Your headshot is your calling card. The first thing casting directors, agents and directors see, making that all important first impression and forming the basis of that split second decision of whether you could be right for the role.
Most likely you already have a set of headshots but it’s time to be honest with yourself. How old are they? Do you still have that hairstyle? Do they really look like you? If your headshot doesn’t look like the person who walks into the casting, it’s unlikely you’ll get the role.
Make sure this essential tool is up to scratch with our top tips for headshots:
It needs to look like you.
Yes it seems obvious but your headshot needs to look like you. The real you, looking natural. Your headshot isn’t the time to experiment or feel the need to glam up. The person in that photograph should match the person at the audition.It should reflect your casting type.
As well as looking like you, a good headshot suggests your casting type and the kinds of role you would play. Discuss this with your photographer and consider bringing a change of clothing (eg. t-shirt and collared shirt or blouse). If you’re a guy it’s a good idea to have shots both clean shaven and with beard/stubble while women should consider hair up and hair down options.
Use a professional.
Your headshots are a professional tool and the industry standard is a specific type of image. Do your research and choose a professional headshot photographer who suits your budget and you feel comfortable with. Remember this is the person who has to capture who you are.
Keep it up to date!
Your headshot needs to look like the person you are now, not who you were a few years ago. If you’ve changed your hair style or colour or haven’t had new headshots in two years or more, it’s time to get booked in.
Your headshot isn’t something to try and save money on. It is the most important part of your portfolio and worth investing in. You are worth investing in. Uncle Jim might have a fancy DSLR camera but does he know how to take a headshot rather than a portrait or holiday snap? Do you want to put your career in his hands?
Embrace what makes you unique. Your headshot is about YOU, wrinkles, warts and all. You are unique and while you want to look your best, resist the temptation to have your photographs retouched beyond simple fixes like removing temporary blemishes.
If you’re in need of headshots, whether it’s your first set or an update to reflect a new look, we hope these tips have been useful. Choosing a photographer can be a difficult process but here at YAFTA we make it simple!
YAFTA runs regular Headshot Days offering an hour’s headshot session with a professional photographer and five retouched shots for the very competitive price of £80.
For more info and to book visit www.yafta.co.uk/headshots
See you on screen!