It’s Pilot Season| 10 Headshot tips

Here you are: Outfit Styled, Fresh Faced, Off-book. You walk into your casting with one thought:

“I need this, I want this. Have I done all I can do?”

Your greatest tool as an entertainer is transparency. Knowing what you have to offer, while presenting vulnerability, and range to bring a performance to life. A performance as authentic, as natural, as your own individual characteristics.

With that being said, shouldn’t your first impression to a casting team represent that authenticity? Yes! Your headshot and resume are at the forefront of your success. Resume tips are for another day. Today my friend, headshots are the focus.

Retouching: has the purpose to represent the subject in true form.

  • It’s not intended to alter your appearance. It’s intent, is to showcase the entertainer on their best day. If a casting team has the ability to pick out what retouching tools have been done, it’s failed the purpose.
  • Your headshot will remain with casting longer than your physical audition. Let the connection you form in your audition carry over into that headshot. Reminding the team what you have to offer.

Tips to take with you:

  1. Variety of headshots: As an entertainer, I can make the assumption you have range, yes? Here’s a tip: Have several styled shoots done. All for a variety of auditions.

Just as we can suggestively style our attire for a casting, we can style our headshot to resound the impression you intend to set while in person.

  • Casting, is essentially putting a puzzle together when building their cast.
  • That single headshot, is your place holder to success.
  • If you are auditioning for an alternative character: that shot, featuring bright pink top with the big curls, and ear to ear smile. That might not resound what you presented in person.
  • Now a “perfect shot” will be as dynamic as you are. However, styling if used correctly, can go a long way.

Social Media photos: We all have those photos that brighten our mood among our friends online. You’re feeling good, you take a “selfie”.

  • Save these shots for just that, social media.
  • Don’t let a poor quality or highly retouched photo anywhere near your audition.
  • Invest in an established photographer to capture you in your best light.
  • It’s always worth it!

Retouching included? It’s highly-likely the photographer you work with will, in fact, retouch all of your shots before releasing the content back to you.

  • Many factors go into getting the “Perfect shot”.
  • Retouching will balance any elements that took away from your natural appearance.  *Let’s say, the exposure did not capture your signature freckles. Retouching can bring that signature back to life, for example.

For men and women: When it comes to makeup, think about evening your skin tone.

*In addition, choosing flesh tone & natural shades to enhance what you already posses. Again, it’s about the version of you on your BEST day.

Hair styling: This goes hand-in-hand with suggestive styling.

  • Select what compliments theme of the headshot.
  • If your shot is styled as you in your raw form, showcase natural hair texture. Authenticity is never over-looked.

PEARLY WHITES: Now, this is personal. I’m a sucker for white teeth!

  • Did you know: It’s a psychological tool to enhance trust between two humans?
  • As opposed to someone with a less than white smile.

Tip: try rubbing Vaseline on your teeth before a shoot. The Vaseline will catch the light, reflecting it to enhance your smile!

Quality Printing: When selecting the quality to print your headshot, invest!

Now cool your jets Elle Woods! No need to add anything over-the-top.

  • Quality printing equates to an accurate image.
  • A quality paper for printing, and double sided printing go a long way.

*I attended an audition last year last minute. A woman at Staples treated me to a double sided Resume & Headshot combo. One was high-gloss, the other, card stock. I knew my information would be kept with my headshot if I made it further in the casting. Often, Actors will staple these two, why not go the extra mile-Be Pro-Active!

Storytelling: A picture is worth a thousand words, right?

Think of your headshots as a narrative. You can tell a story in your expression, and styling. If you wish to showcase versatility:

  • Then choose a top that flatters your skin tone & eyes.
  • That light behind your eyes is what C.D.’s are looking for!
  • Focus on a dynamic combination of emotion behind the eyes paired with contrasting facial express.
  • Example: Vulnerable eyes, and a smirk, Joy in the eyes, with closed lips: Get Creative!

Outside the box: Now, let’s say you like your “type-cast”. You only desire to project a certain image.

Every role is an opportunity to grow with experience.

  • Being “Married” to an idea can limit that growth.

Blank Canvas: That “Perfect Shot”, should allow for the casting team to project elements of their production onto you.

  • They can view you, as a performer, stripped down to your raw features.
  • Interchanging hairstyles, makeup, and costuming.
  • Have a single versatile shot that can stand strong in any casting.

*Now, take a look at our headshot we selected to showcase.

The above actress is shown in a beautiful light.

  • No doubt she is the focus, her features are clear.
  • You can project us characters onto her.
  • She looks dynamic.
  • With a headshot of this caliber, any CD, or CSA knows exactly how she will appear in her audition.
  • It’s her foundation to success.
  • Her performance will only build on this strong platform.

This, my friends, is Upstage & Chill’s: It’s Pilot Season| 10 Headshot tips. As always, if you wish to add your tips, comment below! or, if you need any advice or wish to request a topic: Click the link about to submit.


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