A great headshot is one that looks like you on a good day and represents what type you will be cast as. Great headshots grab attention.
Actor’s headshots are one of the most important marketing tool. Think about your type, your strengths, your castability. If you can clearly define the way you want to be perceived, you’ll have essentially a brand identity. You are a business and your customers are the casting people, the agents, managers, directors and producers.
Tips before you shoot:
Research the photographer’s websites and look at their work. Are they a headshot photographer full-time or someone that just picked up a camera? Look at their portfolio and see if they shoot types like you. Pick at least 5 photographers to compare, 10 is better.
Speak to the photographer to get a sense of who they are and if you get a good vibe over the phone. I think this is very important since you are spending a lot of money. Ask questions about where they shoot, how long is the shoot normally, costs, make-up, indoor or outdoor or a combination of both. They key here is to ask as many questions as you need. Much of the information is on their sites but talking to them will help you get a feeling for the person.
Know your intentions of what you want out of the session before you get to the shoot. Do not expect the photographer to know what your type is. This is your job!
Be clear about your brand and castability. Know thyself intimately.
I help actors and individuals select clothing, hair styles, and do the back ground work to have a clear vision of what is desired. I have seen people spend $1000 for a photo shoot and not like the finished product because they thought the photographer would have magically know what they wanted. It doesn’t work that way. In the long run doing the necessary prep before the shoot is the key to saving time, money, and could mean the difference in booking the job.