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What Type of Actors Headshot?


It’s truly amazing how many actors don’t know the type of actors headshot they need. They’ll turn up for a headshot session unsure of their role and the actor will leave all of the decisions to me. Including the all-important final decision, which headshot should they use as their main marketing tool?

As an actor’s headshot photographer in London who has photographed many thousands of actors. I can offer this advice regarding the right type of actors’ headshot they are likely to need.

What TYpe Of Actors Headshot by Nick Gregan Headshot Photographer

Tough Guy, Commercial, Quirky and American

There are several types of actors’ headshots. Some are more suitable for the UK market and others more relevant to the USA. When choosing your type of actors’ headshot here are some important things to consider.

• Do you want something with clean lighting or something with dramatic lighting effects?
• Would you prefer studio or outdoor headshots?
• Maybe you’d like something more commercial?
• Perhaps you want a headshot that is cropped tight or something slightly more glamorous?
• Consider the kind of characters and roles you can play and the headshots that suit them.
• Think of the type of work you want to do. Is it theatre, film, musical theatre, or commercial roles?

What type of headshot works best for the market?


Fun and lively, Spotlight Headshot and Dark and dangerous.

Whichever it is, you should pitch your headshot for that market.

Doing your research in advance about the style of headshot you want will make things easier for you and your photographer. Don’t be afraid to take an example of the kind of headshot that you like with you. Equally so, it’s the same if you’ve had headshots done before and didn’t like them.

You can take one of them along to show the photographer what you don’t want, or what didn’t work in the past.
Generally, the headshot that works best for most actors is open, friendly and natural. I call this my Spotlight Headshot

It’s imperative that you look like your headshot. And, that you choose a photograph that allows casting directors to see you as versatile. This encourages the casting director to ‘paint a character on you’. As opposed to limiting your appeal to a narrow role.

Character Headshots

What TYpe Of Actors Headshot by Nick Gregan Headshot Photographer

Character Headshot

I have to add a caveat to this as there are exceptions to the rule. If you have a very definite look. Such as Hugh Grant or Steven Segal for instance, we understand they are only going to be cast in a certain type of role. When have we seen Hugh Grant as a tough, dark and dangerous gangster or Steven Segal as a romantic lead?

Be honest with yourself. When you look in the mirror who do you see, ask yourself what kind of roles are you good at playing and what kind of roles do you look like? They may not always be the kind of roles you want to play or, more importantly the kind you get cast for! Try to see yourself from the casting director’s viewpoint.

You and Your Dreams

Your dream might be to play ‘Roxie’ in Chicago or ‘Joseph’ in the Technicolor Dreamcoat but seriously, if you’re not a great singer or have two left feet, be realistic and aim for a more reachable goal. You may well be a fantastic comedy actor and struggle to keep a straight face in a romantic scene, so be honest. Keep in mind, your headshot is your primary piece of marketing and you have to get it right. If you are a comedy actor then it’s not wise to use a headshot where you come across as dark and sinister.

In essence, you must look like your headshot and you must be realistic about the type of work or role you’ll be suitable for.

For lots more info including visit Nick Gregan Headshot Photographer in London




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