So you want to see if you might be able to get a job in the entertainment industry. Everyone has been telling you for years that you have what it takes to be an actor or a newscaster, and now it is time to see if you really might be able to get a job in the field. The first thing you are going to need to do is get a resume together with all the pertinent information about any experience you might have, and the second thing to do is to get some headshots. Your friend takes pretty good pictures with his iPhone, so that should be fine right? Wrong.
Headshots are a staple of the entertainment industry, and are required for any casting call that is going to position you in front of an audience or a camera. The reason is quite simple, the director or casting agent needs to know what you look like in order to decide if you are right for the part. Headshots do a lot more than just showing what you look like however, and they actually convey more about you as a performer than you think. The standard headshot is a series of posed, portrait-style photographs that show your face and some of your body from various angles. The way that they are shot, the lightning and makeup, and the skill of the headshot photographer will all come into play in order to make you look your best, while also minimizing your flaws. We do not necessarily want to completely hide them, as they will be obvious when you get to the casting call. We simply want to play to your strengths while minimizing weaknesses in your appearance. We are not going to rely too heavily on photoshop or post production here because the agents want the photographs to look natural. They need to see you the way you really look, and they really don’t want you to waste their time by presenting yourself in a way that isn’t going to translate when they start filming you.
Headshots also show that you take the craft seriously, and are a professional. Anyone who is actually serious about being an actor or an actress is going to invest in the best headshots they can get, because this is the only presentation you are going to get in order to potentially move you to the casting part of the process. By producing a headshot that fits the standards of the industry, and shows the agents what they need to see, you are illustrating the fact that you are easy to work with and know how to take direction. You are showing that you take yourself seriously, and that they can invest in you with their money and time. The iPhone shots may be ok, but they are not going to show that you are serious enough to take a chance on.
Understand that casting calls are about weeding out all the potential candidates who are not right for the job, and presenting an amateur headshot is a perfect way to tell them that you are not serious. Don’t waste your time of theirs, get professional headshots done and take yourself seriously as an actor.