We embarked on a journey last year that had us combining the histories of Hollywood and Photography, both of what encompass our brand and our field. Each month this year we will showcase a photography piece from this project and tell you a little bit about it. Here is Miss Tracy Z. Francis who we transformed into the legend Billie Holiday. These photos were done in studio and required a look back into lighting and cameras of the time. We think she captured the spirit of Billie both on stage and the underlying sadness that surrounded the legend. This coupled with the mood we recreated gave us brilliant photos.
Actors have a love hate relationship with the concept of headshots. It’s a funny thing how many people approach getting headshots done like going to the dentist or doctor. This phenomenon is mostly something we see with adult actors. Kids generally can’t wait to step in front of a camera. Love it or hate it, as an actor, it’s part of the job, and a pretty major part at that!! If you are one who dreads the annual appointment, (or every six months if you are under 18) then today’s blog is for YOU!
Pilot Season! I feel the panic that just arose in you with just me saying those tow exciting scary horrible and wonderful words. Well, it’s on the horizon and the prepared actor will start thinking about things now. Yes, NOW. Start by looking at what the industry is up to these days. What shows are hot and what types of things will be likely to see as new projects. Then start thinking how you are going to fit into that picture. If long hair is really in (and it is on both guys and girls) start growing it now so that come January, it’s at a length and style that you like. What image do you want to portray in your headshots? Work on it now so come pilot season, it’s natural to you.
Photo Shop….ha…see what I did there? Photoshop…Photo Shop. HA! OK, seriously, window shop through headshots. See what makes a particular headshot effective or not. Look at magazines and advertisements and see how certain ‘looks’ really speak to you. If you want to be REALLY bold…cut them out and study them. Even bring them to your photoshoot and explain to your photographer the looks and feels you are going for. Truly, this is a collaberative effort between actor and photographer. The more communication you have, the better. Doing your research, you come prepared and will give a lot more to your photoshoot. The stress will be off because you took control and know what you are getting from the appointment. Talking with the photographer and showing him what you are going for will help him out too. In the end you will end up with better photos for the process….and heck, you might even ENJOY it!! 🙂
Since the HEADSHOT is the most important tool in your acting bag, let’s take a few minutes to talk about how you get ready for your appointment. We all know you should get a good night’s sleep and drink plenty of water but here are a few other tid bits you may not have thought of and you should… This way your appointment is the very best it can be.
*Don’t eat red meat 48 hours prior to headshot appointment (dark circles under the eye…ooo bad)
*Schedule appointment for when you are the most energetic in the day (NOT a morning person? Then don’t bring your crabbiness to your headshot appointment)
*Come with BASIC make up only (cover up, base, light mascara, chapstick)
*Pack a water bottle and healthy snacks for energy boost if needed
*Brush teeth prior to appointment (seriously…I don’t even want to tell you why this is on the list but it is)
*Don’t wash hair right before appointment (Day old dirty hair usually styles better. Notice day old, not manky greasy, I need a shower old) Along with this, don’t show up with wet hair either. (I know you are laughing right now, but it needs to be said. Arrive with hair styled and ready to go.
Follow these simple steps and when the time comes for your appointment, you know you are fresh, ready, and good to go!
So there is always professional terminology being thrown around. Everyone likes to feel important and ‘in the know’ and be able to throw around flashy lingo. Here’s the skinny on the word of the day “Looks”.
A LOOK is a change in outfit and hair. When you book your appointment, you will be told how many looks are included in the appointment. It is important to differentiate how many looks you bring, will be taken, and how many will be touched up and ready to print. For example, we tell our clients bring a bunch of clothes but plan on 3-4 looks for an appointment. What happens (and it has) if someone brings four outfits and they are all the same color? Or same shirt in four different colors? Or my personal favorite, four different ties. If you bring a BUNCH of clothes, we can make the most of your time with different combinations of things you probably haven’t even thought about. Remember, a headshot is just that, focused on the HEAD so don’t bring four pairs of pants. Instead, bring six tops and layers. For bottoms, wear jeans in its cool, shorts if it’s hot. Unless we are doing a three quarter length shot, who cares what’s on your legs!!
You can be an absolutely amazing actor, but no one will appreciate your awesomeness and on camera genius until they see you. A great HEADSHOT has become a necessity in today’s acting market. It’s an odd conundrum as people hem and haw about spending money on headshots. I understand this. These days it seems everyone is saving money where they can and I don’t blame them one bit! The issue comes in with the old attage “You get what you pay for” and if you are getting your headshots from Joe Nobody on Craigslist, you have no idea what you will end up with. Your headshot is the first impression CASTING gets of you. If they aren’t any good, you aren’t getting past the front door and so there you will sit…at home…with all of your amazing talent…in front of the TV, instead of on it. So, do you need headshots? The answer is YES!!!! Do you need quality headshots? The answer is, well, that depends on what your goals are and where you are going….but hopefully the answer again is YES!!!
Here’s some questions to ask yourself when thinking about headshots…
Am I ready to take my acting to the next level? (Then your headshots better reflect that YES you are now yelling)
How many different shots/looks do I need to get? (This is answered by your team of representation and conversation with your photographer)
What photographer do I go to? (One that you CLICK with and will work with your needs and budget!)