A misconception about headshots is that they should show you looking your best. This is NOT the case. Headshots are not glamour shots. They are not modelling shots. A head shot should represent what you are most likely to look like when you enter an audition room. It should be what you look like 90% of the time. That is what casting directors want to see. The real you, not the perfect you.
Here are some tips on how to present your lovely face to the world!
- Get a good night’s sleep and drink lots of water
Never under estimate how much a good full night’s sleep and staying hydrated can do for you. In terms of in front of a camera, the energy you give off is tremendously important. If you stay hydrated, your skin will be healthier and your natural colour will be more vivid. Being well rested will only stand you in better stead as you should be full of energy and ready to do the job!
- Minimal Makeup/styling
Keep makeup to a minimum. Styling should be similarly simple, however if you have particular assets that should be showed, make sure you do. Things like long hair (show it up, and down) or a beard (full growth, clean shaven). Casting directors like to see all the ways you could present. If you wear glasses, we also advise getting a shot with those on too.
- Get a range of shots
Get a selection of clothes that compliment your skin tone, eye colour and hair colour. You photographer can help with this. Also make sure you vary your facial expression. Multiple shots of the same expression aren’t helpful or showcasing you well. You want a dynamic range. Consider getting shots that play to your casting type (if you have one). For example, if you are a dark-and-brooding type, make sure you get a few that exemplify that. Play to your strengths, but get a range. Having said that you do not need to go into a photographer’s studio in period costumes, simple things like smart shirts can make you look business-like.
- Be conscious of the frame and background
Portrait headshots are more useful than landscape. Landscape headshots on spotlight tend to be off frame in the thumbnail and only half of your face is visible. Get a mix of studio and outdoors headshots with natural light.
- Update regularly
It’s quite a financial burden, but headshots really need to be updated every 1 to 2 years. People change over time; your attitude, your physicality. Your headshots should reflect this. It also gives your Spotlight CV a nice facelift, making you pop out as a new and exciting possibility to casting directors. If you change your look it is crucial that you update your headshots so that you look how the Casting Director is expecting you to look (e.g hair length, hair colour, facial hair).