Note: This article is for actors. To learn about business/professional headshots, click here.
Headshots are closeup photos of actor's faces. They're used by casting directors to see what an actor looks like so they can determine whether an actor looks right for a part.
In this article, we'll dive deep on what makes for a professional actor headshot, why they're so important, and what you need to know before booking your photoshoot.
What are Headshots?
So what are headshots? Well, as the name implies, headshots are photographs of people's heads. They're typically shot from chest up, showing what someone looks like so casting directors can get an idea of whether their right for the role or not.
Looks are everything in the acting industry. If you don't look like the type of character a casting director wants, you won't be called in to audition. This is why your headshot must accurately represent what you currently look like (meaning minimal retouching and a photo that was taken recently) so casting directors can make a well-informed decision on whether to bring you in or not.
Martin Bentsen (author of this guide) is an actor marketing coach who uses “outside the industry” thinking to help actors book more work. He’s helped over 6,000 actors with their careers and actor headshots since 2009 and his photography studio City Headshots is ranked #1 on Yelp. He’s spoken at NYU, The New England Theater Conference, The Actor’s Green Room, and other venues.
Want to book more acting work by thinking different? Start with his free Actor’s Toolkit to create new opportunities right away, or visit his website at www.martinbentsen.com.
Some Additional Q&A
Can a Headshot Be a Selfie?
In general, it's not recommended that you use a selfie for a headshot because it doesn't look professional to potential employers of casting directors. Learn more about this here: Bad Headshots vs. Good Headshots
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