SoCal Headshots
Home »
Guides »
What Makes a Good Acting Headshot

What You Need To Know About Acting Headshots

Los Angeles Actor Headshots

If you are an aspiring actor looking for a shot at success in the cutthroat Los Angeles entertainment scene, then you need to know that acting headshots are a crucial marketing tool that you need to invest in. The moment it becomes clear to you that you are ready to pursue a career in acting, make sure that you have a set of cheap (at the very least) headshots done and start applying for spots on casting websites. Simple snapshots are generally looked down upon as they are considered unprofessional, so avoid using that snapshot of you your friend took with their iPhone at all costs.

Acting headshots are the first thing casting directors look at when perusing through submissions. If your headshot catches the casting director's attention, you have already passed the first test; now all that is left to do is impress him or her with your demo reel and acting resume. Actors that have a weak; resume, but whose headshots are outstanding, have better chances of getting called in for an audition.

Casting directors and agents pay close attention to acting headshots and consider how professional they look. Through headshots, CD's can tell how well actors understand the industry and read, is the person a pro or an amateur?

For the best acting headshots, consider working with a professional Los Angeles Actors Headshots Photographer. Why? Since professionals understand the intricacies of acting headshots and will guide and advise you on what you need to know. Even if your budget does not allow for an expensive shoot, most headshot photographers can still provide a cheap headshot option; while a bit limited, you'll still be getting quality work done. For more information about acting headshots, get in touch with us and let us guide you through the process.

What is an Acting Headshot?

It is likely that you already know that an acting headshot, commonly referred to as a headshot; is a photo of an actor or person from their chest up with the focus primarily on their head. In the acting industry, headshots are usually high-quality photographs taken by professional photographers and aren't the same as ordinary snapshots.

Headshots are every actor's number one marketing tool, and there are many reasons why you should consider investing in having quality headshots done by a pro headshot photographer. They are an actor's marketing and branding around the industry and play a vital role when it comes to getting noticed, and being called in for auditions. At the same time, they are the best way for CDs and agents to remember specific actors for future work.

As earlier stated, headshots are the first things to be considered by casting directors and talent agents - and most will only look at your showreel and resume only if you fit the part, looks-wise. Since there is very little that you can do about how you look, the main aim is to have the most professional-looking headshot of taken. You will be surprised by how easy it is for experienced CDs and agents to spot cheesy photographs and how they quickly put them off. Your aim should be to make sure that your submission isn't thrown into the bin straight away.

Headshot Standards

The standards that define the quality of acting headshots are quite strict; especially when you plan on using color headshots. As an amateur actor looking for screen glory, you might not understand the photography-based technicalities that make up a great headshot, but casting directors, who see hundreds of headshots a day, love photos that speak volumes and tell the person's story; just from a glance.

The acting industry has high standards, and the criteria here in the US are a bit modern compared to those in the UK. As an aspiring actor in Los Angeles, it is essential that you know the standards that define the casting of new actors. This will help ensure that you get professional work done.

Acting headshots are not something to get weird or creative with; that could lead to your photos getting thrown into the trash since it would be apparent to the agent or CD that you are not up-to-date on industry standards. For this reason, it is essential that you work with a professional Los Angeles Actor Headshots Photographer that understands what CDs and agents are looking for and you have come to the right place. Give us a call and work with people who understand Los Angeles; casting standards.

Layout and Size of Headshots

Actor's headshot photos usually are eight by ten (8x10) photographs; the industry standard in the US. It is crucial that you never use headshots smaller or larger than this.

Headshot photographers usually take photos in both horizontal/landscape position and vertical/portrait position. Both are acceptable, and neither one is superior. However, in 2019 we have began to photograph headshots for our clients in a horizontal orientation because they are much easier to use in different layouts. For instance, we can easily crop horizontal photos vertical, and they allow for better placement throughout social websites.

Taking Good Headshots

Whenever your headshots are being taken, there are several things that you need to remember if you want them to stand out. Keep in mind that you are trying to create an image of who you are in real life and how you look; acting headshots aren't for your modeling portfolio, so try and look as natural as possible.

Here are a few key points to remember when getting acting headshots:

  • Avoid having piercings in the eyebrows, nose, ears, or anywhere else you usually have them
  • Slight make-up is advisable for both men and women (but do not overdo it - it should be just enough to conceal imperfections)
  • Avoid accessories (hats, jewelry, necklaces, etc.) other than prescription glasses
  • If you usually wear glasses, take a couple of headshots with them and a couple without
  • Avoid busy clothing (that is clothing with many different patterns and colors etc.) instead wear a plain-colored shirt that brings out your facial features

What Makes a Good Headshot?

Good headshots do the following:

  • They convey a message about who you are and what you are bringing to the table
  • They represent you - the real you, how you look on your best day
  • They are neutral, which keeps your options open
  • They focus all the attention on you
  • They make the relevant people consider picking up the phone and calling you

Muted or Bright Colored Headshots

When it comes to headshots, it is worth noting that color matters a lot. In the US, black and white headshots are considered outdated and are unacceptable. Apart from picture quality, we advise you to always go for bright headshots. That way, you have better chances of getting cast. Why? The reason is that colored headshots provide more information and highlight your most important features, whereas muted or black and white ones look dull.

As a professional headshot photography agency, there are several factors that we take into account to ensure that our clients get the best shots taken. One of them is the choice of colors. The use of wrong colors might take the viewers' attention from the subject matter - which is your face. For instance, most people have warmer skin and hair tones, so it is important that the hues used don't take away the viewer's focus.

Let's say you have blue eyes and you wear a blue shirt, a lot of people will wrongly assume that the shirt brings out your blue eyes. But that is like saying white makes white stand out. The truth is, it is your warm skin tone that contrasts with your eyes bringing out their blue. Meanwhile, the shirt stays out of the way. But if you were to wear a purple shirt, that's add more color, forcing the viewer's eyes to digest it instead of focusing on your face.

Another essential thing to be considered when working with color headshots is the difference between tone and hue. While the hues used are essential, there is also the brightness of color or sound to be considered. Varying tones in images are as significant as varying hues. For instance, a fair-skinned actor wearing a bright shirt in a high-key and super bright background might look a bit washed out. Such an image would look flat since there is no tonal contrast.

Colors and setup matter a lot, and that is why you need a professional with the right eye and an understanding of color, depth, and styling to get the job done. As a headshots photography agency, we have professional stylists and a complete wardrobe on hand to ensure that everything looks right and that what matters the most pops out. Nevertheless, it is your responsibility to come prepared with the tones, contrasts, colors, and hues that work best for you. But don't worry, we will be right by your side to help you make the right choice.

Acting Headshots Cost

As a professional headshots agency, several factors determine how much we will charge for a headshot session. These factors include:

  • Length of the photoshoot
  • Whether you are using one of our makeup specialists or not
  • The number of images/shots you want
  • Number of looks you are going for
  • If you wish to have your headshots retouched

If you need professional acting headshots and live or work in Los Angeles, check out our gallery of actor's headshots. If you like what you see, contact us now and let us help you create a headshots portfolio that will make you stand out from the rest.

Los Angeles Headshot Photographer SoCal Headshots // 26007 Huntington Lane, Suite 10, Valencia CA 91355 // 661-309-1208