Like a business card, a headshot is the first line of communication between you and potential employers. If you’re in the entertainment business, whether that’s music, acting or anything else, a headshot is vital to help you land auditions and gigs.
What is a Headshot and Why do I Need One?
A headshot is exactly what it sounds like: a photographed portrait of your face. It might seem a little bewildering for a potential employer to need a picture of you but remember the industry. Talent seekers like David Guillod are looking for someone who fits the exact role they have in mind. If you don’t fit that role, there’s no reason to move forward. On the other hand, you might be everything that they are looking for and they might want to schedule an audition. Headshots can save time and energy when you’re looking for a job.
Do I Need a Professional to do it?
Talent agencies know that it costs good money to have a professional headshot taken (anywhere from $75 to $1,000 typically), so having a headshot done by a professional is a sign that you want to be taken seriously. You could have your friend take an artsy Instagram picture of you on their Apple X cell phone, but agents are professionals. They will be able to see the difference between an amateur’s photograph and a professional one and yes, they will judge you for a cheap one. Given the magnitude that a headshot can create, it is worth spending the money.
Should I Get all Dolled up?
Glamour Shots need to be left in Napoleon Dynamite. While heavy makeup and lots of hairspray might have been popular in the early 90s, the natural look is much more desirable these days. Magic can be done with Photoshop and retouching software, so caking your face in makeup (whether you’re a male or a female) is not as necessary as you might think. Opt for makeup that enhances your natural beauty rather than masking your face with cosmetics. Wear simple clothing in solid colors instead of T-shirts festooned with band logos and attitude statements. You want to be shown as a professional in your field, not as an edgy limit-pusher.
You’re a Natural
Like with your clothing and makeup choices, the pose you choose should be natural and fit you. Remember that this is a lot of money that you are spending for your career, not a selfie that is going to be plastered all over Facebook. Shy away from antics like flipping off the camera, flashing a peace sign or any silly other gesture. Look directly at the camera, smile, and be you. You’re trying to sell yourself by having these photographs done, so show the world who you are and what you’re all about. While your talent should speak for itself during an audition, remember that a headshot is the first step in helping you get to that audition. Spend the money, dress the part and show your best self in your photos.
(Photo by <a href=”http://” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener” aria-label=” (opens in a new tab)”>Bessi from <a rel=”noreferrer noopener” aria-label=”Pixabay (opens in a new tab)” href=”http://” target=”_blank”>Pixabay)
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.