Friday, March 7, 2014

The Headshot That Works for You

Mark O'Neal

Jessica Castro

A professionally photographed headshot shows your commitment to be taken seriously as a working professional in your field. For an actor, a headshot needs to acknowledge the range of roles you are suited to play. An effective headshot expresses the spark of your personality and creates interest in you – and that is what gets you called in for the audition.

A headshot is an advertisement for you. It shows you at your best, but it also must be true to what you look like and who you are as a person. Authenticity inspires trust. Trust in your person and in your ability is what gets you hired.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Headshot Tip: It’s All About the Eyes

Michael Gallo

Sarah Wang

We’ve all heard expressions like the eyes are the windows to the soul. Take a look at any well-done headshot and you will feel your gaze pulled directly to the subject’s eyes. And the eyes will be speaking: this person is warm, confident, smart, funny, or wise.

You can expect the photographer to help guide you in your posing and to make sure your eyes are properly illuminated. But you can and should prepare yourself as well. Do an online search for portraits and headshots of well-known actors or actresses, especially those who match your type. Look at advertisements in magazines or inside subway stations. Pay attention to how the subject uses the muscles around the eyes, the brows and the eyelids to convey emotion or character. Practice doing the same in front of a mirror.

Eyes full of life will grab the casting director’s attention and help define who you are as an actor. Giving some thought to how to use your eyes is one of the most useful things you can do to prepare for the headshot that will get you work.

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Headshot Tip: Get to Know Your Photographer Before the Shoot

Emma Jay

A headshot is a personal service that depends on the interaction between the photographer and client. You will be relying on the photographer to direct and coach you during the headshot session; therefore, you want to find a photographer who works well with you.

You should choose a photographer who offers a pre-shoot consultation as a part of the headshot package. During the consultation, the photographer will go over the process and wardrobe and answer any questions you might have. The photographer should ask about your type, the roles you’ve been getting, and the roles you want to get.

Going into the shoot, it is important to know that you and the photographer see things the same way, and that the photographer is someone you can trust and want to work with. You wouldn’t go to an audition without preparing. When it comes to something as important as a headshot, getting to know your photographer is a big part of being prepared.

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Headshot Tip: What to Wear

Lina Luzar

When it comes to selecting wardrobe for a headshot, a good rule of thumb is to keep it simple. Here’s a short list of Do’s and Don’ts:

• Avoid strong patterns, stripes, and logos.
• Avoid neon or very saturated colors.
• Form fitting works better than bulky.
• Layers with a light jacket or light sweater work well.
• V-necks and button downs work well.
• Round collars or turtlenecks do not.
• Jewelry, if any should be small.

The most important aspect of a headshot is connecting with the subject’s eyes. Wardrobe colors should enhance your eyes and complement your skin tone. In the photograph of Jesse Barton below, the blues of her eyes grab our attention because they are set off by the warm tones in her hair, skin and shirt. While the orange of the shirt is somewhat saturated, it is less rich than the lips, again keeping our attention on her face.

Jesse Barton

Selecting the proper wardrobe is an important part of the headshot process. I always ask clients to bring in a couple of wardrobe options during the consultation to confirm that what you intend to wear is the right color and style for you.

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