Headshots are the #1 business tool needed by every actor. But getting your best headshot isn’t always easy. Today we’re speaking with NY Headshot Photographer Bill Strong on headshots.
When should an actor get new headshots?
You should get new headshots whenever your LOOKS CHANGE in a NOTICEABLE way. It is definitely time for new headshots when people start asking you what year your photo was taken or how much WEIGHT you have LOST or GAINED since having them done! Another common reason actors update their headshots is when they have a major HAIRSTYLE CHANGE or HAIR COLOR CHANGE. Younger actors tend to get new headshots more often as their looks change more frequently. CASTING people EXPECT you to LOOK LIKE your HEADSHOT and are often FRUSTRATED if you don’t. The last thing you want to do is make a casting person feel like you have WASTED THEIR TIME!
I’ve got a friend with a digital camera….can he take my headshot?
I’ve got a friend with a scalpel….can he take out your appendix?
Seriously….we all know that trying to be an ACTOR is one of the MOST COMPETITIVE professions that ever existed….way before the economy tanked! Getting GREAT HEADSHOTS is probably the most IMPORTANT INVESTMENT you can make in your CAREER. There are some struggling actors who spend over a thousand dollars for headshots!
NEW YORK CASTING DIRECTORS and AGENTS sometimes get hundreds of PROFESSIONAL headshots submitted every day and they can SPOT an UNPROFESSIONAL one IMMEDIATELY! You may shoot with a friend and THINK you have FOUND a HEADSHOT you can use. But I can almost assure you that the feedback you will get from INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS is that you NEED NEW HEADSHOTS! Don’t waste time, money and an opportunity to PRESENT YOURSELF as a PROFESSIONAL. Remember…you can’t make a FIRST IMPRESSION TWICE!
How do I choose a headshot photographer?
REPUTATION…QUALITY….PRICE…EXPERIENCE WITH ACTORS.
Nowadays…..a lot of people shop for things online. HEADSHOTS are most often SHOPPED ONLINE because the PRODUCT is what you see ON your COMPUTER SCREEN. Recommendations from fellow ACTORS and INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS is a great place to START. But the BEST WAY to get a FEEL for a PHOTOGRAPHER’S work is to VISIT and STUDY their WEBSITE! When visiting a headshot photographer’s website CONSIDER…..
• Are there TEN sample headshot photos or over a HUNDRED sample headshot photos?
• If there are a lot of headshot photos are the FIRST TEN IMPRESSIVE and all the REST go DOWN HILL from there?
• Is the STYLE of the headshot photography CONSISTENT or INCONSISTENT?
• Are there extremely BIG DIFFERENCES in the LIGHTING, BACKGROUND and COMPOSITION of the photos (what will you get)?
• Is there NO DIFFERENCE in the LIGHTING, BACKGROUND and COMPOSITION of the photos…(will you get the same pictures as everyone else)?
• Is the PHOTOGRAPHER someone who SPECIALIZES in ACTOR HEADSHOTS or really FASHION, CORPORATE, WEDDING, PRODUCT, SPORTS, LIFESTYLE, etc. and just supplementing their income shooting actors?
• Does the photographer CHARGE nearly or over a THOUSAND DOLLARS because they have sample photos of CELEBRITIES they photographed for FUN or as PUBLICITY photos and NOT as HEADSHOTS?
• Does the photographer charge only $99 but SHOOTS only UNDER BRIDGES, in PARKS and various STREET LOCATIONS because they have NO STUDIO or known address?
• CHOOSE a headshot PHOTOGRAPHER with a great REPUTATION…high QUALITY…reasonable PRICE and lots of EXPERIENCE WITH ACTORS
For more information on Bill Strong, check out his website at BillStrongPhotography.com