Home  |  About Us  |  Contact Us
Basic Headshot Guidelines
Share ThisPrintable Version

by Aimee Mitchell
A headshot is used for many reasons, but being an Actor (whether experienced or not) you need a good headshot to supply to your potential employer. Your headshot is used by casting directors, casting associates talent agents, directors and producers to simply give them a picture of you before they decide whether or not you are right for the role they have been advertising.

Your headshot is primarily a photograph used by casting directors who use your photo as a way to see who they may be hiring for work in their next piece of filming. It is, put rather simply, a photograph taken from the shoulders upwards - so, a photograph of your head and neck, with perhaps a little bit of shoulder thrown in. However, in the last year or so, 3/4 photos, photos taken from the waist up to show a better overall picture of yourself, have come into vogue. Yet, the standard headshot remains the most popular style.

Okay, so your actor's headshot should be a particular standard size that most people in the industry use - 8 x 10 inches in size. However, sometimes with movie extra work, the casting associate or extras casting agency will just require a 3" x 5" photo. Depending upon the type of job or audition you are attending, you might want to ask which type of photo you should supply.

At a point where you might be seeking just movie extra work, then a standard photo will suffice. This can help keep the cost of your headshot to a minimum. The best photos are those that are not staged, however, there is still a requirement for your headshot to appear professional.

Your headshot should be a recent photo, so that casting directors can see how you look right now. You can supply your actor's headshot in black and white or color if you prefer, as this is fast becoming the industry norm.

I have to add at this point that my actual opinions at this stage are that if you are only just starting your acting career then you should really be concentrating on saving yourself some money and not paying a professional to take your headshot. I say this because it is all too easy to succumb to paying a 'nice price' on one photo that might have to be changed the next time you cut/color your hair. Remember this potential employer of yours - he wants to see how you look right now, not six months ago when you were 5lbs lighter/heavier!

As a final word, please remember that your actor's headshot and resume together is the most important tool that you can possibly use when it comes to finding work. The more time you spend finding out about how to take your headshot, the more likely you are to be successful with that particular casting. Good Luck.

Aimee Mitchell is an acting coach, short story author, community theater director and playwright. She has spent the better part of her adult life working with young actors and actresses.

Copyright © Aimee Mitchell. All rights reserved. Used with permission of the author. Not to be reproduced or distributed.

Related Acting Tips

More Acting Tips by Aimee Mitchell

Reader Comments
No comments exist yet.
Be the first to post a comment on this page.

Post Your Comments

No HTML, links, emails, phone numbers, addresses, or profanities please. (Message Rules)
Email Address: (not shown)
Verification code:

I am under 13 years old.
I am at least 13 years old or older.
Click Here to visit the Young Actors Area

Home  |  Acting Tips & Advice

Bookmark and Share

 Better with You  Blue Bloods  Boardwalk Empire
 Burn Notice  Californication  Caprica
 Covert Affairs  Crash  Criminal Minds
 Detroit 1-8-7  Dexter  Doctor Who
 Glee  Glory Daze  Good Luck Charlie
 Hawaii Five-0  Hellcats  House
 Law and Order: Special Victims Unit  Leverage  Lie to Me
 Men of a Certain Age  Mike and Molly  Modern Family
 Nip Tuck  No Ordinary Family  Off The Map
 Private Practice  Psych  Raising Hope
 Saving Grace  Shake it Up  Smallville
 The Bill Engvall Show  The Chicago Code  The Cleaner
 The L Word  The Mentalist  The Middle
 The Vampire Diaries  The Walking Dead  The Whole Truth
 Warehouse 13  Weeds  White Collar
  Disney Channel Casting Calls and Auditions for Kids and Teen Actors
Many Disney Channel and Disney XD shows are currently in production and are now casting principal acting roles and extras! Show Include: I'm With The Band, JONAS, Sonny with a Chance, Hannah Montana, Wizards of Waverly Place, Zeke and Luther, Suite Life on Deck, Oops! Plus, Disney Channel Original Movies and Feature Films Camp Rock 2, High School Musical 4, Avalon High, and Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie.