What makes one headshot better than another headshot? There are actually a lot of things that can determine this.
Between lighting, color, background, expression, actors face, Photoshop work, character, and many other things, it is very difficult to determine what makes one head shot better than another headshot. In my opinion, we should not judge head shots based on the technical quality. We should assume that if you're going to hire a headshot photographer, they will know how to shoot head shots technically correct. Therefore the difference lies within the expression on the actor's face.
Since the 1950s and 1960s, head shots began to gain traction in the entertainment industry. They were shot in black-and-white and typically used simply to show an actors look to a casting director before they were called in to audition for a role. At that point in time not many people could afford to hire someone to shoot their head shots, therefore it was a very uncommon that most actors had head shots. However, those that did have head shots were much more likely to get great roles and become well known in the future.
These days, it is much different ballgame. Every single actor and his best friend has a headshot. Well, not really, there are still many actors who don't have head shots not only just because they can't afford them but also because they don't even understand how important they are. If you are one of the few actors who does not have a professional headshot, you can automatically count your acting career as over. Any actor who does not have a professional looking headshot that truly shows who they are in the image will not stand a chance at making it in this industry. If the casting director knows that you don't have a professional headshot, they will assume that you are not invested or willing to take much time to develop your acting career, therefore they will assume that you won't want to put much effort into their film or project either.
That being said, all head shots are not created equal. After 2 or 3 headshot sessions, most actors begin to realize that certain headshot photographers are much better than other photographers. What makes a good headshot photographer different than a bad headshot photographer is the ability of the photographer to bring out the actors true emotion in any headshot.
Most novice actors who haven't had a professional head shots taken before see their head shots and think to themselves that the photos don't look very nice. This especially applies to women however, because they usually have a very particular way of looking at themselves. They may only like to have their photo taken from in a certain angle, or under certain lighting conditions. Obviously, its human nature to want to look good, to attract members of the opposite (or same) sex. Therefore, when having one's head shots taken for the 1st time the novice actor does not understand how important it is that they look as realistic as possible.
It is the job of the professional headshot photographer to make the client look as realistic as possible. Your headshot should look exactly as you do in real life: if you are ugly in real life, then unfortunately your headshot should be ugly as well. This all has to do with the idea of branding. The entire concept of a headshot is based on the idea of branding, which is a marketing tool used to immediately give the viewer a sense of who you actually are. If you are ugly and real life, and your headshot makes you look beautiful, then a casting director who called you and will be expecting some beautiful to walk through the door, and when you walk in looking the way that you do in real life, you'll get thrown out right away.
Actors must be able to accept this unfortunate discrimination. Due to the nature of acting and needing people who look certain ways, this discrimination is found very frequently in the acting and entertainment industry. A professional actor can deal with this discrimination and understands that based on the way that he or she looks, she will best be suited to submit to roles that work well for her.
To some all the above information up, what makes one headshot better than the other is that the best headshot will show an actor as they truly are both physically and emotionally. The headshot photographer will additionally be able to use supporting scenery or backgrounds to help enhance that image.
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.