WOW, I’m a casting director!
I am a headshot photographer – that’s a fact. I’ve been doing it for over 28+ years and love every minute of it.
It hit me the other day that I’m a casting director also – how about that?
I was looking for a female actor/model to use in a 1940’s themed photoshoot. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but while I was skimming through headshots today it suddenly dawned on me, that was what I was doing. I’m a casting director.
I knew in a split-second whether or not I thought the person in the photo was suitable or not.
I knew instinctively if the person should go on my ‘possible list’ to look at more thoroughly later.
Submitting to me, I’m a casting director
It also surprised me when I thought about it, a large number of the submissions were totally unsuitable. They either hadn’t read the casting properly or, they didn’t have a realistic view of their castability – their age range or their look. Or they just applied because they saw a casting.
This is a common issue with many actors – staying realistic and relevant. Age creeps up on us all, we can’t help it but as actors you should be aware of your headshot and how ‘real’ it looks in terms of your playing age. What is the casting director’s number one complaint – when an actor does not look like their headshot? It’s common sense to me and it’s something I talk about a lot. But so many actors fail to see the difference in the way they look and their headshots.
I’m a casting director at times but a headshot photographer all of the time. I take headshots that look like the people I photograph. I want my clients to succeed and they need an awesome headshot for that.
Also, actors have to be aware of the way they look (and be realistic about it). What kind of characters will your look play and just as importantly what kind of roles are you unlikely to be cast in?
Obviously, I had an idea of what I was looking for in my mind because I’m a casting director. That’s the way the process works.
This is exactly what casting directors do. They have an idea of the character in the role should look, the face they’d like to cast.
I initially looked a the headshots for a split second and then moved on. Knowing instantly they weren’t right.
Wow, I’m a casting director!
What this realisation did for me was RAM HOME the point of submitting the right headshot for the right role. I knew instantly if the person in the headshot suited my vision.
I also skipped straight past the headshots that had poor lighting or distracting backgrounds.
I might have briefly looked at some headshots and thought they were dull and boring. The actor or model within them was lifeless and lacked personality.
Why would I want to work with someone who presented themselves like that? I don’t and why would anyone?
The Headshot Conversation
This is why it is critical that your headshot has the three key elements that I talk about in my video The Headshot Conversation.
If you want your headshot to get you noticed (and who wouldn’t) make sure it is full of your personality, your eyes are connecting and expressing real emotion.
Make sure there are no distractions that draw the eye of the casting director away towards your clothes, the background or the poor lighting.
Remember you are the star of your headshot and it should be working for you.
Using a bad headshot or submitting the wrong headshot means you miss out on opportunities. You also run the risk of alienating a casting director. They may well remember your headshot because it was so bad or because you are 25 and submitted your headshot and CV for the role of a 45-year-old.
The point is every actor needs an Awesome Headshot. It opens doors for you, creates impact, makes people take notice of you and it boosts your confidence. If you are serious about your acting career then take a good look at your current headshot and learn how to analyse your headshot.
An awesome headshot will boost your opportunities, no doubt about it. If you take your career as an actor seriously then you should be presenting the very best image of yourself. And because I’m a casting director sometimes, I make decisions based solely on how you look in your headshot.