The Actor Headshot: Get “In Character” and Stand Apart

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.

Clear casting and branding, good lighting, styling, framing and composition are all givens at the highest levels of professional headshot photography, and of course the best of your competition all have superior headshots, since professional actors know this is a critical element of their career plan. So what can you do to stand apart from the crowd, and powerfully convey your brand, your casting, your marketability? How can you actually get noticed, and create opportunities for yourself?

“In Character” shots are my innovation to give you something in addition to your traditional headshot. This new tool springs from my past work as an Emmy Award winning cameraman, Director of Photography and my training and work as an actor and Director.

Intended to augment, to support, to accompany your traditional pictures on certain submissions, these are images created for your IMDB page, your social media strategies, and for specific shows you know you’re exactly right for. These are not the cliche, dated pictures with actors wearing hospital scrubs or a rented police uniform standing against a white background. Instead, “In Character” shots appear as current on-set shots, or publicity images  created for major film and television productions. These shots treat you as a working actor, a star performer and a valuable commodity, just being portrayed and seen in that light has impact.

Powerful branded images convey important messages to folks who make hiring decisions, whether Agents, Casting Directors, Directors or Producers. “In Character” shots are your opportunity to show yourself in a specific casting, and in the world of a specific style of show. From experience I know these shots create tremendous buzz on social media, and impact how industry professionals see and perceive you. Any top creative portrait photographer in Los Angeles might attempt such images, but few have the experience and expertise needed to really make such images feel current, up to industry standards, and load them with your unique brand. effectively.

From Westworld to Game of Thrones, Poldark to the CSI franchise, and many, many more, adding an “In Character” shoot to your headshot session is a potent way to up your opportunity factor, and self define your career, a crucial element to being the C.E.O. of you.

Geoffrey Donne