“I advise actors to direct their own shoot or else the photographer…will ruin it for them…”

[Headshots Sherman Oaks by Vanie]

Blog by Guest blogger Chille-Pacific Talent and Models

Ever wonder what agents think of headshots?  Below is a blog from Chille at Pacific Talent and Models.  His insight is invaluable and right in line with my philosophy!


The commercial industry has changed dramatically over the past couple of years.

Photographers are not sitting behind the submission button and reading what the casting directors and ad agencies are asking for.  Therefore, you end up doing GREAT headshots for 2006.

Before LACasting took over the industry, there was just this “Standard,” great commercial headshot.  GREAT for 06…sometimes the typical, great commercial headshot works– IF the person is dynamic, seriously hot, seriously quirky or seriously _____________… etc.

headshot photography

Tiffany Coyne: Young Ingenue

headshot photography

Zack Turnquist: Urban Edgy / Chloe Golden: Quirky Girl Next Door

Ya know what is REALLY being requested right NOW?

Quirky, funny faces–people who are not afraid to look goofy or funny or make awkward or different faces.

Retouching used to be a GREAT idea– not so much anymore.  Really!  Unless the client looks better in real life and the re-touching is trying to get the pic as pretty as they are, most of the time clients have a better chance booking if they look “Real, attractive but NOT A MODEL.  Approachable.”  That is ubiquitous throughout breakdowns.

Photographers simply do not realize how specific and down to the exact category LACasting has turned our industry.

I no longer call them “headshots” — I call them “Acting Shots,” because if the talent is not ACTING the entire time, they’ll miss it.

headshot photographer in LA

Vera Cruz: Leading Lady / Young Mom


I advise actors to direct their own shoot, or else the photographer, with only the best of intentions, will ruin it for them, because the pix don’t work in today’s market– NOT because the photographer is bad, but because they are not sitting behind the “submit” button that LACasting has all us agents pushing.

We are no longer agents, but computer geeks and picture pickers.


headshot photographers

Debbie Ware: Upscale Wife / Charmagne Saunders: Medical Professional

LA Head Shots

Tom Murphy: Young Intern

LA Head Shots

Joey Monasterios: Casual Office / Urban Student

If I sent you 10 breakdowns, ONE would say, “Send me a beautiful, flawless client.”  NINE would say, “Real, Character with personality.  Attractive, but not a model.” — guys or girls.

Even if their work is OBVIOUSLY top shelf, photographers are directing their clients in completely the wrong direction.  Then, adding to the problem by re-touching and making normal-looking people look flawless with perfect skin and a face that looks like it came from the heavens.

In reality, casting/ad agencies want the flawed person in TODAY’s commercial world.


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 Comment

  1. Seth Greenky

    Very, very good. But, if you have the option for your type, you can create your “idealized” self of you on your best day to have as an option for your agent or manager to use. I like having a variety of headshots on a client, from 3/4 to casual/suit/sporty, from looking really good to looking haggard and charactery, etc. The wider the range of photos, the better chance you have of being submitted for more roles. Think of how you would like to look for a date for someone you’d like to impress (that you can achieve) to heading out for an AM Starbucks run, a job interview, or a late night trip to the 7-11.


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