Tips for a Great Headshot

Whether you are an actor needing a headshot for auditions, or a professional needing a headshot for publicity purposes, here are some definite dos and don’ts you should follow.

The Photographer

The first decision you will have to make is who to hire as your photographer, and hire you must. This picture will be representing you in your profession for the next several years, it should be high quality and professionally done. Don’t hire a friend, a photography student, or a photo studio inside a mall.

Instead, find a professional studio for actors headshots in Los Angeles, CA. Make sure that your photographer does this for a living and you will not be their first, second, or third client. Examine their portfolio and ensure that they know how to light you well, different skin tones have different lighting needs. Remember that you are the boss, and see if they will work with you on the time of day, and location that you, not they, want.

Hair and Makeup

Remember that your headshot needs to be authentic. No one will recognize you at a board meeting or audition if you show up looking like a non-airbrushed version of a glamour shot. Directors and casting agents especially want to see an authentic representation of your look. Your headshot is meant to highlight what type you are, wrinkles, freckles, and all.

Keep hair and makeup to a polished minimum. Ladies should wear natural looking makeup, and wear their hair like they would to an audition. You want to look like you on your best everyday looking day, not like you’re getting ready for a wedding or prom. Men can use a thin tinted moisturizer to help reduce redness, or oil blotting sheets to keep shine at bay.

Clothing and Style

You should wear a solid colored (not white) shirt that makes your eyes pop. It is a good idea for your shirt to have no graphics and a little texture. If you are taking a business headshot you should avoid stripes or patterns. Thin stripes and patterns can distort when used in electronic media. Many business photos get converted to black and white, so pair light and dark colors together not light with light, etc.

When it comes down to it, a headshot is about you presenting your best face to the world. Don’t present someone that you’re not. If you never wear ties, don’t wear one for the business photo, likewise if you wear glasses, wear them. And if you are working with a studio for actors headshots in Los Angeles, CA, make sure they will be able to capture your own unique and authentic look.

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