The Expert’s Eye For A Headshot?
How long does your headshot have to impress a casting director? A couple of seconds? A split second, maybe? Can your headshot stand out from the crowd? Does it have the WOW factor? What exactly is the WOW factor? And how do you catch an expert’s eye for a headshot?
Well, it’s the expert eye of a casting director that’s going to pick out your headshot from the crowd, or equally importantly, it’s that same expert eye that’s going to ignore your headshot and blow your chances of getting to an audition. That is if your headshot isn’t good enough.
What Is The Expert’s Eye For A Headshot?
So what is the expert eye in terms of a headshot photographer? Well, it’s being able to ensure that their client’s headshots have the things that casting directors are looking for in a headshot…
1) Good connectivity with the viewer.
2) A twinkle or sparkle in the eyes is good, but more importantly… emotional content in the eyes is better.
3) Personality – remember there’s a whole crowd of other actors who want that gig, too.
4) Suitability to play the character.
…When all these are combined, they produce the WOW factor.
Delivering The ‘WOW Factor
As a headshot photographer based in London. I think it’s crucial that I advise, encourage, direct and cajole my clients into producing the elements that make up an awesome headshot that exudes the WOW factor!
I always like to be honest with my clients. Whether it’s helping them choose their headshots from the 50 or 60 great shots they get from me during one of my sessions. Or, whether it’s discussing their castability and the type of roles they’re likely to play. Believe it or not, there are some actors who have no idea of their castability and the roles they are suitable to play. There is no point in telling an actor in their mid-thirties that they look like a teenager. Or, an actor with a soft, friendly face can play a hard, edgy character.
It’s not my job as a headshot photographer (even though I have the expert’s eye for a headshot) to dash people’s hopes. But, I consider it part of my job, to be honest, and realistic with them. Even to suggest certain types of roles they may not have thought about (this has worked really well for some actors in the past).
The Headshot Photographer’s Role
As a headshot photographer, I believe it’s incredibly important that I do all I can to help my clients to get some awesome headshots that portray them as real believable characters. Characters actors are comfortable with and feel they can play well.
And when they submit a headshot for a casting (providing they submit the right type of headshot for the role) they have a realistic chance of getting to the audition stage.
Obviously, once they get invited to audition the headshot’s job is over and done with. It’s then up to the actor and their acting skills to make sure they bag that part!
Having the expert’s eye for a headshot as a headshot photographer is offering good sound advice to my clients to help them move forward in their acting careers.