Make Sure That You Are the Star of Your Headshot

These are just a few things, among many, that can upstage an actor in their own headshots

(by Jim Webb)

(Photo by Jurica Koletic on Unsplash)

Is it time for you to get new headshots? Fantastic!

If you are a new actor getting headshots for the first time, or even if you are a veteran actor who needs to update your headshots, here’s one golden rule that must not be violated:

Make sure that YOU are the star of your headshot!

This may seem like a rule that goes without saying. Yet, it must be said, given the number of actors who continue to violate this rule. You’d be surprised how many actors spend hundreds of dollars on headshots to make themselves stand out from other actors, only to be overshadowed in their own headshots. How crazy is that?
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One reason this happens with such frequency is because there are so many ways an actor can be overshadowed in their headshots. Here are a few examples:

Shiny jewelry

Go easy on the jewelry. In most cases, it’s best not to wear any at all. That’s because, jewelry can be distracting in so many ways. First, jewelry is shiny, of course, and if it’s shiny enough, it will be the first thing that draws the viewer’s attention.

Imagine that! The first thing that draws a casting director’s attention when they view your very expensive headshots is not your lovely smile. Instead, they spend the first few seconds staring at your bright shiny necklace.

The other thing with jewelry is, it can send the wrong signal. Remember, people from all walks of life wear jewelry. Business men and women, hoodlums, affluent people, fashion-driven people, prostitutes, rappers…lots of different types of people wear jewelry. So, wearing the wrong type of jewelry can send the wrong signal about who you are as a person and as a “type”, when it comes to acting.

Busy backgrounds

It’s very important to be mindful of what’s behind you, at your headshot photo-session. If you take photographs in-front of a very noticeable brick wall, for instance, you can expect that the brick wall will draw much more attention than your face. Likewise, with any number of distracting backgrounds, like trees, buildings, wallpaper and fixtures.

Keep the background Plain-Jane, so that the focus is always on your beautiful face!

Unnecessary props


In some instances, it might be helpful to use props.

But, if you do decide to use a prop while taking your headshots, it’s best to tread lightly. Or, maybe just avoid them altogether.

Props, like briefcases, unnecessary eyeglasses, hats, etcetera, serve to draw attention away from your face and smile. And they are usually unnecessary.

After all, you don’t need a briefcase to create the image of you as a businesswoman. A simple, professional outfit will be just as powerful, and less distracting.

These are just a few things, among many, that can upstage an actor in their own headshots. So be mindful. And always remember:

Make sure that YOU are the star of your headshot!

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