Your Acting Headshot Should Be Opening Doors For You!

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So you’ve decided that you want to become a Hollywood star that wins an Oscar award someday… That’s great! But where do you start? Well, the first step in your journey (before you decide to move to Beverly Hills or L.A.) will be to take a professional actor headshot that will help you get acting auditions. Please don’t make the mistake of calling your classmate who has a decent camera, if you want to get big roles in films, you need to be willing to invest in hiring a professional photographer that takes pictures of you in a studio setting.

You may ask yourself, “But these headshot studios are so expensive!” and although you’re absolutely correct, you also have to be honest with yourself: If the quality of your headshot is amateurish do you really think that you’re going to get call-backs? Casting directors don’t have all the time in the world, they are some of the busiest people you’ll ever meet and often times they have to run around and manage hundreds of people including the producers who are funding their film. As the famous old saying goes, “Time is money”. Casting directors have a strict budget and one of the most tedious tasks they encounter, is having to go through the portfolios of thousands of actors who might all be equally talented or suited for a limited amount of roles in the movie. Acting in general for film as well as theatrical drama, is a very competitive field. A professional headshot is a great addition to your acting portfolio (this applies to both union and non-union actors), and it may even help you land junior artist roles that you can use to build your network in the industry.

The most important thing to remember is that your headshot should convey a story regarding your personality. It’s like a momentary snapshot of you in your most raw, and authentic form. We recommend our clients get a combination of portraits as well as headshots, ideally with at least 2-3 images of them showing different emotions like anger, happiness etc. A good photographer will be able to make you feel comfortable on camera so you can express these emotions with ease. If you’re trying to get a certain type of role, please have a discussion with us prior to the session so that we’re both on the same page. Both positive and dark emotions can easily be conveyed through the use of body language, lighting and backdrops. Smiling on your headshot is great and a good smile is noticeable in the eyes. A professional photographer can give you advice on how to achieve this result! You can view some of our acting clients’ headshots in the past to get some ideas of what we offer here at Hazel: Entertainment Headshots Portfolio and Creative Portraits Portfolio.

Once you have discussed your brand with your photographer, you’ll have a better understanding of the roles that suit your unique look. With this knowledge, you can tell your future acting agencies what type of film/theatre/television listings they should find for you. A good headshot will help you attract a trustworthy casting agent, it’s as simple as that. If you are a newcomer in the film industry, it’s crucial that you constantly stay aware of being taken advantage of: Any casting agent that asks you for a base-fee, is a red-flag and your suspicions should automatically rise. Professional casting agencies only receive income on a commission basis, and that fee is a percentage of the revenue you make from performing a role.
Now let’s imagine a quick story for a minute: John wants to get the role of a police officer so he decides to wear a police outfit to his session. Is this a good idea? Your first answer might be yes but in reality, this was a terrible decision that John made, because what if the casting director finds someone else whose appearance fits into the officer role better than John? Also, after looking at John wearing the police officer costume the director will have developed a false impression of John; in other words, it will be hard for the director to visualize John in any other roles! When coming to your headshot session please dress as neutrally as possible, so that you can show versatility. Although you might not get the role you initially desired, the director might be able to see you in another character’s shoes instead!
We are located in Mississauga ON, and we are one of the finest portrait and headshot studios near Toronto. If you have any further questions about professional headshot or portrait photography, feel free to contact us at: 647-787-6761 or email us at info@hazelstudio.ca.
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