I’ve been looking at alot og actor’s headshots before I have my first set done. I see some with hands in them but mostly without. I was wondering if you think that having my head resting on my hand would help me to be taken as a serious actor?
In my opinion every actor is a serious actor or should be serious about their career. However I assume that you mean ‘will casting directors see you as performer of serious drama as opposed to l ight entertaiment or comedy”I have to say an unequivocal no, in my opinion you should never have your hands in your actors headshot because of it’s very nature it is a headshot – not a head and hand shot. I think hands can be a complete distraction to the viewer and ccould also appear to be covering something up on your face. Maybe a scar or a mole etc.Remember the golden rule of a headshot is clean and simple, make sure your face is the focus and there are no distractions.
Hi Nick, I was wondering what the best things are to wear for my session with you, and should I bring with me several different colours and patterns?
I always suggest that everyone brings several tops with them, at least 2 or 3. It’s best to stay away from strong patterns and bold stripes as these can easily overpower the shot and take the focus away from your face and down towards what you are wearing. You can usually get away with subtle patterns but to be on the safe side I’d like to look at it first and than make a judgement. It’s also a good idea to stay away from big bold jewellery too as these can sometimes draw the eye away. If in doubt, bring it along and we’ll decide on the day.
What should an actor look for in a headshot photographer?
There are three elements to a great headshot; First of all a true likeness, there is no point in using a headshot that doesn’t look like you or a headshot from several years ago. We are starting to see some photographers over-retouching, such as removing skin texture or eye contours, adding hair etc. This almost never looks natural. With some actors there can also be an tendency to use a headshot from several years ago – remember the casting director wants to see the person in the photograph not their younger sibling. Secondly, the actor must have a connection with the viewer of the photo, by this I mean the eyes of the actor should be focused in the right place so that when viewed, it feels as though the actor is looking at you. Many actors’ headshots have dead-fish or flat eyes staring off into an unknown point. Thirdly and crucially, if you want your headshot to have the ‘wow factor’ you need personality. This is often the most difficult aspect to catch, but it is the thing that makes the difference.
Is there anything I should do to prepare for the session?
When preparing for your headshot session be professional about it. Get plenty of sleep to help look your best, drink lots of water to hydrate the skin, allow plenty of time to find the studio and take a few minutes to plan what you are going to wear.