If you’re a budding actor, or a veteran looking to re-fresh your personal brand, then an updated headshot is a must. I’ve worked with loads of agents and actors, so I’ve complied my most asked questions about an actors headshot shoot…
Where does the shoot take place?
The majority of our sessions take place in our studio located in Como, Sydney. Here at the studio we have a full service professional studio as well as gorgeous Hamptons style deck for those natural light and “in situ” editorial style shots. We also have a beautiful garden. If your needs require something different, we are available to go on location for a small fee.
What do I wear for my session?
You should bring plenty of options to the shoot, we will go over it before hand and here’s a link to my Personal Branding eMag that contains my pricing and loads more top prep tips, but here are some pointers for you to get you started:
Always bring clothes that match your style and personality.
Avoid black clothes or white clothes, they tend to lose detail in some photographs. Look for charcoals, navy and creme’s instead.
Stay away from clothes with busy patterns. Solid colors are best.
Make sure any clothes that you bring are clean and neatly pressed. This goes double for collared shirts and suits. The camera picks up a lot more detail than you think.
Blue Jeans always look great on camera, unless they are dingy and torn. For headshots your lower half won’t make it in to most of the pictures, but don’t neglect to pick out some good pants for the shoot.
Make sure to dress comfortable but classy, v-neck and u-neck sweaters and shirts are great. For women tank-tops are always good, stay away from clothes that are too tight or uncomfortable.
Collared button down shirts are great, a solid color with a crisp-clean white shirt underneath for the men and a stylish solid color for women. All shirts need to be clean and pressed.
Be rested and drink plenty of water the day before your shoot, it is amazing for your skin.
Don’t bring any jewelry or props; the shoot is all about you, not accessories.
Any color is great for tops, but remember that bright colors can draw away from your face so pick something muted that matches your eye color and skin tone.
What about hair and makeup?
Hair and makeup is not included in the session fee. Most of the time men can get by without using professional hair and makeup, but we recommend a powder or foundation to help even out skin tones and to keep the face from looking shiny and is helpful if you have fair skin or are prone to redness. You can pick up a powder in your color at any department store, we recommend the MAC counter or a beauty supply store where you can get professional help picking the right color.
For women we always recommend professional makeup. A professional makeup artist knows how to make you look your best for the camera.
You can bring your own makeup artist to the shoot, or we can book our favourite HMUA’s that we work with all the time and love!
Our studio is open for you to have your hair and makeup done before your session, just make sure to let us know when you schedule your appointment.
How long does it take to get my images?
For most headshot sessions our turnaround time is three business days to get your gallery of images. Once you make your retouching selections it is typically another two to three business days before your final, edited images are delivered to you. If you have a deadline and need something even faster, be sure to let us know when you book.
How much retouching do you do?
Straight out of the camera your images will be pretty much ready to go. We use the right lighting and posing techniques to make you look your best. Before we deliver the images to you we sort through and ditch any of the blinky or blurry ones, color-correct and crop them.
You can order images to be digitally retouched as an add on to your session. Each image you order is then given the highest level of attention to reduce and remove wrinkles and blemishes as well as stray hairs and dark circles. The key is to enhance the image without making you look fake.
Getting a facial several days to a week before the shoot can ensure that your skin will look its best. It is important for you to look natural, and too much retouching can make you look fake.
It’s my first time, what kind of acting headshots do I need?
As an actor, the type of shots you need is going to be determined by a few factors including your market (where you live and work), your type (what you look and act like), what you want to audition for and more. Here are a couple of things to consider.
- You should always consult your agent on what you need. They have experience in the industry and more importantly, they know what you need to book more jobs.
- If you don’t have an agent yet then by default you want to get a clean, simple, commercial headshot. Basically a smiling, looking-at-the-camera head and shoulders image with minimal retouching to show potential agents and casting directors what you look like.
- Remember that the majority of casting for film and television, at least in the early stages, is done online. Casting directors look at an array of small thumbnails to determine the initial round of auditions so it’s important that your headshot is impactful and close up. A small thumbnail of your whole body from head to toe will make your face a lot less visable at that size.
- Don’t worry too much about specific character shots unless directed by your agent. Your two basic looks will be commercial (upbeat and happy) and theatrical (more dramatic).
If you’d like more information about your headshot, you can contact the studio or download our eBook