Written by Brian Brown for THE ARTISTS FORUM MAGAZINE
Edited by Amos White V for THE ARTISTS FORUM, INC
Photos: Courtesy of Brian Brown
HOW TO TAKE A WINNING HEADSHOT
If “Hollywood” is your middle name because you dream of making it on the big (and small) screen, learn how to take a winning headshot. Your look or type is the first thing a casting director considers when deciding how best to fill a role – whether it’s the lead actor or a perfect addition to the background. So, optimize your opportunities by following these simple steps.
1. Assemble your wardrobe. Once you’ve sacrificed enough designer lattes and saved the dough to hire a professional photographer, assemble your wardrobe.
Put together an ensemble for each of the two standard headshot looks utilized for theatrical and commercial work, casual, a polo, t-shirt or oxford shirt with jeans or khakis, and business attire.
Wear non-distracting solid-color tops that work well with your skin tone and limit suit options to black or navy. Avoid patterns, logos, or writing of any type (this includes ties).
2. Color photos only. In the past, black and white headshots were acceptable but now color is the industry norm. You’ll eventually enlarge your favorite photo to an 8”x10” size.
3. Strike the right pose. You’re camera ready, and it’s time for your close-up. Which pose is best? To the left or the right? The answer: neither. Refrain from posing at an angle. Face forward, chin up, looking directly into the lens. This body language exudes confidence and instantly connects with the casting agent, which translates into a higher percentage of auditions.
4. Work that smile. Speaking of more auditions, add a smile to that outfit. It’s the secret ingredient to making your headshot a winning one. Keep in mind that a smile is effective with or without showing your teeth, depending on your comfort level.
Now you have the basic guidelines for achieving a stellar first impression. Good luck and – break a leg!