Professional headshots are one of the important investments for actors, musicians and performers. A good head shot is essential and can be critical to get you through that first stage of any audition, casting or interview process. Your headshot is your calling card and must create a great first impression.
Your headshot should look like you on a good day! Not air brushed within an inch of it’s life. Casting Directors or Interviewers will expect to see what your headshot portrays when you walk in the room, and will be disappointed if the reality is different. This is really important!
A good headshot will capture expression in your eyes and show off your unique features to their best advantage, even if you think they may be flaws, such as freckles or a crooked nose. Headshots should be current and reflect who you are now not what you looked like five or ten years ago (however good you looked then!), so they need to be renewed every couple of years.
Just a few years ago Black and White was the main choice for UK actor headshots. Recently there has been a huge shift to colour shots, more and more headshot portfolios are now solely colour images.
A growing trend is to include performance shots (or reconstructed candid type imagery) in your portfolio. This helps add a casting suggestion that sums you up or perhaps adds something that might not be obvious from your headshots. Full-length performance shots can also add more information about you.
I work with mainly natural light on-location (out and about somewhere).
We’ll have a phone call beforehand to discuss how we should work together, maybe you’ve had headshots before and we can talk about what has or hasn’t worked and what you are looking for.
Probably we’ll have some time indoors either in a venue of your choice or at your home, we’ll then take some shots there, then head out and have a walk and try and find some interesting backgrounds/lighting. This really can be anywhere – I find that interesting images can be made in the most inauspicious environments.
After a few days, I provide you with a link to an online gallery of my selections from our shoot. I will have removed any eyes closed, and other unsuitable images. You pick your selection from this contact sheet usually 40 images or more.
I’ll retouch the selected images, following any suggestions from you to remove any minor skin blemishes, stray hairs and make minor tweaks to lighting and colour. These digital files are supplied via download available as print quality and web quality. You can arrange prints through me or print your chosen images yourself.
Drink lots of water the week before our shoot. It’s amazing how much drinking water affect’s your skin.
Don’t drink alcohol the day before your shoot. It affects your eyes – making them look more bloodshot than usual.
Prepare your wardrobe – iron clothes, find those accessories and make sure you’ve got a hair brush, comb.
Make sure you can get to our venue for the right time.
Feel excited! Portaiture is a collaboration, if you want your headshot to look energetic and sparky – try to feel that way.
Don’t worry. I know that lots of people don’t like having our photo taken I’ll be able to give you some top tips and directions – but mostly I want us to enjoy our shoot, that will come across in the images, it will be fun!
Think about your casting type and how you want to represent yourself in your photos – remember your headshots need to represent YOU.
If you have an agent, be sure to check with them in case they have any specific looks they want you to do.
Simple, non-patterned (no checks/ no stripes) clothes. Avoid plain white tops. Wear clothes you are comfortable in.
Think about colours that compliment your hair/eye/skin colour- natural. Avoid wearing tops that will blend your face into your clothes. A fail-safe tip is to pick a top that accentuates your eyes. That’s why jewel tones work so well.
Feel free to bring a variety of different tops if you can’t decide and I can help you choose. Please wear a plain base vest underneath so that changing is quick and easy.