What Makes A Perfect Headshot?


Ben Russell

Ben Russell

·4 min read

Your headshot is your ‘elevator pitch’ to the industry. You only have a brief moment of time to capture the attention of a Casting Director, Agent or Talent Manager. But with so many different headshots out there, how can you stand out from the crowd? Have you considered what makes a GREAT headshot? How about an AWFUL one? Having the perfect headshot will be the difference of you being considered for a project, and not. It’s a genuine insight into your personality, professionalism and excitement for being considered for a project.

Use our list of Dos & Dont’s when it comes to having the best headshot possible.

    Why do I need a headshot?
    Headshots are important to put on your Casting Depot profile. Moving on. It’s important to realize that a headshot is not just an image but the literal representation of you and ultimately your brand. So, who are you? Headshots help market you as an actor to agents, managers, and casting directors. It’ll help you make a great first impression.

    What makes a headshot good?
    The photos should look like you. This means natural looking makeup rather than glamour shots… and no filters. If you change your look, change your headshots. Casting directors use your photo to determine if you are a right fit for their role. For example, if you are auditioning for a grandmother role and you look extremely young in your headshot, the casting director will determine that you are not the right for that particular role. For your attire, wear something that compliments your skin tone. Avoid neutral colors, since everyone wears neutral. Bright colors are always encouraged.

    What are the logistics of a headshot session?
    Find a great photographer. Ask for recommendations and check out their work. If you are going to be paying between $400 and $1,500, for a one hour to a four hour session, you hire someone with work you like. While at the session, bring at least two different looks to diversify your portfolio.

    A big hesitation to purchasing professional headshots is often the cost associated with them. If you’re on a budget, have a friend take photos. Treat it like a shoot - find unique backdrops and bring a change of clothes.

    What happens after the session?
    With all the roles you will be auditioning for (scripted and theater), order between 20 and 100 hardcopy headshots. These headshots should be in color, vertical, and 8 x 10 inches. Your name should be listed on the top with your resume on the back.

    If you're going on solely virtual auditions (let's say for hosting gigs, gameshows, dating shows, etc.), skip the printed headshots and upload the final versions straight to your Casting Depot profile.

Need recommendations for good headshot photographers? Join a Casting Depot group and ask the community.

Log in here.