Best Face Forward: Professional Headshots for New Actors

young woman with bright white backdrop, patterned turtleneck

The Importance of Professional Headshots for New Actors

In the entertainment business, first impressions are pretty much everything — especially when you’re a new actor trying to catch the eye of a casting director! Often, the perfect professional headshot can make all the difference in getting the attention of both casting directors and potential agents. Let’s talk about the importance of high-impact professional headshots for new actors and four ways that a great headshot can clarify your place in the market, and boost your career prospects.

1. Make a Professional First Impression

Headshot, young man in blue shirt on black backdrop
I’ve worked a few times with the Missouri Baptist theater program to provide headshots for their student actors.

Your headshot is your calling card, representing you when you’re not physically present. You want the most professional version of you to be your stand in, right? As tempting as it can be to save money wherever you can, most casting directors aren’t going to be impressed with the professionalism of someone who’s using a mirror selfie, or a backyard snap fom a friend’s iPhone for their main headshot.

A professional, high-quality image will showcase not only your personality and essence, but also demonstrate your professionalism and the fact that you take your acting career seriously enough to invest in it. Working with a skilled photographer (that’s me!) who specializes in headshots is vital to ensure your image stands out in the sea of submissions.

Also, when you work with a professional headshot photographer you will end up with high-quality, high-resolution images suitable for printing (does anyone do that anymore?) or for use online in a variety of applications. Your headshots will be adequately sized and professionally retouched, so you don’t end up with pixelated, over-processed, or badly filtered images.


2. Reflect Your Brand and Personality

Young woman smiling at camera in a blue tshirt
I worked with this young actor to create a variety of professional headshots that reflected different looks.
Young woman in red dress against black background
While the previous image was younger and more playful in tone, this image is darker and more dramatic, giving the subject a few options when submitting for different types of roles.

Your headshot needs to be an authentic reflection of you, capturing your unique personality, style, and energy. The headshot is the quickest way to convey your personal brand — an essential aspect of self-promotion in the entertainment industry. I will work with you before the session to determine what sort of image you want to portray, and what sort of roles you want to go after. (Be a villain. I love shooting villains! J/K I love working with everyone. Just… villains especially.)

I will guide you through the session, using a variety of lighting styles and backdrops. I will also coach you on poses and expressions to ensure your personality shines through and that your headshot is tailored to your acting strengths and target roles. This will make it easier for casting directors to remember you and envision you as a fit for their projects.

(This is especially important for new actors, as the headshot may be the only thing they’ve seen you in!)


3. Enhance Your Online Presence

Obviously, maintaining a strong and consistent online presence is crucial for new actors. Your headshot will be the centerpiece of your online profiles, whether it’s your IMDb page, personal website, or social media accounts. A variety of high-quality, professional headshots will enhance your online image, helping to create a positive perception of you in the minds of industry professionals browsing your profiles.

young woman with bright white backdrop, patterned turtleneck
These bright white images are perfect for online use, and keep all the attention on you.

4. Keep Your Look Current

Young man in block turtleneck on black backdrop
Has your look changed? It might be time for updated headshots!

Life comes at you fast, right? Change is constant and your look may be evolving. When you change your appearance, update your style, or refine your acting goals it’s essential to keep your headshot up-to-date to reflect these changes. An outdated headshot can potentially hurt your chances of landing a role, as casting directors need to see an accurate representation of what you look like now. By having an up-to-date professional headshot, you show that you are serious about your career and are proactive in maintaining your professional image.

Professional headshots are critical tools for new actors looking to make their mark in the entertainment industry. By investing in high-quality images that capture your unique personality and look, you’ll make a strong first impression, enhance your online presence, and demonstrate your commitment to a successful acting career. Don’t underestimate the power of a picture-perfect headshot – it could be the key to unlocking your acting dreams.

I love working with both established and new actors on their professional headshots. If you’re an old pro at this, or if you need some handholding throughout the process, I’ve got you covered! Contact me today to learn more about the packages I offer for professional acting headshots, or view my headshot gallery to see more of the work I’ve done with local actors.

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