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What Is A Plastic Headshot?

By January 23, 2013June 21st, 2017No Comments

Another question could be ‘does your headshot look as though it’s been computer generated or as though your skin has an unnatural look to it?

Many actors headshot photographers make the mistake of over-retouching headshots. They often produce beautiful photographs with smooth skin that appears almost glass like, yet these heavily retouched headshots are often unsuitable for an actor. They often lack the detail that gives an actor’s face character, the character that shows the viewer who that person is, and most importantly how that actor can express themselves.

How many of us have skin without blemishes, without different tones or a face without movement –  that’s right none of us. Over and over again we hear Casting Directors and actors Agents stress the fact that a headshot should look like the person. Does a headshot with computer generated skin actually look like them?
I think retouching is an important skill for a headshot photographer but I think it’s crucial we enhance natural features rather than obliterate them. The other question I always ask myself when I see actors headshot where the skin looks plastic and unnatural is “does this actors headshot actually help them get auditions or will it in fact restrict them?”

After all, the main focus of a headshot session is to produce a set of photographs that help an actor to get noticed by Casting Directors and Agents. What happens then if they then take note of the headshot for the wrong reason, because it is so obviously retouched. Does this leave a lasting positive impression or possibly impact negatively?. We have all heard the saying ‘you only have one chance to make a first impression’. Lets make sure that it’s a great first impression.

a bad actors headshot retouching

A deliberate example of too much retouching leaving the skin unatural and plastic looking

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