Why Are There No Eyes in This Actor’s Headshot?

I was searching a well know casting site today and came across a headshot of a guy that was taken outside. I noticed it in particular because it was a similar style of shot to one that I do for some of my clients that works really well. A shot that most of my clients really love.

When I looked at this shot one thing jumped out at me – THERE WERE NO EYES – what I mean is that the poor actor’s eyes could not be seen. They were simply large black holes in the face of the actor. (Great for a Zombie movie but useless for everything else.)

I have written many times on how important the eyes are in an actors headshot. They are critical to making your headshot stand out, they are the main focus of the photograph and contain all the emotional content.

Why hadn’t this photographer noticed that there was not enough light on the subjects face, why hadn’t they used some kind of reflector, was it they couldn’t be bothered or didn’t understand the concept of lighting.

Which leads me to another point. Maybe the photographer was part-time or cheap or a friend, either way they should have known that they weren’t doing justice to the subject or themselves. More on this in another article.

Back to the main point. Why didn’t the photographer do something about this, AND more importantly why didn’t the actor realise that his eyes couldn’t be seen and say something to his photographer AND just as important why would he use this headshot to promote himself?

Didn’t he realise that his eyes were the most important part of the shot? didn’t he understand that he was selling himself short in this ultra competitive market where you only have seconds to impress?

I also wondered if he knew about this stuff and if his photographer had ever mentioned or knew themselves how important the eyes are in an actors headshot?

I am saddened when I see this kind of poor photography, partly because it brings my profession into disrepute but mainly for the actor who has wasted their money and is unknowingly promoting himself with a headshot that is doing him no favors at all. He should be on the phone asking for his money back – not a reshoot in this case as the photographer clearly does not understand on of the most fundamental rules of photography.