Actor and Artist Headshots

 
Professional headshots may be the single most valuable marketing tool an actor or artist can possess.
They can be the first thing anyone sees about you.
They should tell your story, show your versatility, capture your spark.
 

 

An Actor/Artist Headshot session is a true collaboration.

We begin by spending a little time getting acquainted and talking about your goals and activities.

Then we will shoot in a variety of outfits and styles, against a variety of backgrounds, to make sure we capture the different facets of your personality – your "brand" as it were.

And then, together, we will evaluate your shots and pick the very best ones, right there on the spot. A few days later you will have new images with which to refresh your online portfolio or website.

Actor/Artist Headshots Should

  • Show off your spark, your personality.
  • Give an accurate sense of the characters you may be best suited for playing.
  • Capture your nuances and style.
  • Present a mix of image styles and "looks," most (but not all) with engaging eye contact.
  • Have framing, lighting, and background that all enhance you as the subject without being distracting (ideally, they tell a story).
  • Be authentic and look like the person who will show up for auditions.

Two Sub-Types

Theatrical: Geared toward casting in films, TV, and plays. Conveys more emotional depth and range. Can be more focused on identifiable personality types. Tends to be darker, Rembrandt lighting, moodier. This is most of what we do for our clients.

Commercial: Aimed at the advertising industry, this displays emotional energy and charisma. It demonstrates your ability to sell a product or brand. The lighting is brighter and punchier, with less shadow.

Clothing Notes

Bring multiple options.

You want to wear clothing that will make you feel confident and comfortable, though we recommend keeping the shirt/blouse choices simple and unadorned. Solid colors are best. Prints can make a photo dated quickly. Earth tones are great. It's hard to go wrong with a black tee. Simple lines, no frills, no shoulder pads. After all, it is your face and head we are primarily featuring here.

But you can also bring some crazy and fun stuff (hat, leather jacket, Groucho glasses) if you want to play around with that. Whatever we shoot in should add to the personality you wish to convey.

All items should be ironed and ready for the camera. Please don't stuff all your outfits into a duffle bag or wad them up (but if you do, yes we have a steamer...). Time spent ironing out creases is time lost in front of the camera.

While we are focused on headshot portraits here, don't fully neglect the pants or skirt, as often we'll want to shoot half-body or even 3/4 portraits, e.g. seated portraits, so pants or skirts, etc. should be presentable and neutral to work with most all tops/shirts.

We will shoot as many different looks as can be fit in, but remember the outfits and clothing are props. You are the main attraction, so outfits should support your expression and pose, not distract from it.

Preparation

First, don't worry. We got this. We work hard to create a fun, relaxing environment where we can collaborate to create great images.

But do spend some time thinking about what you want to convey through your headshots. Consider if you have a certain "type" you want to portray, if you are shooting theatrical headshots, and how you would describe it.

Your main job is to arrive well-rested and not stressed.

Keep hair adjustments and makeup to a minimum. We can futz with that a bit during the shoot if need be. It's easier to add makeup (we have a makeup station, but no makeup) than to take away, and minimal makeup (especially base and around the eyes) is generally the best bet. For women, a lipstick option or two, or just some gloss, is generally plenty. For men, if you do not have a beard, please have a nice shave the day of the shoot. A 3 o'clock shadow is not something that we can generally "fix" in Photoshop.

Feel free to share a Spotify or other playlist if you want a certain musical vibe to help you get into the mood. And we love it if clients create a Pinterest board with images they like that we can use as jumping-off points for the images we want to create together.

We will also share a tip-list and FAQ (written for our more corporate headshot work, but most of it still applies), after booking that will likely answer any other questions you will have. If it does not, we are always happy to set up a short discovery call before your session.

 


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