Model/Actress: How to prepare for headshots

“I’m more interested in being good than being famous.”
Annie Leibovitz 

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Model/Actress: How to prepare for headshots and portraits

An Actor’s headshot MUST LOOK LIKE YOU…when you walk thru the door, right NOW!

Be prepared for your headshot session by knowing who you are and what you represent.  Once you know who you are and what you represent it will be easier to select the best wardrobe, pose, expression, etc.

Wardrobe – Prep several items based on the character types you represent. Rehearse in them in front of a mirror before your headshot session! Choose colors that do not distract from YOU, but rather enhance your skin tone, eye color and overall look. The shirt must draw attention to your face and especially your EYES. I recommend a first date outfit  and a dramatic outfit. Make-up should be simple, draw attention to the eyes and be natural, again the best representation of what you look like walking into an audition! Yes men can/should wear coverage (foundation) to hide/minimize blemishes.

Also, pay attention to posture and practice different poses, angles, expressions in the mirror or even take a few test/sample shots by using a tripod and setting your camera to the timer setting (the button that looks like a clock). Review the shots to see what works best for you and what you represent! If you are part of an actor support group, have a headshot day to help prepare for your next shoot. Ultimately you want your expression to be captivating. Something that pulls you out of the stack of maybes into the YES pile! It should show your personality. An accurate description of who you are. I personally get inspired by stories, monologues,  so come prepared with ideas that will evoke emotion from you! Be ready to express! Do your actor warm ups just like you would before an audition, class or on set!

If you have an agent, talk to them about what will help improve your marketing materials. What choices they like the best and find out what Casting Directors, Producers, Directors look for in a headshot and whenever possible how they see you (what roles would they bring you in for, what works about your current shot, what needs to change)! Find/research photographers in your area (including myself) to see who has the best chemistry and style and quality for your needs. Do not just look at price ranges, look at the lighting, composition, ability to capture emotion, etc.

Relax – come ready to shoot – stretch and if you start to feel tense ask for a moment to stretch, especially if you’ve been in one pose for a long time. It is important to be comfortable in front of the lens…comfortable with who YOU ARE, who you are working with and comfortable with your body! Being prepared is one way to become comfortable.

Have Fun!