Things to think about for your Acting Headshot { Hudson Valley Acting Headshot Photographer }

August 16th 2021
Things to think about for your Acting Headshot { Hudson Valley Acting Headshot Photographer }

Hudson Valley Acting Headshot Photographer Pete in the Studio natural studio light

Whenever I work with actors I try and walk them through a few things they should know about their headshots.  A lot of the people that come to me, aren’t exactly seasoned veterans, so I often times have a chance to really help people out on their headshots.  I also love being able to take my experience in fashion photography and really apply it to making some awesome headshots.  Here’s some things to think about.

1. Color or Black and White?

So a lot of people don’t understand the history here.  Back in the day it was much much cheaper to print black and white headshots.  The ink was much cheaper, so a lot of actors went with this option.

These days though color and black and white prints cost basically the same.  Luckily for you, I will send you back a color and a black and white version of all the finals that I deliver after I’m done retouching your headshots.  I do suggest that for theatrical performers they stay with the black and white version.  If you’re looking for more commercial, T.V., or movies, then I would say go with something that’s color.  That will make sure you stand out in the sea of headshots.  For some reason for theatrical performances black and white is still the industry standard.  Not sure when that might change though.

2.  Glossy or Matte?

I think a shot can look it’s best when it’s printed on glossy paper.  Although the problem with glossy paper is that it’s typically harder to write on.  And if the people in the audition are going to be taking notes on your headshots, then I would suggest something with a matte finish.  Also be careful to print just a few first to see if you like them one way or the other.  You don’t want to have purchased 100 prints only to find out that you really don’t like the way the matte finish looks.  Even better than the matte finish though is Lustre finish.  That’s somewhere in between glossy and matte, and it gives you the best of both worlds.  The thing that I really don’t like about glossy prints is that they tend to glare quite a bit, and they collect fingerprints like a little picture magnet.  Which typically you’ll notice when your hands are a bit sweaty and nervous at an audition and you go to hand them to the casting director, and already you have a bit fingerprint on them.  Also whenever there’s natural light in the studio they really look fantastic, as opposed to glossy where the print has a ton of glare on it.

3. How often should you update your acting headshot?

I like to tell my clients is to keep them fresh.  You should be updating your pictures every 2-3 years at least.  Keep in mind how quickly fashion changes.  You know those cargo shorts you still have?  Or maybe that velour jumpsuit?  Yeah you should get rid of those.  I will certainly try and point your shots in a direction that will stay classic for as long as possible, but you also don’t want to look to corporate in your headshot.  Keeping modern is a fine line to walk.  Seeing as how much I stay on top of fashion because that’s a lot of what I shoot, I promise I’ll be able to guide you.

4.  Your resume on the back of your headshot.

So most people attach a one page resume to the back of their headshot.  The difference between the amateurs and the professionals is that they actually trim their resume.  You don’t want to look like a noob.  Headshots aer typically printed at an 8x10, so you have to manage the margins on your resume, and then you need to trim them accordingly.  You can always have kinkos do this for you, but don’t hand a casting director a headshot with a resume that isn’t trimmed.

5. Bring Extras to your audition!

I always try and tell my clients they should have a stack printed and ready to go.  You never know when you’re going to get a last minute call for an audition.  Most of the people I’ve talked to say that you should bring at least 5 to every audition.  You never know who all is going to ask for one.  And if you don’t need all those, then you’ll be able to use them on another casting.  It’s always better to have too many than too few.

Those are some tips that I could think of right now.  I’m sure I’ll think of more later.  Of course if you’re looking for a great [Hudson Valley acting headshot]( Valley-Headshot-Photographer.aspx), please check out my portfolio.