Approachability is probably the most neglected thing in business headshots, but is very important. Business headshots must show a good mix of confidence and approachability for them to be great shots. If you can bring these two emotions out, you'll have a winning shot.
For actors, it's a bit of a different story because you are going for different looks, and you want to bring all different kinds of emotions out. The idea of approachability is a bit more of a character look, rather than the overarching two themes of confidence and happiness. Approachability means the following:
As you can see, the whole idea of approachability is basically about being likable. You want someone looking at the shot to think of you as the person they can come to to ask a question to, or the person they don't need to fear asking for help. You want to be a nice person, someone who isn't hiding anything or isn't mean. Likable people typically have softer expressions and relaxed faces.
The reason you might want an "Approachability" shot is because you may want to play a friendly neighbor, or someone to cry on. If you submit the wrong headshot to the role, it won't look like you can play that role, because approachability is much different than confidence, happiness, or the other emotions.
Stop always sending out the same old headshot.
Try something different!
If your headshot doesn't stand out amongst all the others in a big pile, a casting director won't take a second look. Remember that the aesthetic, lighting, and type of lens a headshot photographer uses doesn't matter if the photo isn't memorable.
Too many actors are scared to try using photos that are too different. I have been recommending my actors to try crazy expressions in headshots every once in a while because you never know when one will hit. What happens if a casting director sees a hilarious or crazy photo of you in the pile? They will probably remember it and put it to the side, saying, "Well, this person looks different, I'll see if there is a role suited for them!"
And that's how you might book your next job. Stop being so conservative and try new things! You never know when something will stick, and in a business where you are constantly being turned away, you might as well experiment a little, right?
Which of the two photos below would you use?
Most of the time, I'd recommend going with the one on the left. But sometimes, try sending out the one on the right!
Remember, this isn't to say ALWAYS send out photos like this. Just don't be afraid to do it once in a while!
Bring personality into your shots and make them fun once in a while!
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.