The 7 Essential Components of a Great Headshot

Headshots are like actors’ business cards. They are your #1 marketing tool as an actor so make sure they are spectacular. A great actor photo is everything because it will get your foot in the door and further your career while a bad actor photo has the potential to ruin your career.

Your photograph must make an immediate impact on those who see it. As they say in this industry, casting directors and agents like to see actor headshots in Los Angeles that “pop.” While there is no specific formula for creating a successful actor photo, all great ones have a few things in common. Here are 7 essential components of a great actor photograph.

1. A great actor headshot focuses on the subject of the photograph and expresses his or her potential for a part. There is no wild clothing, hairstyle, or jewelry to distract from you in the photo. The photo also has to be technically perfect with no shadows or distracting backgrounds to take attention away from you.

2. A great actor photo brings out the best in you without looking unnatural or staged. Actor headshots in Los Angeles should be flattering but not at the expense of reality.

3. Headshots must focus on your eyes, reveal your personality, and tell a story. In order to get a casting director or agent’s attention, your photos must express something unique. Find a photographer who can help bring out your best qualities in a shoot.

4. The pressure to create great headshots in Los Angeles can be overwhelming because you only have a few hours to create photos that will essentially make or break your career. This pressure is understandable but in order for your photos to “pop,” you must appear relaxed, comfortable, and at ease. Look for a photographer who is easygoing and whom you feel comfortable with so you can look and feel your best in your photos.

5. In great headshots, actors connect with the viewers. Achieving that visible level of communication with the camera requires the expertise of a competent, experienced photographer.

6. Great actor photos do not have overly dramatic lighting and distracting backgrounds. Actor photos are meant to show how professional and serious you are to casting directors and agents.

7. Most importantly, great headshots in Los Angeles require great photographers! Do your research and talk with several photographers before deciding on one. It’s important to get a sense of how a photographer works. A shoot’s atmosphere will largely determine how your photos turn out so make sure you feel at ease with your photographer.

Head shots that possess these qualities will dramatically improve your chances of success in the acting world. Don’t settle for mediocre actor photos when you market yourself to casting directors and agents. Make sure your photos make a lasting impression by carefully selecting a photographer who truly understands what a great headshot consists of and who is capable of bringing out your best qualities.