Table of contents
Share Post

Tips for Captivating Acting Headshots, Elevate Your Craft

A headshot is the most essential tool you have to market yourself. It is surprising how many people need help to save money. If the actors themselves don’t take it seriously, how will casting directors? When your headshot blinks across the screen of a casting director, the first thing you want them to say is, “hell yes, get that person in here!”. On the other hand, you don’t want them thinking, “Oh gosh, they look scary AF.”

Your headshot, or acting headshots, is like your own personal billboard. It’s an amazing 8×10 photo of your face that people will use to hire you and make lots of money. This photo will be sent out to agents and casting directors, who see hundreds of people like you. But here’s the thing – your headshot needs to stand out. If it’s not good, you’ll look bad. You want to show them that you’re a professional, so how you look in the photo is really important. You can’t just use any old camera or go to a random place to get it done. And don’t even think about those fancy backgrounds from the flea market guy. Nope! If you want to be taken seriously, you need a killer, kick-ass headshot. So, let’s make sure it’s amazing and send it to Grandma to hang on the wall!

Please keep these things in mind when you’re considering having your headshot done:

1. Use A Professional For Your Acting Headshots

Be willing to spend some money—you won’t regret it. A professional headshot photographer specializes in this, someone trained and knows how to light people and does this to feed their family, not Aunt Sally, who has a friendly camera and knows nothing about photography. Post them on Instagram, not your professional bio. Good headshots can have a broad price range depending on the part of the country you’re in. Going to a cheap photographer will likely be more of a mugshot than a headshot. If your headshot looks like it costs $25, you look like you don’t take your career seriously.

2. For Actor Headshots, Choose Personality Over Glamour

People detest unpleasant surprises. Avoid excessive retouching or Glamour Shots in your acting headshots. If your photo lands you in front of a casting director and you appear significantly older, wrinkles and all, it won’t bode well. Embrace your authentic self, showcasing your current age on your best day. In my mind, I’m still 23, but reality says otherwise! People crave the genuine you, not an imagined version. Ensure your actor headshots reflect who you truly are.

3. For Acting Headshots, The Eyes Are the Most Important

When it comes to acting headshots, the eyes are crucial. They reveal what’s happening behind them and give you a moment to shine. An experienced headshot photographer will ensure your eyes are focused, energized, and captivating, avoiding any sense of zoning out. Intentionally adding intensity to your gaze can help you stand out from the crowd of others. A skilled headshot photographer knows all the tricks to bring out your best in actor headshots.

4. The Perfect Lighting, Composition, and Background For Actor Headshots

For acting headshots or actor headshots, a great shot is primarily focused on the chest up. Ensure good lighting on the face with minimal dramatic shadows, unless the desired roles call for such a look. Three-quarter or half-body shots can work well for print, but avoid extreme close-ups. Maintain direct eye contact with the lens, as if peering into the photographer’s soul. Avoid including hands, funky facial hair, or peace signs in the shot. If shooting outdoors, blur the background to make it unrecognizable or nearly so. This will allow you to stand out on screen or in print. Remember, having famous landmarks in the background won’t add any value. This is all about showcasing you.

5. Studio or Natural Light

Some headshot photographers possess the skill and knowledge to capture both types, yet they evoke different vibes. Shooting in a studio yields a more polished appearance with a light grey backdrop. Both approaches can be incredible when executed correctly. For actors aiming for sitcom roles, an evenly lit studio headshot is recommended. On the other hand, if you’re going for a crime detective look, an outdoor setting would be more fitting. Therefore, when it comes to acting headshots, choosing the right style and location is crucial for actors to showcase their versatility and capture the essence of their desired roles.

6. Clothing and Props

To stand out in your acting headshots, it’s important to focus on your eyes and maintain a professional and classic look. Avoid adding unnecessary accessories or props, as simplicity is key. Opt for a solid shirt with a complementary texture, avoiding graphic tees or solid white. Remember, wearing a police uniform in your headshots doesn’t mean you’re limited to those types of roles. By following these guidelines, your actor headshots will make you noticed for all the right reasons.

7. Don’t Use Tons of Makeup

A lot can be done after your session with retouching, so there is no need for a bunch of makeup. Looking like you do on your best day is the goal, not that you’re trying too hard. Style your hair like you would for an audition; be yourself. It’s a good idea to bring blotting paper to reduce any shine. Some people apply too much makeup to find out they don’t like the results.

The Perfect Studio For Actor Headshots

Aside from acting headshots, we also have theatrical headshots and commercial headshots under it. Make sure to follow the tips above for the perfect professional headshots for you! Choose a photographer that you like and does excellent work. Connecting with the photographer will allow you to become more comfortable. This will show in the finished product. Do some research in your area to find out who would be best. These photos may last you a couple of years. With this, you can always count on Zen Studios LA. We provide the best professional headshots in the area, including actor headshots. Book your headshot session with us today!

Mich Angela Pinili

Stay in the loop

Subscribe to our free newsletter.

Related Articles