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How to Make Good Portfolio Photos And Get Max Audition Calls

How to Make good portfolio photos
Examples of some good headshots

My Advice

If you know some coordinators/ casting director in Mumbai or in your town ask for different head shots from his/her files which are preferred/ selected. 
Check the frames and the parts of your face body, angles, lights shown. If you do not know any coordinator, no problem. Either contact us for a free advice or check at the bottom of this post for some selected photographers in Mumbai.

Good And Bad Shots


You are spending your precious money or your parent’s hard-earned money. You have a right to check his/her portfolio of headshots and other pictures. Check the quality, color angles etc. Find out about photographer’s studio. What about studio lights? Lights are important.

How To Avoid Bad Head Shots

When looking for a photographer for you do not base your decision solely on whom other people used nor use a photographer based solely on the name. What might be awesome for other people might not be good for you?

1. Caution
With regards to looks, you DON'T want character shots ie. 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. 

2. How Many?
You want 3-4 general looks that can suggest multiple roles or essences! 
For example, a business suit look can suggest a lawyer, principal, detective, secretary, businessperson etc. A casual look (jeans and t-shirt) can suggest the high school, college, blue collar.
These 3-4 looks you choose should be based on how you know you correctly will be cast in a role. If you're a woman in your late 40s you're most likely not going to win dressing like a college student. If you are in your late teens or early 20s, a full business suit won't help you that much, maybe a slightly unbuttoned dress shirt with an undone tie and no coat. 

3. Colors
-For commercial head shots, it's usually smiling and brighter colors. For film/tv or theater, it's usually a more serious/intense expression and muted soft colors. Of course, there are exceptions to the rules.
If you want to be serious, you NEED PROFESSIONAL head shots

4. Looks
Your head shots need to LOOK like YOU on a REGULAR weekday!

5. Makeup, Size, Name, Resume, Print
Do NOT wear makeup or style yourself in a fashion that would make you look too glamorous i.e. as if you're trying to be sexy at a nightclub on a Saturday night.
-It's important that your head and upper torso are clear so agents and casting directors can fairly judge you physically.
-In India 4x6 or 6x8 and abroad 8X10 is standard size. Anything bigger or smaller will be filed or thrown in a garbage can.
-If possible, you should ONLY have your name printed on the front below your photo. Left, center, or right is subjective.
-Avoid printing stuff on the back. 
You should have your key points of your resume including your email and cell no number printed on it neatly cut to fit your Indian size(6x8) mentioned above or your full resume on 8X10 headshot and stapled to the back.
-Have either a white or black border around your photo. You can also neatly hide the staples by stapling where the photo and border meet.
-NO GLOSSY prints! Get matte or pearl finish (nonglossy). Most indoor lighting tends to reflect off glossies making it difficult for the casting directors to see.
-No bright patterns on shirt or jewelry that will take away from your face.

Tell your photographer to avoid

  • Too close. 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 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. 

Some examples of silly poses

1. Leaning forward as if sitting on a toilet
2. Headshot where your hand is under your chin or even touching your head as if you have a headache.
3. Looking over his or her shoulder. As if “Look at me..I’m sexy”.  It is not natural.
4. Raised Eyebrows 
5. Dropped jaws
6. Sitting down on floor or on bed or on sofa with legs in front of your face-“I got sexy legs”

List/options of some of the photographers/ photo studios in Mumbai

    Andheri (West),  Mumbai- 400 053
    Email us :a.rrajaniphotographer@gmail.com
    Mob No : 9820988182

    The Headshot - is India's first dedicated headshot studio in association with Peter Hurley, brought to you by Siddharth Vasani
    www.vasanity.com; Cell 099 20 230751

    Sandesh Jayakar Good but expensive Rs. 40,000 http://www.sandeshjayakar.com/
    Subhendu Sen

    Yasar Curtain Photography: 3rd Floor, Meher Chambers, Mumbai cell: 919930510506
    Abhay Singh

    StudioFM  B/1, Ground Floor, Building No. 9, Amrut Nagar, Jogeshwari West, Mumbai 400102  Tel : 32466425 Mobile : 9819362655 / 9323239057 E-mail : hamactors (@) rediffmail.com 

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