Headshot trends change–stay current!

[LA Headshot Photographer Vanie]

This is a blog I like to bring back from the archives

every once in a while, only because as the title suggests, headshot trends change and well, so does this blog and my images!

Before digital, there was film, the mystery of black and white, and a whole lot of freedom. Those were the days when I didn’t have to accommodate the demands of internet directories, forcing headshot photographers to frame tighter, taking away the ability to use the subject’s body as a means to communicate.


Rachel Langdon: Mom / Katie Chan: Traditional Chinese / Meghan Caves: Fitness

Those were the days when a 3/4 image was perfectly acceptable, because there was no such thing as a thumbnail that made the head too small.

Ah, those were the days.

And of course, there was black and white, which made everyone’s skin look perfect and added an element of mystery that simply isn’t there with color.  Back then, none of my male clients needed to hire a makeup artist!

Actors Headshots

Emily Cunningham: Sexy Girl Next Door / Hipster

Corporate Photos

Lachlan Halliwell: Tech Geek / Edgy

2003/2004 WAS WHEN DIGITAL REPRODUCTION MACHINES made color headshots financially accessible to actors.  Prior to that, labs had to use a printed 8×10 photo to make a large 8×10 negative, which they then used to reproduce the image from.

Because color reproductions from those negatives involved a more elaborate process, it was too expensive to reproduce, so headshots were in black and white.  Digital machines changed headshot trends forever by introducing affordable color.

Hollywood Headshots
Julia Veeh: Quirky Office / Katherine LaVictoire: Sassy Office

Theatrical Headshots
Alex Aouad: Hero / Best Friend

Headshots for Acting

Janelle Doté: Girl Next Door / Young Professional

Shortly after the color headshot was introduced, directories the likes of which include Casting Networks  and LA Casting were born.  These directories brought with them the end of 3/4 images that incorporated the body and environment, because headshots were essentially reduced to online thumbnails that casting directors can look through QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY.

It took a while for photographers to shift gears, but we soon realized that if we wanted our images to pop online and to be effective for actors, we had to essentially shoot traditional portraits.   As long as the internet is here to stay, this trend is also here to stay.

Acting Headshots
Jennifer Kelly: Business / Bianca Chung: Office

Acting Headshots

Alexa Russo: Girl Next door / Elliot Ferrer: Villain

CURRENT HEADSHOTS NEED TO BE PHOTOGRAPHED so that casting directors perusing these sites can clearly see your face before deciding to move on or to click on your thumbnail.

With digital cameras being able to shoot upwards of 22 megapixels, including HD film, every little detail on the face is visible.  This means that not only do men need makeup as well as women, but photographers need to work with TALENTED MAKEUP ARTISTS with the skills to apply makeup generously while still making you look natural.

Best Headshot Photographer

Alex Knox: Love Interest / Quirky Business

Throughout this blog, I have samples of headshots labeled with corresponding marketing looks. Below are some samples going all the way back to black & white!

If you learned something, share this post and “Like” it!


Below are some examples of 3/4 images I shot back in 2000 with black and white film– yes, FILM!!

Below are some of the images I produced starting in 2004.  As you can see, compared to today, there was a whole lot of body and background!


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. Tom K.

    No person in this or any other country produces better work in this genre. Period. You want the best then go with Vanie Poyey. Game over.

  2. Kayvon

    You kill it every time, Vanie. I need new pics.. I think we need to talk.


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