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 -Knowing what you have to offer. If you strive to live truth under imaginary circumstances your create a performance as authentic as your own individual characteristics.

With this goal, shouldn’t your first impression to a casting team represent that authenticity? Yes! Your headshot and resume are at the forefront of your success. Today my friend, headshots are the focus.

What is the purpose of a headshot?

To showcase an actor on their BEST day.

Where to start? Your type-cast, and age range. This allows us to enhance what you present. Who you are as an actor.

From there, get a price range together. Headshots are an investment! Find photographers who specialize in headshots for actors.

Find a style you’re drawn to, right now the “cinematic headshot” is the big trend.

Get to know these photographers on Social media or research their work and process. Many will have a “before we shoot” checklist to reference. Some packages include makeup, if not, look into an artist for that day OR practice looks at home in preperation.

Select photographer, pay deposit and get to hydrating and taking care of yourself in preperation.

Here are some factors to consider:

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.

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.

Range of Shots:

  1. Variety of headshots: 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. With an evolving industry, many sites: your agents page, imdb, actors access, 800 Casting etc. Offer a gallery for actors headshots. This is a fun way to present variety in express to stylized work.

  • 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 a bright pink top with the big curls, and ear to ear smile. That might not resound what you presented in person. It’s in your wheelhouse, but save that for something commercial perhaps.


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!

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. When working with an artist, always vocalize your preferences arts collaborate on the look!

Hair styling: This goes hand-in-hand with suggestive styling. Your photographer will make recommendations.

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.

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! You won’t always have chemistry with a photographer,  so create it with the lens.

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, just as we do the work before we memorize. We build on layers.


I know you’re going to nail your next headshot session!



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