There’s many a time that a couple of my casting director buddies have joked about actors headshots they see as submissions.Observations like;
The actor doesn’t actually look like the headshot, how it looked like their younger sibling, and how surprised they were when the actors auditioned and they were surprisingly nothing like their headshot.
My instant reaction to these comments is “why didn’t the headshot photographer take the time to understand the actor they was shooting” but then I started to think on it a little and realised that on many occasions an actor whilst having their headshots taken do not always reveal themselves. They often do what they think will work or let the headshot photographer take control – this is sometimes a mistake as can be seen by the following article.
I liked this article because it resonated the frustration often felt by actors and by the casting directors too. So it got me thinking about specific headshot for specific roles.
As digital submissions are becoming more and more prevalent these days I often shoot several different ‘looks’ during each headshot session. Depending on each individual and on talking to them I often give them an open friendly look, a nice smiley shot, something more serious and possibly glamorous and occasionally something more sinister or aggressive depending on the client. This way they can submit a headshot that is particular to a specific role and hopefully have a better chance of of getting an audition, which is really what the headshot is all about.
– My Actors Headshot Doesn’t Look Like Me