As a further guide to what makes headshots work, we wanted to start a new series that looks at some well known actors' shots and how they work to show their suitability for the roles they have played.
Overall, we really like this shot of Rainn Wilson. Knowing Wilson for his work in The Office and Juno, this headshot is great because it shows his character immediately. The color combination of his clothing work well with his glasses to show how he would fit fun characters like Dwight or more serious, empathetic characters like Paul, a father coping with his wife's death in Spencer Susser's 2010 film Hesher.
The lighting is also very simple, it shows Wilson's character with simplicity; such an organic combination of expression and lighting proves fantastic for casting directors as they are able to see unfiltered, genuine character that they would likely be enthusiastic to see translated into film.
Our only concern with this shot involves the background. Despite being out of focus, it gives off the illusion that this shot is set in an apartment, the lines also create a corner that may distract the viewer from the subject. The less information the background conveys, the better as there will be less outside influences on a casting director's opinion. The fewer associations made, the more focus will be placed on your character and unique qualities.
[All credit for this photograph remains with the original photographer; no copyright infringement intended]
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