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Posts Tagged ‘acting schools’

Who Chooses Your Actors Headshot?

Is it you? Is it your Agent? Is it your headshot photographer or is it your family? What about if you’re not sure of which one is the best headshot for you? What if you don’t like the way you look, how on earth are you supposed to choose headshot that’ll get you work as you probably won’t like any of them?

Ultimately it’s your career so you have to make the final decision however there are people out there who have your best interests at heart and will help you out. There are lots of experienced professionals with tons of knowledge who have a valid opinion – you are not alone.

who chooses your headshot by Nick Gregan Photographer


If you are in the position of having an Agent then ask their advice, in some cases your Agent will insist on choosing which headshot they want you to use, you may not always agree with them. The thing is that they see you objectively, they see you essentially see you as a way of making money, if they can’t get you work then what’s the point of them representing you? No one said this was an easy business – it’s tough and competitive, but a brilliant business. Your Agent may well have a specific niche where they want to promote you and may want to use a headshot that suits that niche – you may not agree with them. This is when you need to talk to your Agent and understand what they do, where they see you, how they see your castability and to make sure you’re both on the same page.

Maybe you are just starting your career, you’re still in acting school or you have come into the business another way and are taking classes. Tutors and coaches are generally good people to ask for opinions on your headshot as they know the business and also know you.

As a headshot photographer I always try to offer unbiased advice and an objective view to my clients. I look at what their castability is, what roles they are likely to be cast as and just as importantly what they are not likely to be cast as. I try to point out what works in their headshot and what doesn’t with understanding and tact.


who chooses your headshot

Nick Gregan

There are people who don’t like the way they look or have had bad experiences in the past, maybe with another headshot photographer. Or perhaps on a personal level when previously somebody may well have commented on the size of their nose or ears. (I have a rather large nose and ears but am comfortable with the way I look, so being in front of the camera doesn’t bother me). However not all people are like me and may well be affected by an offhand comment from a photographer like ’you shouldn’t be photographed from the left as it’s your bad side’.


On many occasions an actor will say to me ‘you know best, you choose my headshot’ admittedly most of these times it will be an inexperienced actor who says this but the thing is if they don’t know their best headshot, if they don’t have the support network or an Agent who is going to help them out, what do they do? It’s a huge responsibility to choose a headshot for somebody so if you are asking your photographer to help you out make sure you’ve chosen a specialist headshot photographer who knows the business.

who chooses your headshot  © Nick Gregan 2013

Angelique Fernandes

One thing they shouldn’t be doing is asking their partner, parents, girl/boyfriends, mums and dads and husbands and wives to help them out as they view them in a particular way – unless of course they know the business too. What you are looking for as an actor is a headshot that will get you noticed as an actor and not noticed as daddy’s cute little girl etc.

A great headshot can have a really positive affect on your career, getting lots of auditions and catching the attention of Casting Directors and Agents, boosting your confidence etc. On the other hand a poor headshot can have disastrous repercussions, no castings, no auditions, no Agent and no work. The good thing is that by choosing a reputable headshot photographer, one with experience will start you out on the right foot as they will offer their knowledge and skill to make sure you leave the studio with a set of great headshots.

– Who Chooses Your Actors Headshot?

‘This above all else: to thine own self be true’ – Hamlet…in other words make sure you look like your headshot.

This is perhaps one of the most crucial aspects of your headshot. It has to be a true representation of you. There is no point in sending out a headshot that no longer looks like you. For instance; if your hair was blonde and long but is now black and short – you don’t look like your headshot anymore. Equally so for the guys, if for some strange reason you had your headshot taken with a beard and then decide it looked a bit naff and you shave it off – well you really need a new headshot. The first thing a casting director or agent wants in an actors headshot is a true likeness. Imagine traveling for a couple of hours for a big audition waiting in line and getting yourself all psyched-up for big moment and when you walk in you see the look of confusion on the casting directors face, the last thing you want to hear from them is ‘ where’s the person in the picture’? So let’s make it clear you have to look like your picture, it’s no good guys if you’re going a bit thin on top ( like me ) and you ask the headshot photographer to retouch the hair line a bit – shame on your vanity. Likewise  for ladies having your laughter lines (wrinkles) retouched out is a no no – because it’s not you anymore. And the Casting Director may just say to you ” where’s you’re younger sister, the one in the photo’? So the bottom line is in the words of the great bard “to thine own self be true” and make sure you look like your current headshot. If you don’t get a new one.

Part 2 to follow shortly….

Nick Gregan Actors Headshot Photographer

Katie Geary © Nick Gregan

– Shakepeare’s Top Ten Tips For A Great Actors Headshot Part 1

Hi Nick!
Just wanted to say a final thank you for my amazing headshots. I just looked over the photos on the disc which I received earlier last week and even the unedited ones are absolutely amazing.
Thank you again for such an inviting afternoon. Hopefully I’ll see you in the future when we will be working together again. Also I will definitely be recommending you to all my friends, I don’t think I could sing your praises enough!

– Louise O’Hara

Following on from yesterdays post I’ve had quite a few of you ask me what actually are ‘Uta Hagen’s 9 Questions’

As photographer who specialises in shooting headshots for actors I often take headshots of young and aspiring thespians, many of whom are still studying and constantly looking for way to increase their knowledge and acting technique. I don’t profess to have all the answers but I do have a healthy interest in ensuring I can help my clients and add value to every session that I shoot.

After all my clients are my lifeblood and as I spend most of my working week in the company of actors I always want to be able to pass on an extra little piece of advice, tips or tricks to help my clients get the very best out of themselves and out of our headshot session. I get a huge thrill out of coaching and coaxing fantastic 10×8’s for Spotlight and other casting services, of seeing my clients move on with success their career and hopefully reaching heady heights.

When I came across ‘Uta Hagen’s 9 Questions’ I instantly thought that this would be great information to pass on and share with others. I hope you enjoy this post and share it with others who may benefit from it.

1.  WHO AM I?
(All the details about your character including name, age, address, relatives, likes, dislikes, hobbies, career, description of physical traits, opinions, beliefs, religion, education, origins, enemies, loved ones, sociological influences, etc.)
(Century, season, year, day, minute, significance of time)
(Country, city, neighborhood, home, room, area of room)
(Animate and inanimate objects-complete details of environment)
(Past, present, future and all of the events)
(Relation to total events, other characters, and to things)
(Character’s need.  The immediate and main objective)
(The obstacles which prevent character from getting his/her need)
(The action: physical and verbal, also-action verbs)

Uta Hagen

– Uta Hagen’s 9 Questions For Actors

The legendary acting teacher Uta Hagen gives some great advice and tips on being an actor.
Also well known for her ‘9 questions for finding your character’ this short video gives some
excellent insights to improve your performance.



– Uta Hagen’s Acting Class

Nick is very professional, very helpful and made me feel comfortable and confident throughout the session. His prices are reasonable and he gives you some helpful tips along the way. He’s definitely the man to see.

– Siobhan Luff

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