The Actor Headshot

By January 4, 2012 Seminars No Comments
Ron Gonzalez Headshots

Yesterday we discussed the resume (read it here).  If you’re coming to the Acting: A Director’s POV for Child/Teen actors on Jan 21, bring your headshot and resume and we’ll discuss it right there and then.  To register, go to the store.

The Headshot

As the director, the majority of headshots will come to me in the audition room.  Yes, throughout the year, people will hand them to me.  At church.  At industry events.  At my house unannounced and uninvited.  To my wife when I’m not there.  The truth is that outside the audition room, I don’t have a system for collecting headshots.  It might go in a folder that I forget all about.  Your best bet is to cozy up to casting directors.

So you’ve appropriately handed me your headshot as you walked into the audition room (or the casting assistant handed it to me moments before you were ushered in).  I will study the picture ont he front for a moment and then flip it over to read your resume (which we covered yesterday).  So let’s talk about that picture.

First, headshots lie.  Some people will walk in and I swear it’s not the same person.  But that’s okay.  It’s to be expected in this industry so no points off for this dishonesty.  You need to have a professionally taken headshot that has been touched up.  That’s what you do.

BTW, what you don’t do is something goofy.  One time, we got several headshots– the gentleman was sitting in a nice leather highbacked chair in a classy office situation… until we looked closer.  There were tags on the furniture from Ethan Allen.  Really?  You went to Ethan Allen with a buddy and took a couple quick posed pics before the sales associate kicked you out?  It provided much mirth and laughter at our office on that one.  We really didn’t take him seriously.

Poses?  Most people do a serious countenance for feature film.  They might smile for the commercial/corporate look.  Maybe change outfits.  It’s a good idea to have two or three headshots, each targeted to feature film, tv and commercial/corporate.  And this director– I don’t mind if you hand me two different headshots showing the different looks.  I want all the information I can get.  So maybe you’ve handed the film headshot to the casting people, maybe when you walk in, offer me an alternative.  Love it.

There are lots of headshot artists out there.  Get one who knows what he or she is doing.  Personally, I recommend Ron Gonzalez of Deadmen Productions.  He’s also been my DP on my last two films and handles a lot of headshots in the Texas market.  He’s incredible, quick and inexpensive. (www.deadmenproductions.com). Not only does he take beautiful pictures, he knows how to quickly photoshop it and get the curves right to make it really pop.  The featured image is one of Ron’s headshots.

White border?  Black box around?  Certain font for your name?  Doesn’t really matter to this director.