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How should actors go about choosing the right headshot photographer?

By April 14, 2015July 3rd, 2023No Comments

Choosing the right headshot photographer

Your headshot is the first impression a Casting Director has of you so choosing the right headshot photographer is crucial.  A great headshot is what’ll make a Casting Director or an Agent sit up and take notice of you.  It’s your first point of contact and often your only point of contact, so essentially the image has got to grab their attention and hold it. You absolutely can’t take a chance by not impressing them in all the right ways. This is your career, you are talking about and the image you want to portray to the industry professionals. My advice is; to choose a professional headshot photographer to do the right job for you – but how do you find the right person for you?

Nick Gregan Actors Headshot Photographer

© Nick Gregan

It can be a tricky question to answer, do you go on recommendation, and do you go for the most expensive person? Or do you simply go for the busiest person because they must be the right photographer? Actually, these are all things to consider and that’s it, consider. However because the relationship between a headshot photographer and their client is a personal one, there needs to be trust and understanding but also it helps if you are both on the same wavelength.

How do you know if you and your photographer will get on? Some people may say ‘It’s not that important to get on with them, we/they are here for a specific reason and time and as long as we do the job what does it matter?’ Well, it does matter if you want your headshot to have the ‘Wow Factor’. A good headshot stands out from the crowd and one of the things that ensure this happens is the emotional content seen in the eyes.

I think it’s a bit of a gamble booking a session with a headshot photographer if you haven’t even spoken to them, it only takes five minutes on the phone to know whether you like somebody or not, whether you’re likely to be comfortable with them. I’d be disappointed if I wanted to book with a photographer and they couldn’t find the time to talk to me before the shoot if I wanted to.

I read a good article here on this very subject today that made me want to write a post on the same subject from my own point of view. The writer makes some valuable points that I deliberately didn’t rehash here but when I said ‘it helps if you are both on the same wavelength’, the writer and I are both on the same wavelength here.

Here’s an excerpt fro the piece and it’s a good idea to go to Backstage and read the full article.

Because we live in a digital world where your picture really needs to pop if you’re going to score auditions. When casting directors to review submissions, their monitors are flooded with faces and they have to make decisions quickly.

So my first piece of advice is to embrace your inner journalist and do some research.

So start researching photographers online. Post questions on the Backstage message board. Check out the headshots your actor friends are using. And if you have representation, make sure you get your agent’s opinion.

You should also think about gender. Who would make you more comfortable? A man or a woman? That’s an important consideration.

The relationship between a photographer and subject is an intimate one. The two of you are going to spend hours together, trying to capture your soul in the click of a button. It would help if you feel comfortable with each other.

Read the full article here



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