliner, or uneven application, non-professional products that cover unevenly, exaggerated mascara, powder that shows in close up, all avoidable with professional application.
The art of shooting inanimate objects is vastly different than photographing people, but the goal for me, is the same. To discover the unique story treasure hidden within, and share it with my audience. While there are voluminous writings about the technical aspects of this kind of photography, very little seems to be available about the creative process itself, without which, the technical can yield only proficient results at best. I’m hoping to change that just a bit, with this piece, by sharing my approach which I’ve developed over years as a Director of Photography for both film and television, and as a professional photographer interested primarily in storytelling.