Headshot Rules You Should Ignore

Acting Headshots

[Best Headshot Photographers Los Angeles by Vanie]

Can I wear bright lipstick in a headshot?

Can I wear hats in a headshot?

Is jewelry allowed in headshots?

Is a scarf okay?

Can I wear bold colors?

Should I not wear black?

The list of questions about headshot do’s and don’ts is endless and yet actors falsely believe there are a set of rules they need to know about before taking headshots.

Julia Burgland: Girls’ Night Out / Edina Szabo: Girls’ Night Out


Well, okay, maybe a couple of technical rules such as headshots these days need to be closeups and shot in portrait orientation for casting sites. Oh, and maybe the fact that they need to be in color. Only because black-and-white headshots might make you look dated.🤷🏼‍♀️

Katherine Stein: Waitress / Hip Mom

Lecia Papadopoulos: Upscale Business – Judge, CEO / Boho Therapist

The fact is this.

THE PURPOSE OF A HEADSHOT is to clearly and effectively show your reps and casting directors the roles you are right for. Each look should be within your brand and get you auditions for the right roles.

Nikhil Prakash: Professor / Upscale Hustler


Peter Mastne: Anti-Hero / Office Guy / Suburban Dad

Once you wrap your head around the purpose of a headshot

being a business card and not just a nice picture of you, the answer to all these questions becomes very clear.

If your choice of accessory, or color or hair or makeup etc. serves to clarify the look, then the answer is yes! If your choice of say, a particular hat, is a choice simply because you like that hat, then you’re on the wrong track.

Ryan Bravos: Best Friend / Gamer

Shanelle Riccio: Best Friend / Brittany Grenus: Lawyer or Boss

Barbara Horvat: Skater / Bohemian / Anti-Heroine

STOP before picking out your wardrobe and accessories and ask yourself if that particular piece adds to your purpose.

If the answer is yes, then go for it.

So don’t try and memorize a whole set of rules that doesn’t really exist!

Betsy Beltran: Love Interest / Heroine / Teacher

Judith F. Thompson: Upscale Socialite / Creative Professional Boss


I love helping you by putting out this free information (often written on weekends and evenings) so please help me spread the word by commenting and or sharing this post on your social feed!🙏🏻


  1. Dami

    So helpful! Thank you.

  2. Cherie Mendez

    This is SO helpful!! Thank you!!

  3. Michael Pagnotta

    Thanks Voney…this is AWESOME! Michael

  4. peter abbaj



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