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For most actors, getting an agent or even a new agent is exciting news

because it means being able to audition for more high quality productions! Getting a new agent can also mean having to get new headshots.

Sure, sometimes it’s good to get new headshots and hit the road running especially if you’re due. Your new agent likely has a preferred list of photographers whose headshots do well for them. It would be wise to choose your photographer from that list.

BUT IF YOU JUST GOT NEW HEADSHOTS and your new agent still wants new ones? Well there are usually three reasons why a new agents asks for new headshots.

Ashley Tapia: Customer Service / Urban Hip / Student

One is that your headshots are of poor quality and your new agent can’t work with them effectively. If this is the case, then your agent would be well within their right to ask for marketing tools that are more effective in getting you auditions.

YOU’D BE WELL SERVED TO DO A RE-SHOOT with one of the photographers they recommend and at least give their request a fair try. You’re probably going to end up spending more money than you did on poor quality photos but as they say, time is money and the longer you wait, the more time will pass where you’re not auditioning.

Catie Smith: Grad Student / Blue Collar

Varak Kaloustian: Young Office Guy / Best Friend

THE SECOND REASON A NEW AGENT MIGHT ASK FOR NEW HEADSHOTS is because your headshots are not specific enough. I’ve written plenty of blogs you can read to learn more about specific looks.

If this is the case, you’d be well served with better, well thought out marketing looks in your headshots so they work for you.

What if you recently had a photoshoot

and you didn’t take shortcuts? You actually shot with a photographer who understands industry standards, your headshots are of great quality, and you got specific with your looks, but your new agent still asks for new headshots.

The third reason reps ask for new headshots is because the headshots you present to them aren’t what they’re looking for. I realize this is a vague statement but what this means is that although you did everything correctly, there’s one thing you didn’t do and that is, you didn’t present your new agents the big picture.

Hannah Shay: Upscale Business / Love Interest / Heroine

Ben Buehler: Blue Collar / Creative Professional / BBQ Dad

 

Mandie Hittleman: Office Girl / Bohemian Friend

Instead, if you took your headshots, say three months ago, YOU ALREADY CHOSE YOUR FAVORITES, retouched them and uploaded them to casting sites. With those headshots, you submitted yourself to casting calls as well as to potential meetings with reps. Once you signed with your new agent, you showed them the new headshots you picked out.

MOST ACTORS AREN’T GOOD AT PICKING THEIR OWN PHOTOS.

Vanity gets in the way and they end up picking the most flattering pictures of themselves for each look. This results in each look having the same expression the actor is partial to. So agents don’t feel as though they have a big enough variety to work with and ask for a reshoot.

Phillip Anthony: Casual Office / BBQ Dad

The best thing to do in this case is to be prepared to show a potential agent or a new agent your entire photo session by presenting them with a web gallery.

Pro photographers usually pay for services that provide web galleries for actors making it easy to view all their images and even pick favorites to compare side by side. Showing agents your images with tools that make it easy for them to browse and choose your headshots effectively is the key.

Rebecca Buckley: Creative Images / Heroine / Hipster

Sophia Palmero: Love Interest / Hipster – Artist / BBQ Mom

If this means contacting your photographer and renewing a recently expired gallery, do so! Don’t make the mistake of emailing a bunch of headshots to your agent because they don’t have the tools on their computer to view them all at the same time. Instead they’ll have to open each image one at a time and try to commit to memory, the ones they like the most. This is not an effective way of choosing headshots and it likely will result in your agent not looking carefully. Not looking carefully results in not choosing carefully.

YOU DON’T WANT TO MAKE THE MISTAKE OF sending them a Dropbox link. Dropbox is a backup app, not a photo viewing app. It simply backs up your images to the cloud. Dropbox does not allow you to view all the images large enough and upon clicking for a bigger view, each image is only viewable one at a time without the ability to pick favorites and compare them.

Paulette Mihale: Heroine / Love Interest

Making it easy for a new rep to see all the images from your recent session, one, makes it hard for them to ask for a reshoot and two, shows the range of looks you may have captured that they didn’t see in just the few you picked out for yourself.

So next time you get a new agent, be prepared to show them a web gallery of your latest photo session and save yourself the trouble and cost of having to re-shoot.

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