One of the most important tools for an actor to have is a good headshot. It’s like a commercial that entices a customer (the casting director, director, producer, etc.) to buy a product (the actor).
You want to have one of those super memorable commercials that will get people talking and remembering you – like the good ones they play during the Super Bowl.
I want the Old Spice man type of headshot – people think the current Old Spice commercials are so awesome they watch them just because they enjoy them. I want my headshot to look so good people look at it just because it’s great.
Without the headshot nothing else happens. No one will see you or know that you’re an actor available for work. A bad headshot doesn’t tell the casting director that you are capable of doing the job. And the competition is fierce, so your headshot has to stand out from the rest.
And that’s been something I’ve struggled with for my entire adult life – getting that perfect headshot. I’ve come close but I feel like it’s eluded me. How does this happen?
Headshots are the result of a collaboration between a photographer and an actor. It’s like making a baby – both parties have to do contribute half the DNA and the better their DNA (talent and skill) the more likely it is that the result will be a good headshot (not actually a baby unless it’s one of those types of photoshoots).
The photographer has to understand all the technical stuff about how the camera works as well as how to capture the actor’s personality with their lens.
The actor has to know how to emote, how to connect with the lens (an inanimate object) and convey who they are. It’s not an easy task, but that is essentially what a film and TV actor does for a living, so it’s an important skill.
So… you know, no pressure to get it right at the photo shoot.
Here are a couple of my new headshots – what do you think? Is the perfect headshot still eluding me or did I get it? These are not yet color corrected or retouched but they’re not far off from how the chosen ones will end up looking.