1. Find a great photographer who makes you feel comfortable. Headshots are an investment in your career, so it’s obviously important to find a photographer who takes great, professional, beautiful photos. But you also want to work with someone who “gets” you, who will make you feel at ease. Your confidence will be reflected in the pictures.
2. Just be you – Photographer Taylor Hooper talks about an ideal scenario where your headshot helps you succeed: “You send out a headshot that is 100% you; a casting director looks at it, calls you in to read, you walk in the door and they think, ‘Yes! That is what I was expecting.’; you read for the part and the energy you put into the role is the energy in the headshot – you have met the expectations you set up for yourself.” On the other hand, if your photo looks vastly different that you do, it might be a beautiful picture, but it won’t help you win a job. Looking like you (at your best) is crucial.
3. Look great – You should look like yourself on your best day in your headshot. It should be natural, not too glam or over the top with lots of makeup or super-styled hair, just you at your best. Do some research about how to look great on-camera – many of the tips and tricks for headshots are good ideas to keep in mind every time you go on-camera to audition. One insider tip: don’t forget your lips! Chapped lips can ruin a headshot session, so moisturize and exfoliate before your photo shoot.
4. Keep it simple – Sometimes the urge to “stand out from the pack” makes it tempting to wear statement-making clothing or jewelry, but too much embellishment can actually make you look inexperienced. It’s most effective to wear fitted, tailored clothes without accessories.
5. It takes a village – Once you’ve had your photo shoot and gotten the proofs, it can be difficult to look at pictures of yourself with a truly objective eye. Utilize friends to pick their favorite photos from your shoot, and see which photos are selected frequently. If you have contacts in the industry you can reach out to, narrow down your favorite photos and ask their advice