|First 2 bad and rest 2 good headshots. Try to find out why?|
How to Avoid Bad Headshots and Other Pictures in Your Portfolio
Do’s and Don’ts
- With regards to looks, you DON'T want “character” shots, for example, literally dressing like a cop, doctor, etc. NO PROPS EITHER! This is an insult to the casting directors and will get you laughed out of this business.
- You want 3-5 GENERAL LOOKS that can suggest multiple roles or essences!
- For example, a business suit look can suggest, lawyer detective, secretary, business person, etc. A casual look (jeans and T-shirt) can suggest high school, college, blue collar. An upscale casual and brightly dressed look can suggest young parent, preppy, white collar, etc.
- These 3-5 looks you choose should be based on how you know you REALISTICALLY well. If you're a woman in your late 40s you're most likely not going to win dressing like a college student. If you're in your late teens or early 20s, a full business suit won't help you that much, maybe a slightly unbuttoned dress shirt and a trouser/ jeans...
- Have one, for auditions for commercial/ Ads. It’s usually smiling and brighter colors. For film/TV, have one, which is usually a bit serious/intense expression and muted colors. Of course, there are exceptions to the rules.
- Your headshots need to look like “you” on any normal day!
- Do NOT wear makeup or style yourself in a fashion that would make you look too glamorous ie. As if you're trying to be sexy at a party or at a restaurant..
- It's important that your head and upper torso ( from waist up to head) are clear so agents and casting directors can fairly judge you physically.
- In India, 5X7 or 4X6 is standard size. Not anything bigger or smaller may not be appreciated. Abroad, it is usually 8X10 sizes. Write your name, age, height and contact details on the back. In India, pasting resume at the back is usually not required.Ensure that ball pen ink should not smudge the photo paper at the back. Buy such a ball pen beforehand.
- Have either a white or black border surround your photo. The full bleed (no border) is also good and tacky.
- No glossy! Get matte or pearl finish (non glossy). Most indoor lighting tends to reflect off glossies making it difficult for the agents and casting directors to see.
- No busy patterns or jewelry that will take focus away from your face.
Tell your photographer to avoid
- Too close shot. Don't get it cropped too close to where people can't see your body. At least your upper torso should be visible in your shots so CDs/Agents have a fair idea of what you look like physically.
- Shooting you at weird angles, especially angles that would distort how you really look.
- Silly poses. Head shots are supposed to be as natural as rain. Making stupid poses will just make you look stupider.
Such common inappropriate poses include-
- Sitting on the table. This is where you're sitting down, but leaning WAY forward.
- Oh my god, my head is too heavy! Don't do a head shot where your hand is under your chin or even touching your head.
- Look at me, I have a sexy back! I've seen some headshots where people are in contorted (twist or bend out of the normal shape) poses, looking over his or her shoulder. It's not natural.
- I'm a mermaid! This is where you're lying on your stomach with your feet up.
- I got sexy legs! This where you're sitting down and your knees are visible.
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Acting coach, Actor, Short Film Maker, Film Story Writer, Blogger