A Good Headshot

Your headshot is one of the most important factors in getting you an audition.  Even if your agent makes a great pitch, the casting office won’t bring you in unless your headshot looks like a fit for the role.  That said, it’s worse to get called in based on a headshot that doesn’t resemble you than to not get called in at all.

The all-around most important thing about your headshot is that it looks like you.  If your headshot doesn’t look like you, then you’re wasting your time and the casting office’s time.  Sure, it’s tempting to choose the photo where your nose looks small or your face looks thin.  But once you’re in the room, it will be painfully obvious that your headshot isn’t exactly honest.

Remember, casting directors aren’t necessarily looking for cookie-cutter beautiful people.  It takes a lot of different types to fill out a cast, so looking like yourself and not like everyone else will often give you an edge.

However, that’s not to say that it isn’t okay to retouch your picture, or to choose one that’s flattering.  In fact, if you can, you should do both!  Just make sure it’s still you.

When you do shoot your headshots, you’ll want to get the most out of your session.  That requires plenty of preparation.  Think about the different types of roles and genres you’re right for, and consider what type of look will best tailor you to those roles.  Perhaps you’ll want some bright, colorful headshots for comedies, and some more serious, traditional headshots for dramas.  Don’t get too elaborate with set-ups, locations, or wardrobe, though.  Simplicity in a headshot is always good.

If you’re new to being in front of the camera, work in the mirror or have a friend or family member snap some test photos beforehand.  Notice what works and what doesn’t.  This will reduce the number of photos you’ll have to toss out, so you’ll have more winning shots to choose from.

Above all, the best headshot is the one that will get you and your personality across to a casting director in a single glance.

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Taylor Reid

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