Do you know the industry requirements for capturing headshots for actors?
The entertainment industry doesn’t operate on a standard resume the same way that corporate America does. In the entertainment industry, the very first thing to catch the eye of a casting directory will always be your headshots! That’s why, as an actor, you have to carefully curate a collection of headshots that display the essence of your character, in order to stand out for that dream role!
Hi there, I’m Aiva! A photographer based in Atlanta who has worked with actors across the nation. Over the last 12+ years, I’ve worked closely with actors to curate an unforgettable collection of headshots for their portfolio. During my time capturing headshots for actors, I’ve managed to land on the preferred photographer list of multiple big agencies, and managers. In fact, many agencies will send their clients from out of state, straight to my studio! But, it didn’t happen overnight and it certainly didn’t happen by chance. I spent my time carefully studying and working side by side with this industry. Learning, in-depth, what it takes to curate headshots for actors that meet the industry requirements. Headshots that will all but guarantee their success. I wanted to share the insight I’ve gained, detailing what makes a great headshot for burgeoning actors, so keep reading!
Headshots for Actors
Remember that casting director I mentioned? Your headshot is the very first touchpoint they will experience of your craft and what you have to offer! How will your headshot make or break whether your name goes into the yes pile or the no pile. And, if you’re wondering, they can absolutely tell if you’ve taken the time to work with a professional photographer to craft a set of professional headshots. Or, if you’ve taken them yourself with a ring light and a remote on your iPhone!
Believe it or not, there are strict requirements and key points that are considered industry standards for creating headshots for actors. This includes things like the use of color, background, size and layout, clarity of image, and display of character. You might also be surprised to know that makeup is a practical requirement for both men and women. Additionally, your headshots should be free of items that may distract from keeping your face the focal point. Items like chunky statement jewelry are usually a hard no when capturing headshots for actors.
All in all, what makes for a fabulous headshot is one that depicts you from the chest up. You should be staring directly into the lens with your beautiful eyes on display. Extreme close-ups are a major no-no and so is editing! Your headshots should depict what the director can expect to see when you arrive on set after landing that dream role. If you have freckles, wrinkles, or even a birthmark, now is the time to let them shine as part of you. Your headshots should be filled with the type of charisma that has your talent practically jumping through the photo! Curious to see what I mean? Keep scrolling to see more of the headshots I’ve captured for actors in my studio!