We need to make a definitive statement, “you need professional headshots if you are an entertainer in Boston.” Just because you are not in New York or LA does not mean that you should not take the entertainment profession as seriously as if you were. Truth be told, there is an extraordinary amount of entertainment work in Boston, even though there might be fewer movies being produced here than in other areas. If you aspire to get work in this field both in Boston or anywhere else, you are going to need to put forth a professional appearance that shows that you are serious about the craft. Also keep in mind that many times out of state jobs are going to seek entertainers from all over the country, so the work you might be applying for might not be local anyway. No matter what, you need to present yourself as a serious actor or entertainer, and the only way to do that is with a professionally done headshot and resume.
A headshot is your calling card, it is the way that producers figure out if you are right for their production. They are judging several things when they look at your headshot, first and foremost being that you have the correct look that they are seeking for this specific part. The only way to make sure that they can assess your looks is through clear and flattering photography that captures your strong features while downplaying your weak ones. Heavily edited or photoshopped head shots are generally not considered, because the producer does not want to waste their time with interviewing people that might not look the way they did in their photos. Keep in mind that once you are on a set and in front of a camera or audience, there is no ability to edit you in real time. Producers are not interested in how good you can look in a photograph, but instead they are interested in the way you really look. This means that the photographer must capture the real you by using only lighting and posing, and this is more difficult than you might think. The photographer also has to accomplish this goal using the standard formatting of headshots, and the standard types of poses. If you submit a headshot that is outside of the standard that is requested and expected, many producers will not consider you because they feel you may be difficult to work with. They might think that you do not take direction well, and shouldn’t be considered because of that.
Your headshot is a request for you to be considered for entertainment work, and it will be amidst hundreds of other ones just like it. If you give the person considering you a reason to possibly eliminate you, then you have defeated the purpose of the headshot. You want to get work, and the best way to do that is to have the best photographs taken and turned into headshots that you can. Boston is a serious entertainment town, and to be taken seriously you also have to take your presentation seriously. Get professional headshots done, or you just might be wasting your time.