Los Angeles Headshots taken by Vanie Poyey

 

The short answer?  You!  A great headshot should represent you in your own market.  Pretty obvious right?  You’d be surprised how many actors transform their headshots into an ideal version of themselves and then wonder why the headshot isn’t working.

First, let me elaborate on what representing you in your own market means.  If you’re a young stud or a sexy lady, then your headshot should represent you as the leading man or leading woman with various character specific looks such as the “action hero.”  If you’re a character actor, then your headshot should represent you as a character actor with various character specific looks such as the “quirky best friend.”

Now let me explain how actors transform themselves.   In my experience, there are two ways this can happen.  One, an actor has a session with a photographer that idealizes his or her beauty and transforms him/her into a glamorous movie star.  Since you’re not a movie star… yet, you can’t afford to have your headshots misrepresent what you really look like.  Casting directors need to be able to envision you in your market, for five and under resume building roles, even if you play the lead.

Another way this transformation can happen is by overdoing retouching.  Don’t make your hair perfect, your skin perfect, and most importantly don’t get rid of smile lines!!  You’ll only be doing yourself a disservice when you walk into a room looking older and less perfect! Don’t let your vanity ruin relationships with casting directors.  If casting directors expect someone else to walk into the room because your headshot lied, guess what, that casting director will never call you back.

Keep your headshot real and looking like you with minimal retouching.  Worry more about achieving character specific looks that match your target market rather than a hair being out of place.  After all, a casting director only looks at your photo for 2 milliseconds before sending it to the yes pile or the no pile.

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