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Home Careers Acting Headshots: Everything You Need to Know

Acting Headshots: Everything You Need to Know

If you are a working actor or trying to become one, it’s given that you are quite familiar with the word ‘headshot’ and its importance in the acting career. It exactly means what it sounds: a close-up shot of your face. Almost every casting director, producer or writer analyzes headshot to decide whether or not to choose a person for the specific role. Therefore, your acting headshot will be the first thing casting actors will look at while going through the submissions. If it’s good enough to catch their attention, then congrats- you can expect a call from the agency. If not, then no one might even know that you exist. Unfortunately, you will be among those who were consigned to oblivion. 

So, make sure to give your headshot the attention it deserves. Now, let’s figure out what goes into a winning actor’s headshot.

Why Do I Need a Headshot?

Your headshot isn’t just there to accompany your CV, it serves multiple purposes. If you have a website or business card, you will definitely be using it for your online casting profiles, Facebook, Twitter and any other social media website that you may have. Of course, you will plan to submit it to agents to enhance your reputation. Therefore, it is one of the most important tools in your acting career. Your face is literally your brand and you use your headshot to advertise it.

Generally speaking, everything’s become a brand when people start noticing it, so are the headshots. That is to say, when someone meets you, they already have an understanding of what to expect from you. So, your headshot will guide them to make a positive or negative impression about you. Therefore, it should be none but best!

What Does A Casting Director Expect from A Headshot?

Just similar to a passport photo, a headshot should look like you. For example, Dubai casting agencies will ask for a headshot before they call you for an audition, if you want to try your luck in acting in this city. When looking at your headshot, they not only want to see the actual you but also make a sense of how you might be fit for the role they are casting for. 

On a daily basis, they go through thousands of submissions. If you make yourself able enough to stand in the crowd, voila!

All the casting directors have some expectations regarding actors. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to meet that criteria and your headshot, in one of the ways, represent that. Paired to the right casting, there are bright chances that they pick you up from the crowd.

What Are the Essentials of a Good Headshot?

A good headshot will give directors the idea of who you are as an actor and whether or not you are suitable for a particular role or not. If you are unique, then your headshot will show that to them.

They say, “never judge a book by its cover”. However, in this case, the cover should be best in all possible ways but this does mean that you edit your photo to such an extent that it almost becomes unrecognizable, when they see you actually. Another thing to keep in mind is that, avoid getting your haircut a day before. Therefore, don’t do a makeover. Look natural and believe in yourself. 

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How to Get a Better Headshot?

There are certain things that you need to keep in mind.

  • Spend money. Go to some professional photographer who understands lighting and takes a decent headshot. 
  • Make sure that it looks exactly like you. The casting director won’t be happy when you show up looking totally different or appear older than your picture.
  • Just like with on-camera acting, it’s all about the eyes and what’s happening behind them. It’s your closeup, your moment. Your eyes should be perfectly in focus, energized and alive, and not dead and glazed over. There should be strong inner thoughts, implying a backstory and a life behind the eyes.
  • There are two types of light – natural and studio. Natural light gives you a very real, “film” look, which is more preferable. Studio lighting tends to be a little more polished, with a more neutral backdrop. Both can be wonderful. It depends on the role which you are applying for.

How to Get Relaxed During Headshot Session?

If you are social and talkative, then it won’t be a problem for you. You can easily engage with the person who is taking your photographs. Some photographers will even direct you.

The only key to a great headshot is being relaxed, have fun! Let your personality shine through and wait for casting calls UAE has to offer. 

All in all, your headshot is your calling card. And if you want to be seen as a pro and not an amateur, give your best. 

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