A lot of actors ask me this when they are setting up a headshot session with me, so I decided it would be a good idea to write an article about it.
The question actually starts with you as the actor. What you have to ask yourself is what types of characters do you play best? What are the roles and looks you are going for?
In an earlier article, I mentioned that looks doesn't mean just what clothing you want to wear. It actually means what character are you playing in your headshot? You cannot use one headshot to submit for every single role. Ideally you would have a number of headshots to submit to each different project.
Casting directors don't use an imagination. Therefore they are only going to select you if you look just like the character they had in mind. So the clothing that you wear coupled with the expression on your face is going to be what will sell you to them.
When you decide on clothing, pick stuff that will bring out the different characters you are good at playing, and the characters you want to audition for.
For general guidelines, be sure to wear darker colors if you are dark skinned, and medium colors if you are light skinned. Shy away from really bright colors, like yellow, red, and white. Wear layers. This means wear an open shirt with another underneath because it adds interest and depth to the image. You can wear a jacket if you want too.
Don't wear plaid or crazy patterns. Try to keep it simple, mostly one color. And wear a color you look good in. I can't tell you what color you look good in, so ask your friends.
Lastly, don't try anything new. Try to keep it simple, just be yourself when dressing. Don't go crazy or it will look weird.
Ladies: get a makeup artist if possible. Just do yourself up a tiny bit more than normal. You want to look a little extra good for the shots to stand up among the rest of the competition.
Good luck, and please leave a comment if you found this post helpful!
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