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Your headshot is your most important selling tool. As such, it needs to stand out for all the right reasons and none of the wrong ones. The purpose of a headshot is to showcase that special quality that makes you unique in a natural and straight-forward way. For a perfect headshot, follow these headshot tips:
DO make sure your headshot looks like you! If the casting director can't recognize your picture, he might not remember your audition.
DO show your age. A casting director will not be pleased when a 35-year-old shows up if he's expecting someone in their mid-twenties. And if that doesn't convince you, imagine all the juicy roles you're absolutely perfect for as you are. Now imagine your youthful headshot being tossed aside.
DO hire a professional headshot photographer. The advice and trained eye of a pro during the shoot is invaluable.
DO strive to look natural. Come with your hair styled the way you normally wear it for auditions and with very light makeup. Ask if there will be a hair and makeup person available during the shoot.
DO update your headshot every five years or whenever you've undergone significant physical change, such as weight loss or gain.
DON'T try to hide freckles, moles, or wrinkles under heavy makeup or through awkward poses. This will come across badly on camera and isn't a true representation of who you are.
DON'T act in your headshot or pose stiffly and artificially. Ideally, you want your headshots to emphasize both your uniqueness and your versatility. Be careful not to lock yourself into a specific role. Headshots should capture your true personality and type in a naturally compelling way.
DON'T try to show off the most glamorous version of you. Casting directors want to know what you'll look like when you walk into the audition, not how fabulous you can be with the right clothes and makeup.
DON'T wear clothes that distract from your face. Leave the loud patterns and stripes at home. Opt instead for very dark or very light clothing with clean neck lines.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|