To prepare for your headshot session, you first should know what types of characters you enjoy playing. I can easily bring out different looks and expressions throughout the session, but it helps if you have something in mind ahead of time that can push the session in a certain direction.
To start out with, it's helpful to bring in some shots that show what looks you might be going for. You can bring in your own headshots or some of other people. If a shot sticks out to you and you'd like to have something similar, the easiest way is by bringing in the image so I can get a sense of what you want or what look you might be going for.
You should definitely bring in clothing that can support the looks that you want. If you are a business person, I recommend bringing in a few different ties, a suit and a nice shirts. But remember, just because you want to be able to play a doctor doesn't mean you need to wear a doctor's outfit. Those shots are very specific for character retypes and usually don't work for headshots. They are better for body shots. You just want the general idea of a look, so for a doctor, it could be a middle-aged woman wearing glasses and looking intelligent in the photo.
But generally, as an actor, I recommend bringing in clothing that you look love, things that make you feel confident and relaxed. I have an article here on what clothing to actually wear as an actor or as a businessperson, and it could be very helpful to look over before coming in.
Another thing you may want to do before coming into the headshot session, is, as corny as this sounds, watch some motivational videos. By motivating yourself and pumping yourself up, and thinking about where you want to go with your life and what goals you want to accomplish, you come in much more upbeat and excited for the headshot session. You'll be thinking about all of the good things that your headshots will get you, and where they will put you a few years from now. Remember, a headshot session is no small thing. Coming in to get photos that will help you reach your goals is very important!
For this reason, I also recommend that you call me at 917.387.4004 before coming into the headshot session. Be sure to ask me questions over the phone, because if you don't know something or you are unsure, it's much better that you have these questions answered beforehand.
Other than these few things, you should be ready for your headshot session. As long as you have motivated yourself, have an idea of what you want for your images, and have the right clothing, and/or other items, you should be pretty much all set for your headshot session.
I also highly recommend that you call me if you do have any questions about this article, because it will help me to write better articles in the future as well!
Thank you very much for your time, and I hope to work with you.
What is the difference between DPI (dots per inch) and Pixels? Well, to put it simply, dots and pixels are the same thing. PPI would mean pixels per inch, exactly the same as dots per inch.
The files I give actors on a CD at the end of their session are 2848 X 4288 pixels each. DPI doesn't apply to digital files, as there is no such thing. It only matters when printing them, because it means basically how small the photo is. To find the number of inches the photos can print at 300 DPI, you divide the total pixels by 300. In this case, here is the math:
2848 pixels / 300 DPI = 9.493 inches
4288 pixels / 300 DPI = 14.293 inches
You can print a photo at 300 DPI of up to 9.5 X 14.3 inches with a 12.1 megapixel image.
If you wanted to only print at 72 DPI, lower quality, you could print at 39.5 X 59.5 inches, which is huge. 72 DPI would still look good (though not good enough for professional headshot prints).
Hopefully this clears things up. I often get questions from clients about this, so I figured writing this article could help explain.
In this article, I'd like to continue explaining the most important looks for headshots, as there are 20 in total. This article will cover numbers 16 through 20. These looks should only be sought after once you've done the others because these are not as important.
16. Insanity: Being crazy, mad, and demented can really make a headshot pop. This is something that a lot of actors don't even think to do because it's so outrageous. But since you're an actor, you might as well try sending out some crazy headshots every once in a while just to see what happens. A while back, I wrote an important article about experimenting to get better. Rather than doing the same thing over and over, you should experiment because you never know when something better could lie around the corner. Even if the risk means possibly losing out on an opportunity.
17. Timidity: Being timid, bashful, shy, or even embarrassed can make a headshot more interesting. Typically, you want to look confident in your headshots. But every once in a while, playing the opposite can also have a powerful effect. A casting director looking at a shot that shows someone appearing very shy might think that that person would be perfect for that role. Again, however, all of these emotions in this article are for specific character roles, and are not good to do unless you've covered the first seven.
18. Anxiety: Being anxious, flustered, and even tense is great for a headshot, because again, these show specific characters. These emotions are extremely specific that can help you in branding. If you always tend to play the ruffled and upset characters, having it shown your headshot might be helpful.
19. Fright: Being horrified, terrified, or simply scared can help make a headshot more interesting. It is very rare that people have an expression of fright in headshots. This is the nineteenth most important emotion, and I recommend it very infrequently. It is only used for character looks, perhaps on a website (rather than being sent out for auditions). Therefore, I recommend you only ask for a horrified and scared look if you have extra time in your session.
20. Boredom: The lethargic and lackadaisical look of boredom is used very infrequently in headshots, but is another emotion that the human face can portray. You may only want to send this out in the very rare instance that a project is looking for someone who appears as the though they don't care at all about anything. But most of the time, if you submit a headshot that shows you looking bored, it won't look professional. So tread extremely carefully on this least important emotion for headshots.
Hopefully these different emotions I've written about in these past few articles have been helpful to you and will explain clearly what you can get from headshots. I personally put together this list and did a lot of research into it so that actors and photographers understand exactly what emotions are helpful for headshots and what the human face can portray. If you decide to hire me for a headshot session have no doubt that we will achieve each emotion you want fully, and we will get you a winning set of headshots.
Do you have any suggestions for other emotions that aren't covered in here? Leave a comment!
In this article, I'd like to continue explaining the most important looks for headshots. There are 20 in total, and in this article I plan to do numbers 11 through 15. These looks should only be sought after once you've done the other ten since these are much more specific.
11. Unhappiness: Another interesting look that you can have in headshots is unhappiness. Being sad or heartbroken is definitely interesting, and might get you a role because it's so different. Most people typically don't use emotions 11 through 20 in their headshots, but if you do and it looks just right for the role, casting directors will be very likely to call you in. I usually only recommend people do numbers 11 through 20 if they have plenty of time in their headshot session to try different things.
12. Pain: Pain is another very uncommon emotion in headshots. The idea of suffering and torment doesn't necessarily have to be physical. It can also be mental, showing someone who is conflicted internally. I believe that pain is a great look for headshots, especially if you're going for a darker and conflicted character role.
13. Surprise: Being surprised is a fun look for a headshot, but you have to be careful it's not overdone. Sometimes, submitting a look of surprise can really bring interest and fun to character shots. Other times, it can just look unprofessional. There's a fine line between having a surprised shot that works and a surprised shot that just looks ridiculous.
14. Confusion: The idea of confusion doesn't necessarily have to be something bad. Think of the words puzzled or perplexed, because they can add some interest and make a headshot much more fun. This is definitely something you might consider adding to your arsenal of headshots because it's way different than what most actors use. Having these different looks can really make your headshots memorable and can help you in branding. Because emotions 11 through 20 are so specific, they are great for that idea of branding.
15. Jealousy: Showing jealousy or bitterness can be difficult in headshots, but if you pull it off just right, this look can really be powerful for a specific character role. Think about how many other headshots you have seen that portray a look of jealousy. Probably not too many. However, if you are able to portray that look successfully, casting directors will definitely take notice and you'll probably be remembered.
I'd like to continue explaining the most important looks for headshots, as there are twenty in total. In this article, I plan to do numbers six through ten. These looks should only be pursued once you've done the first five because these ones are less important. Additionally, since each look takes a certain amount of time to achieve, you want to make sure that the headshot session is long enough to cover these looks only after you've done the most important ones.
6. Cockiness: Bringing out cockiness in the character is great if you want to show an actor's range in playing some of the smaller roles. Many characters in films are cocky, and so if you have a headshot that shows you with this expression on your face, it's much easier for a casting director to see you playing that part.
7. Lust: Having lustful and flirty characters in films is very important. Because of this, it is very helpful to have a headshot that shows this look because if you don't, you are definitely limiting your options. Guys and girls can play the lustful character, although girls are usually offered that role more frequently.
8. Interest: This is a fairly simple emotion to play, as it shows you as a curious type of character. By showing interest in your headshot, you suddenly open new doors to play even more roles, those such as psychologists and detectives. Interest goes along with the idea of intelligence, but it's less about confidence and more about being curious.
9. Thoughtfulness: Having a thoughtful or dreamy character is helpful as well, again for smaller roles. The reason one might want a role like this is because although it doesn't show the confidence for a lead role, you may be able to submit it for minor roles of specific characters that tend to be romantic, nostalgic, and/or pensive. This is just another interesting look that you can add to your portfolio of headshots.
10. Menace: Having a menacing and threatening shot is very important if you want to get the darker roles. Typically, mischief can be used as a menacing look, however the real menace is in the dark and scary look that you bring out when playing this specific emotion. It's very important to get a look of menace if you really want to expand your range and be able to play some dark characters who are more scary.
Hey I'm Martin, and my goal is to help you reach yours. I love writing content about career advancement, marketing strategies, productivity, and much more.