A black & white 8×10 headshot is a must have for all those who are aspiring actors or already actors hoping to move their career forward. Why black and white? It’s quite simple really. Firstly it’s a historical issue. Over many years the black & white headshot has become the industry standard. One of the main reasons, because it was easier for photographers to shoot in black & white due to the technology available at the time and the extra cost incurred when shooting colour.
Over that same time period casting directors and agents have become used to seeing a monotone headshot and have become comfortable judging an actors suitability from that type of print. Admittedly with the advent of digital technology these factors are no longer a real issue anymore.
Another point to consider is that with experience casting directors don’t have to think about the skin tone as an issue as you would in a colour shot as everyone looks similar within their ethnicity. The vagaries of colour printing mean that often the colour of a person’s skin or hair can appear one colour in the photograph and yet in person there is no relevance to the person in the shot, the printer may have added too much yellow or red to give an unusually warm tone, or too much blue to give to cool a tone.
Having black & white headshots also looks professional. There are very few chances to give yourself a professional introduction so taking a chance on using a colour print that may well have had some underlying colour enhancement. If your hair is almost white and your skin is pale, there may be a great role for you. But applying with a picture that has lots of yellow and warmth in the colours gives the impression that your hair is golden and you have a slight suntan may well be misleading.
The above points all bring you back to complying with the ‘golden rule of a headshot’ it must look like you!
Click here for my FREE ‘7 Secrets Of A Great Headshot’