The best characters to use for your headshot session can easily be chosen by thinking about the type of person you are. If you don't know what kind of person you are, then unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to help you. Remember: you should always go for roles you play well if you want to be successful. Therefore, you should also make sure those roles show up in your headshots. Remember that the easier it is for you to play a role, the better you'll play it and the more jobs you'll get. This is called branding, or typecasting yourself into a specific style or character.
It's always good to learn new techniques and be able to play different roles, but you definitely should make an effort to become known as a certain type of character. And to do that, you need to establish that character in all of your headshots so that the casting directors know who you are.
Choose a specific role, then think of some of the best expressions to show that role off. Practice them and then use them!
It depends who you are and the kind of hair you have, but headshot hairstyles are very important to getting a good headshot. Remember that using different hairstyles will help you with the looks you are going for because even a slight change in hairstyle can really change the look of a headshot.
One of my primary concerns as a headshot photographer is to be sure that you are going to get all the looks that you want. For this reason, I always recommend that the client think of a number of hairstyles before the shoot because I can't tell you what you can do with your hair, only you can. I recommend you think of different options and plan things ahead of time.
Be sure to bring hairspray to the headshot session just in case you need it. Remember what I always say: casting directors don't use their imagination, so if they know they are looking for a character with short hair, you should try to give them the option.
Even if you don't send them a shot originally with the hairstyle they are looking for, you can still refer them to your website to see some of your other shots. This is why it's so important to change your hairstyle for each look!
A great headshot is one that shows the casting director that you can act. Remember that there are two primary things casting directors look for in a headshot: confidence and expression.
If the actor shows confidence in all of his or her headshots, there is a high chance that they will be called in.
If the actor looks similar to what the casting director has in mind, they will also likely be called in.
Of course, if the actor offers both qualities (confidence and looks), they will definitely be called in.
Now, you can only control one. Confidence. And that is what makes a winning headshot.
What is the difference of the looks in commercial versus legit (theatrical) head shots? Basically, commercial head shots are extremely happy. As long as the lighting is bright and the headshots show excited, curious, or funny faces, they will work as a commercial head shot.
On the other hand, theatrical head shots can encompass any emotions you'd like, from happy and funny to sad and intense. They show your range and try to get you more specific roles. Theatrical head shots typically have a much shorter life than commercial headshots.
Cheap Headshots are hard to find in NYC these days, especially with inflation and tax. Headshot photographers have to charge a lot because most of them only get a few clients per week and so they have to charge a few hundred dollars per session just to afford to pay rent on their studio.
But there are still a lot of photographers in NYC who don't own a studio and shoot outdoors instead. These are the ones who can charge less because they don't have as many expenses.
They will usually be able to get you great quality for a great price because they haven't established themselves as well as the major head shot photographers. They also have more difficulty finding clients.
Look up head shot photographers in Google and try pricing them. The problem is too many people just look at the first page of Google. When you do that, you'll see results that aren't necessarily correct. A lot of the results are people who have paid SEO experts to optimize their site for everything, so you'll see mostly the same results no matter what you are searching for in regards to Headshots.
Go to the second page of google and the results will be much more accurate.
Another way to find good, cheap head shot photographers is to search on ads on reproductions.com or to search at local acting schools. Many photographers will come and post ads on the bulletin boards.
Hopefully this posting was helpful, please let me know if you have any other questions!
I recommend buying a small lighting kit. Remember that the smaller the subject, the cheaper it will be to light them because you don't need big, bright lights anymore. You just need something small and simple.
The basic and most effective way to light a head shot client is by setting them against a black backdrop and having them stand about 5 to 10 feet away. Then, set up 3 main lights, one pointing at their face from a slightly high angle off to the right hand side, one pointing at their hair from behind, and one pointing at their face from below, along the lower left hand side. Using this tehniques will make it easy to light just the person's face for head shots. The closer you move the lights, the brighter they become and the less you need to use the ISO function on the camera.
Remember: lighting just a head and face is much easier than lighting the whole body. A cheap way to light the body is to buy a few work lights and place some good diffusion in front of them. This will give you a cheap softbox effect for the headshot, which allows for an amazing look.
Hopefully these tips have been helpful and will allow you more control over your indoor headshot sessions!
Want to know the process of how an actual headshot session works? Have you never had headshots taken before? If not, don't worry. I've got you covered.
The session starts as soon as you arrive. What you'll do is once you arrive to the studio, you'll give me a call and I'll come down to the lobby to greet you. I'll ask you a few questions before anything starts to get an idea of what characters you are going for. Whether you're an actor, an author, you need corporate or executive headshots, it doesn't matter as long as I know, because it will help determine how I shoot.
Once we figure out exactly what you are going for, based on the session you have signed up for, we will go outdoors or into the studio and begin setting up. If you opted for a makeup artist, that is when we will do your makeup and determine what clothing you should wear to help compliment your characters.
After all of that is done, we'll head outside or into the studio for your headshot session!
The actual shoot is nothing to worry about. I will guide you through everything and remember: most of the other actors who get headshots have also never had them taken before, so any questions you ask have already likely been asked in the past.
We will shoot for an hour or two and get all the looks you need. Typically you shouldn't need more than three hours to get a great set of headshots. We'll make sure to cover all of your bases and I'll direct you into more flattering poses, beig sure you get what you want.
As soon as the session is over, you'll get all your headshots burned onto a CD to take with you. You can use them or choose ones to be touched up with photoshop I your chosen session includes it.
And guess what? You're finished! You've done your first headshot session!
Don't just take this advice word for word. When you are getting your headshots taken, don't bring fake anything! Don't do things that aren't what you always do because if you look different in your headshot than when you come in to audition for the role, it's over.
I don't want to be harsh, but I'm not lying when I say that a lot of actors I've worked with in the past have come to their auditions and looked nowhere near the same as they did in the picture. What false advertising! Until they shot with me, they weren't getting called back because of this. After we did our session, they might not have looked as glamorous in the images, but they definitely got called back much more often.
I can't stand how much it bothers me when that happens. I've directed a bunch of short films and a feature, and some of the people who came to the auditions looked way different than they did in their headshot.
Remember this: casting directors want you because of what you look like! If you're ugly in real life and your headshot makes you look great, you'll never be called back because although you'll make it to a lot of auditions, as soon as the casting director sees that you don't look as good as you did in the headshot you'll be thrown out. On the other hand, if you look ugly and the casting director is searching for someone ugly, you'll go to auditions that make sense for you, and you'll start getting booked all the time!
So if you look different in real life than in your headshot, you won't get the part. I know that a lot of you think that if you can just get in, and then they like your performance, they will hire you... But think about the possibility of that. You come in and look different than what they want, and five other people come in and look exactly the way they want. And you all do decent auditions. Now who is going to get the role?
Make sure your headshot looks like you AND captures the essence of who you are.
Your headshot tells a story, your story. If it's telling someone elses story, you won't get called back.
What makes headshots stand out these days? Is there a difference between LA headshots and NY headshots? There is a lot you need to know about getting headshots taken and who you should hire before you go out and start looking. This article will attempt to give you the information you need before looking to hire people.
First things first: can you get away with only paying $200 for Headshots?
Absolutely. Paying someone $200 is worth it because they will likely know what they are doing and since they are still trying to break into the industry, they aren't able to charge exorbitant prices yet. Headshots worth $200 are still likely going to get you work. Just check out the images and be sure the clients have been happy with the photographer's work. There is truly no reason to spend a ton of money on headshots.
Second: what is the new standard in Headshots in 2011?
Well, in a word, headshots are now much more experimental. Get away from trying those standard portrait, straight on shots. They are a terrible idea because they are boring!
Headshots these days are fun. You want to make sure your photographer knows that it's okay to experiment! A lot of them are scared to experiment because it means they may not get as good shots. But the truth is that the more experimental the photographer is, the more interesting and unique your photos will become.
A typical lens to use is very zoomed in, from a distance. Most photographers like this because it makes a much more flattering portrait with little or no distortion. But in 2011, Headshots are increasingly being shot with shorter lenses, such as an 85mm or 50mm. In laymen's terms, this means the photos are shot much closer and more personal, and they can have much more interesting and fun angles.
Be sure that your photographer shoots like this because the current trend is headed this way.
Another thing you have to know is the difference between New York and Los Angeles Headshots. What makes New York headshots different? They are much more theatrical in style than Los Angeles ones. They use darker and more muted colors.
What is the difference between a good and a bad headshot? Is it only technical? Or are there other issues? What's that "look" that actors are always trying to achieve? What is the trick that the best headshot photographers know that will make your images so much better?
Do you want to find out? Okay, I'll give you a hint: confidence.
The keyword that makes one headshot better than another is confidence. Are you confident? Or are you just happy? There is a difference.
Confidence is the most subtle yet greatest secret that all professional headshot photographers hide from the rest of you.
Even if you're an actor, you still deserve to know what it is that separates the best headshots from the others. And why you're paying $800 when you could be paying $200 or less.
Here is the difference: if you're a great actor and you want great shots, it really doesn't matter who you are hiring as your photographer as long as they know how to frame a picture and have a professional camera.
You are the one in the headshot, right? So you are the one who has control over how good the expression is. Let me explain something to you: a great headshot can be had with a not so great photographer if you show your confidence and feel good about yourself.
Color every time. And don't even think about getting your headshots shot in black and white, even if you plan to use black and white later. Wait... Sorry if that was confusing. What I meant to say was:
Don't hire a headshot photographer who shoots the original images in black and white, even if you plan on using black and white images as your headshots. It's better to get someone who shoots color and then convert it to black and white later, this way you still have the option of going back.
Anyway, back to business. Why shot in color?
Headshots should be in color these days because there's no reason not to. Why would you want black and white? Casting directors need to easily see what your hair looks like. An example:
Is it red or dirty blonde?
Also they like to see your eye color. And if you have freckles. And many other things.
There is no reason not to shoot in black and white because these days no one has black and white Headshots anymore.
So in conclusion, opt for color Headshots!
New York Headshots are typically more serious and a bit less experimental than Los Angeles Headshots. For instance, look up LA Headshots in google and you'll see that in LA, a lot of the Headshots are happy and bubbly looking, as opposed to in NY where many of them are more serious. Do a google image search and you'll see what I mean.
In the past, New York was typically all black and white. Most Headshots were done in black and white up until the 70s and 80s. Then after that, Los Angeles started doing color Headshots. It was only up until about year 2000 that New York really started getting into color Headshots.
I really believe thought that there is no reason to still use black and white Headshots. All Headshots should be shot digital and in color so that you hve he widest range of possibilities for them.
To be honest, I am planning on starting an entirely new form of headshot photography.
Remember that a headshot is all in the pose and expression, and if there is only one direction that you can see the actor in, what is the point? It gets really confusing. This is why I'm planning on going in this direction for the future of headshot photography.
It will be called headshot videography, and will involve a 360 degree rotation of the actors head, so you can see who they really are.
New York Headshots are Headshots shot outdoors in new York city. Actually it goes a little deeper than that. They are Headshots shot in New York City in a New York style.
What is a New York styled headshot?
Well, a new York styled headshot is one in which the photo is taken with more depth and character emotion. Typically, there are two kids of Headshots: commercial and theatrical. Theatrical Headshots are where you get into character, and are usually more serious than commercial Headshots. Commercial Headshots, on the other hand, are less serious and more fun.
New York is usually more of a theatrical headshot type of place. We get more serious shots here than in LA. In an overall sense, you could say the Headshots in NY are less happy.
Did you hear that correctly? Shave your face before you come in for Headshots!! If you don't shave, you will look stubbly and it's not going to look good. It's extremely difficult to remove stubble in Photoshop, and it usually winds up looking very fake.
Remember that the better you look in real life, the better your picture will look. This means you should try to use makeup to cover blemishes instead of doing it in post. It also means you should shave.
Not shaving before your headshot session is the same thing as coming in to take pictures and purposefully making stupid faces. Why would you want your pictures to come out bad because you were either too lazy or not thinking at all about what to do beforehand?
Shave before your headshot session, and you'll be much better off. Unless of course you want to have a beard or stubble in your shots.
Well, this is an interesting question because it can be answered in two ways. For instance, do you mean how many literal shots should be taken or how many final shots should you have? I'll answer both here.
First, remember that quantity does not always equal quality. For instance, if you have a headsht photographer who snaps a hundred pictures at every location and you go to 6 locations in your one hour session, you have 600 pictures to look through, and they will probably get tiring.
The word of caution I like to emphasize is that you will get bored staring at so many almost identical Headshots that you will lose he ability to perceive the difference between them, and you'll wind up choosing a bad headshot. The advantage to having a smaller number to go through is that you keep that fresh eye.
Another problem with photographers who shoot a ton of pictures is that they are not skilled and hope that amidst all of the photos, at least one will be a usable headshot. Unfortunately, that's usually not the case. I tend to snap 15 pictures or less of each different pose. Usually I'll shoot about 30 or 40 at each location, which helps a lot.
Now, to answer the second question about the number of Headshots you should have as final versions: I'd say have at least three or four, and better to have more.
You want to make sure that you get at least one good shot for each $100 you pay, because if youre getting less than that, the headshot photographer is not doing a good job. If you pay $600, you should get at least six amazing shots.
I definitely recommend though that you don't have more than ten good Headshots at once because it will confuse you and be hard to keep track of. You need to track your response rate when submitting your headshot. But that's the subject for another article.
Have you ever noticed that some of your Headshots get more of a response than others? If not, pay more attention. You must keep track of this so you know which shots work the best.
Don't you wish that you knew how many gigs each of your Headshots has brought you in? It's so important that you do, and it's extremely easy if you just put in a tiny bit of extra effort. Write down what projects you submit to, and label each headshot and note which one you submitted to what project. Then write down which Headshots got responses.
This method of tracking won't be valid until about a month or two of time, but there is no better time to start than now.
Keep track of which Headshots perform best, and as long as you're noting what kinds of projects you are submitting to, you'll also know why certain Headshots are probably not working. Then in the future when you set up your next session, simply ask the photographer to take shots similar to the one that worked best.
This is a basic marketing strategy that can easily e applied to actors, and will greatly help you in re long rum.
When you get your Headshots taken, know that the amount of money you pay typically determines how good the photographer is. Unless of course the photographer is great but just chooses not to charge that much because they haven't established a large client base yet.
Therefore, you need to know how to get up and running with your headshot session as fast as possible because if your photographer isn't going to give you excellent shots, you're not going to go home happy, even if you only spent $50.
The trick is to come in to your session with confidence and enjoyment. Most of my clients say I make them feel really comfortable because they get along with me really well and I don't boss them around, unlike most photographers.
So what you have to do if you choose to get someone who's not really a great photographer is to just try to stay in a good mood and feel confident. Believe in your mind that you deserve these pictures, and enjoy getting them taken.
A lot of actors feel shy during their first and second headshot session. But remember, you're paying for this, so dot let a bad photographer give you bad shots.
What is the difference mainly between a great headshot photographer and a decent one? Great ones are good at getting good expressions out of you. Truthfully, professional headshot photographers and amateurs will both take a great picture, framing wise and ethnically speaking. The difference though is the ability to capture a good expression, something that you as the actor can be completely in control of. Therefore, if you know how to get the right expressions, you can still pay $50 for Headshots and get amazing pictures!!
Just be confident and happy and don't let anything get to you. Be comfortable in front f the camera and you'll get great Headshots. Good luck!!
Certain angles look better than others i headshot photography, but the problem is that most photographers don't know when to use what angle. Here is a short list of what angles look good on people in general:
Girls and guys take angles differently. Try this next time you get a chance: shoot a guy and a girl, frommm both a low and high angle each. Then show them to the subject. Ask which they like better.
Chances are, girls will lik the high angle shot (aiming down at them), and guys will like the low angle shot (looking up at them). It's just natural for some reason.
So, for high and low angles, the main idea is to shoot girls high, and shoot guys low.
I regards to which shoulder should be forward, ask the client if they have a side of their face that they like better. Tis will be the side to focus on.
Lastly, you may consider trying ultra high angles or ultra low Angeles, and seeing whether the headshot client likes to be standing or kneeling better. Sitting is also a possibility. Experiment with these and ask which the client likes, and see which you like. Simple take more shots of the ones that look the best and try to nail them even better each time.
Canted angles are good too, because they make the headshot more dynamic. But know what's dynamic and what's just awkward. Never tilt the camera more than 30 degrees to the side because then it will neither look like a vertical or horizontal picture, and will be unusable.
What is the difference? What does a commercial headshot have that a theatrical headshot doesn't? And vice versa? Also, what is a legit headshot?
I plan to discuss these topics in this article today.
First off, commercial Headshots can actually be taken anywhere. Most of the photos on this website are actually commercial Headshots. Think about it and look at them closely. A commercial headshot is one that has a happy, smiling look to it. The colors are vibrant and they really bring a bright personality to the actor.
Remember that the purpose d commercial headshot is to get commercial jobs. Commercials need happy people to show off their products, so toy don't want go submit a serious, scary, or sad picture. That's here the bright and fun commercial headshot comes in!!
Now, I'm sure you guessed it, but it's he other way around for a theatrical headshot. They show you in character. These types of shots should each be different, so that you can submit a different one for each role you apply for.
For instance, you should have the nice guy, the mean guy, the stay at home mom, the workaholic dad, etc. Whatever roles you like playing, try to have a few different shots that fit each one and show you in.
How do you format a headshot to be printed? Well, it's actually pretty simple. Here are the rules:
Headshot formatting requires 8x10" paper. The actual crop factor of the print itself doesn't necessarily need to be in 8x10 inch format.
This means that you can technically keep the headshot the way it was as long as it is placed onto a sheet of 8x10 format, photo quality, matte, with a resume cut and stapled to the back.
Remember that the headshot must be smaller than the sheet and have a thin black border around the edge, and your name must be printed at he bottom.
The text used for your name should be extremely plain. Don't use fancy fonts for your headshot or it will be frowned upon by casting directors.
Please email me if you have any questions about Headshots!!
Where should you go to get headshot prints? This is a great question. One of the main problems actors have after getting their Headshots taken is finding places to get prints for a decent rate.
The number one place in NYC for headshot printing is Reproductions (www.reproductions.com). They offer great rates and can scale and adjust and even under your headshot with the your name and all. I am not sure what their rates are but I know they offer some of the best.
I also offer headshot printing services. I charge $3 for each 8x10 size print. But I only charge $2.50 per print if you hire me as your headshot photographer as well.
If you go through a major printing company, however, you will save money if you buy in bulk. They will usually offer a 100 print package for only $150, a great deal if you plan on using 100 prints before getting a new headshot session.
Try googling headshot prints for more information, but I hope you've found this article useful. If you have, please consider setting up a headshot session or donating to keep these tips coming for free!
How do you bring out different characters in Headshots? There's a simple first step that every aspiring headshot photographer or actor doesn't think of for some reason: pick the roles you want to bring out.
If you don't choose them before the shoot, how are you supposed to have them show up in the photo?
What kind of looks do you really want in the headshot? Seductive? Intelligent and professional? Think of them beforehand and tell your photographer so that he or she can give you recommendations on colors to wear in your Headshots based on their meaning.
The second thing to do to bring out characters in your Headshots is to really put yourself into the mind of the role you want to play. If you are trying to be elegant, put yourself into that mindset. Remember that you can play multiple emotions, such as elegant yet angry. It all depends on what you wear and what your expression tells in the headshot.
Remember this: you will never start a headshot session running. You'll always start at the bottom because you aren't used to the photographer, or you're not warmed up, or things just aren't perfect yet. But know this also: they can only get better.
The job of the headshot photographer is to get you running as fast as possible.
Let me define some terms first though, just so we are clear: running means getting great Headshots. Crawling means getting standard ones.
The only way to get great Headshots is to work your way up from nothing, and to enjoy yourself and have a good time taking the shots.
Remember that if you don't get along well with the photographer, you won't get good pictures. I'm going to give you a few simple tips on how to get up and running faster. But not until tomorrow! Happy headshot hunting!
There are two types of email addresses you need to have if you plan on acting. You need a personal one and a professional one.
Have you ever worried about sending your resume to potential employers because your email address says email@example.com? That's why you should get a second email.
Don't give the professional email address out to your friends, only to professionals. The reason is so that you don't ever get the two mixed up.
Gmail is free, so there is no reason you can't make your second email address right now, as soon as you finish reading this.
Remember that there is no time like now. Change your email, make it professional, and start getting jobs.
Oh, one other thing: professional doesn't mean something ridiculous either. More on that tomorrow.
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.