Many actors have lots of questions when it comes to the ‘correct’ way to do headshots. We’ve all been there and, as the market continually changes with technology, it’s more confusing than ever.
I’ve compiled a little list of helpful advice based on the most frequently asked questions. Please remember, this is simply a guideline. Only you and your agent can decide what is your best approach.
1. Check with your agent or manager. They are there to help you book jobs. Discuss what looks they want – i.e. your ‘type’. If you look like a football player odds are they aren’t submitting you to be Harry Potter.
2. Google. Google ‘headshots’. Google ‘actors looks’. Google loves you. Google is your best friend. Google will never, ever leave you – unless your internet goes down. Then you’re on your own.
3. Wear plain color shirts – earth tones are best. No white, no logos, no crazy patterns, no spaghetti straps, no bright colors unless your agent wants to see some – shoes won’t matter. I will shoot some ¾ length just so you have them but jeans or nice pants/skirt will be fine for that. Remember, ¾ length can be cropped to a headshot.
4. Hair and makeup is not included. If you know someone, feel free to bring them. This is not really necessary for men. However, everyone should bring a comb/brush, lip balm, etc. Keep it simple. I do have some makeup artists I work with. Contact me.
5. Look for expressions and poses you like ahead of time and send them to me in email. This is about you, selling you, so you need to be comfortable. (I promise not to make you hold a spider or anaconda, maybe).
6. Location – We can do indoor with studio lighting (when available) or outdoor with natural lighting. I have a ring light for all styles.
7. Parking – Depending on where we shoot there may or may not be a fee for parking. Any location, including residential, it is your responsibility to pay attention to the incredibly complicated signs about which side of the street you can park on for cleaning and what hours if the moon is in alignment with Pluto or such.
8. Length of shoots – This varies depending on the package you choose. It can be as little as half an hour or as long as three. Please plan accordingly. I will give you an estimated length upon booking. So if you have tickets for the Stanley Cup finale at 7 please do not plan a three look session for 6:30 – and if the Flyers are playing and you do that, I will use your tickets.
9. All those under 18 MUST be accompanied by an adult or guardian. NO EXCEPTIONS.
10. Deposit – Yes, a $100 non-refundable deposit is required for all shoots. Why? Because, and I know it’s hard to believe, people just don’t show up. Or they’d rather go surfing or sleep in (which that one I completely get) and assume I can magically fill their spot through E.S.P. Sadly, my E.S.P. skills are lacking. However, I do understand the life of an actor and I recognize you may get called for an audition with little notice. I would never make you skip an audition for a shoot. If that is the case call me ASAP and let me know. The deposit will be transferred to a future date so long as the rescheduled shoot is within a month of the original date. The deposit is only transferable once. 24 hours notice is generally required but exceptions can be made. If you just don’t show and don’t contact me the deposit is not refundable nor is it transferable.
11. Bathrooms – this may seem like a silly thing to add to a FAQ list but as a coffee drinker, I know how important this can be. There is no guarantee of an accessible bathroom if we are shooting in a park or alley or such so please plan accordingly.
12. Have fun! – Above and beyond all else this is the most important aspect. If you have any questions that haven’t been answered here please feel free to contact me at [email protected].