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Posts Tagged ‘spotlight photographer’


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.)
2.  WHAT TIME IS IT?
(Century, season, year, day, minute, significance of time)
3.  WHERE AM I?
(Country, city, neighborhood, home, room, area of room)
4.  WHAT SURROUNDS ME?
(Animate and inanimate objects-complete details of environment)
5.  WHAT ARE THE GIVEN CIRCUMSTANCES?
(Past, present, future and all of the events)
6.  WHAT IS MY RELATIONSHIP?
(Relation to total events, other characters, and to things)
7.  WHAT DO I WANT?
(Character’s need.  The immediate and main objective)
8.  WHAT IS IN MY WAY?
(The obstacles which prevent character from getting his/her need)
9.  WHAT DO I DO TO GET WHAT I WANT?
(The action: physical and verbal, also-action verbs)

Uta Hagen

– Uta Hagen’s 9 Questions For Actors

Online casting has changed dramatically over the last few years, as headshot photographers in London and as actors you must be aware of those changes and how best to take advantage of them.

I had a casting director from a very well know regional theatre in the studio last week and we spoke about the casting process and how it’s changed and how he chooses actors to invite for audition. In the screenshot below you’ll see man, many hactors headshots viewed as fairly small thumbnails. This is initially how a casting director views your headshot and decides whether or not to look at it bigger and whether or not to bother spending their valuable reading your CV. As you can see you headshot needs to stand out, it needs to have the wow factor to grab their attention.

Make sure you have a headshot that stands out by choosing the right headshot photographer and making sure you understand what your part in the process is and how you can work together with your actors headshot photographer to get a shot that gets you noticed.

acting headshots by Nick Gregan

acting headshots by Nick Gregan

– Good Headshots For Online Casting

Fantastic photographer, I would highly recommend getting your headshots done here.

– Joe Johnson – Actor

When is a headshot photographer not a headshot photographer? Well, it’s when they do something else most of the time, it’s when their passion is for another disciple or it’s when someone thinks they can make a quick buck out of shooting a few headshots.

There’s an increasing trend for actors ‘when not acting to try their hand’ at doing headshots. They use the catchy line of “I’m an actor so I know what a great acting headshot is” – yeah right!!  If they know all of this they’ll obviously have a great headshot themselves and if they do why aren’t they acting and auditioning full time then instead of trying to make ends meet by shooting a few bad headshots?

Many actors straight out of drama school or beginning their career may not know how to get a great headshot or how much a poor actors headshot can effect your career negatively. Think about it logically and you’ll see what I mean, without a strong headshot showing personality it’ll be incredibly difficult to get a casting director to notice you, an agent to see you and may well leave you feeling fed-up and disillusioned with your acting career. All because your headshot isn’t up to scratch.

Part 2 tomorrow – The Way To A Great Actors Headshot.

– Professional Headshots Mean Professional Work

Following on from yesterdays post entitled – Professional Headshots Mean Professional Work – I thought I’d explain a little more about what I mean about professional work. It’s paid work. Let’s face it we all love to follow our passion and most of us would do it for free just to express ourselves however, we all need to pay our bills so to be brutally honest we have to be paid for what we do. Thats what I mean about professionalk work, when we are being paid to do a job. Whether it’s a stage show, TV, a film or TIE. As long as we are being paid to work I call this professional work.

To be taken as a professional actor every part of your approach needs to in harmony with a professional attitude, from how you approach and deal with casting diectors, agents and fellow actors to the image you portray starting with your headshot which is nearly always the first point of contact. Use a substandard ‘snapshot’ from a friend or ‘below par’ headshot photographer then you are asking for trouble. How many time have we heard the phrase ‘you only get one chance to make a first impression?’ hundreds and hundreds for definite. It is imperative to present a professional image to everyone who may have an effect (positive or negative) on your career.

I have made lots of posts on this blog about what constitutes a great actors headshot and I urge you to take a few minutes and check them out, this way you’ll at least be on the right track and armed with some useful information.

What Is A Real Actors Headshot?
Same Old Same OId Headshot?
Hot Sunshine And An Actors Headshot
Connection Is The Key In A Headshot

– The Way To A Great Actors Headshot.

Casting has changed dramatically over the last couple of years, in particular with the increasing amount of digital submissions. With a huge amount of casting going through Spotlight and other casting portals it becomes more and more important as an actor that you have headshots that match the role you are submitting to.

Many headshot photographers still don’t understand that things have changed and they are still trying to deliver that ‘one killer headshot’ that say’s it all.  This unfortunately is not the way to shoot an actor in this competitive modern casting world.

As an actor you have to be prepared to submit the right kind of headshot for the role. This gives casting directors an easy opportunity to ‘visualise you’ in the role they are casting. Why submit a smiling headshot for a role as a sinister character when you could and should submit your sinister headshot? If you look at the three headshots below you’ll see 3 very different headshots each showing lots of personality and each showing a different character. if you were a casting director casting for a cool, suave confident character you’s obviously choose the center photograph – you certainly wouldn’t cast Anthony from the smiling shot on the right. However if you’re casting for a nice family guy you choose the opposite way around.

This is why your headshot photographer should understand how and why to deliver a range of different shots in every session they shoot.

I’ll be posting more on headshots with personality and character so keep tuned.

Actors Headshot Portfolio from Nick Gregan Headshot Photographer

Actors Headshot Portfolio from Nick Gregan Headshot Photographer

– Headshot Portfolio or Single Headshot ?

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