Preparing For An Acting Headshot Photography Session
As the date of your photography session gets closer, give yourself a few days to think about hair and clothing. That way you will be more confident with your choices and still have time for a last-minute brainstorm. Schedule your photo session to account for your cycles of sleep, medication or exams, and allow plenty of extra time to spend at the studio. Also, give haircuts a few days to fall into place, and shave your face (men, and women when necessary, please) at a time that leaves you neither too rough nor too red. The morning of your session, get a good breakfast and read the paper. Then go wash your face and apply some moisturizer to replace the skin oil you just scrubbed out. Under no circumstances should you stay up late, party or drink the night before your session, even if you are not scheduled until late in the afternoon. You just can't get away with it.
Drink plenty of water. The water will help your skin to appear smooth and clear in the week leading up to your headshot session. Also, if you arrive overheated and sweaty you'll have to cool down before the photographer can begin to shoot. This is simply because your photographer cannot shoot an actors headshot when you are glistening, as this will show up clearly as shiny patches around your face. Worse still if you are perspiring heavily, this will show up clearly as beads of moisture and ruin your actor's headshot.
Another thing to think about is the photographer's time. Arriving late or not being ready to shoot when you do arrive, can lead to rush or shortened sessions as the next client may be arriving shortly. I allow a minimum of one hour for each appointment as this leaves plenty of time for late arrivals, stress on arrival and in some cases a reluctance to have a headshot done.
Who Should Take Your Acting Headshots?
A photographer, who is familiar with the conventions of the talent headshot business. Your local family portrait studio is probably not right for the job.
What Is An Acting Headshot?
It's an 8x10 photograph of you, with your name on it, as you look right now, showing how you connect with the camera. The more professional your headshot, the better represented you will be in the industry. The director wants to see 2 things from a headshot: What you really look like, and if you can connect with the camera. The style of your headshot does not matter. But, simple is better. The photo should be about you, not the background or the environment or a photographer's fancy tricks. Producers want to see if you're professional
Remember, it’s all about the eyes!
How important are the eyes? They are critical to making your headshot stand out. The wow factor! The eyes define a person. They are the windows into that person’s soul. The eyes are one of, if not the single most, important parts of a portrait photograph. It is the first feature noticed. It is also one place where a little post-processing can really make a portrait shine. And your "theater" look is the closest to your natural self in the most positive sense--when you are rested, relaxed in a positive frame of mind and raring to go. For this shot feel free to let your own personal sense of style come through, within the bounds of how you are likely to be cast.