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Getting Great Head-shots

Getting Great Head-shots

Why are head-shots so darn important? Well, as an actor you only have several essential tools, that you use to market yourself.

Your resume: This is the sum of your training and credits.

Your monologues.

Your Head-shot

Getting a decent head-shot is not all that difficult…..but getting a great head-shot is a real challenge and requires thought, planning and homework!   The creation of a great head-shot is a result of a successful working relationship between 2 parties …the actor and the photographer.  Headh-shot photography

The best head-shots reveal your personality/type/brand.  So the more specific and articulate you are about what you have to sell, the better you communicate to the photographer what you need to “say” in your head-shots.  Below are some exercises to help you along the way.

So get to work!

Personal Branding

  1.  Read “The Actors Guide to Personal Branding.”
  1.  Read and fill out “What’s your story”….and insert into the form. This exercise will make you think about how you view yourself and help you to define your brand.
  1.  You can also read these thoughts on actor branding written by Sarah-Jane Dalby.

Mission Statement

  1. Identify three products that you are passionate about, i.e. Whole Foods, Gaiam Yoga products, Toyota, Keils.  Look up the mission statements of your favorite products and use them to help jump start your thoughts about your own mission statement.  Creating a Mission Statement   
  2. Create your own mission statementThis exercise will help you think      about who you are as a product in a useful way.  You are a business and  successful businesses know what their mission.


Usually, a good photographer will consult with you prior to the session and ask what type of look you and your agents are seeking and how you plan on marketing yourself with the head-shot. The most interesting head-shots are the ones that state an idea or message. Blank faces with huge smiles plastered on them are not interesting. It is the silent dialogue or thoughts that will reveal who you are and the type you are trying to convey.

  1. Identify 3 actors, of your type, that you identify with.
  2. Make a list of jobs that you think that you “look like” you could play.

These exercises will help you hone in on your “type.”   Type is a shorthand that can help you communicate to photographers, agents and casting directors.

Need a new head-shot? Take a look at the area photographers we recommend HERE!

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