Sunday, June 03, 2012

How Not to Choose a Headshot

The key, and challenge, is knowing what you are offering as an actor, who you are as an actor. What actor the market sees you as, who you are as an actor, is not usually identical to who you are as a person. And, the actor you want to be and the actor you actually are may not be the same. Choosing pictures becomes easier to do by yourself if you know who you are as an actor.

A not good way to go about choosing a headshot is to ask someone else to choose it for you. Bob Fraser explains why:

You know exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish - and why. No one else in the world has the knowledge you have ... at this point.
Believe me, the great majority of actors are generally not 'clued in' about this process and their advice is, by it's very nature, skewed. Other actors may have an "agenda" when you ask for their help.
Some actors think this is a competition.
This is just not a very good idea at all. (One exception: If you are friends with a successful actor - who has a lot of experience - it might be worth asking a favor.)
But again, most actors have a difficult time explaining their own procedures - so take all advice with a grain of salt.
Your agent is a salesperson. Do you think that the salesmen are consulted when a car company takes photos of their cars? Many agents will try to help when asked, but it has been my observation that a good agent is not necessarily a good judge of what constitutes a good headshot - for you.
If your friends (or family) are not in the business (as a casting director, director, or producer) - they will be almost totally useless in helping you choose a 'working' headshot.
If you happen to have a friend who IS a casting director, director or producer, then by all means, ask for opinions.
BUT ... don't go to your professional friend with several dozen photos and expect them to spend the kind of time it takes to pick out the good ones.
That's asking too much.
It's always been my experience that when you ask too much - you will receive too little.
THIS IS IMPORTANT: Before you ask anyone else's opinion, take the time to cut the choices down to a manageable number.
YOU have to do this!
You must practice becoming the best judge of what will get you to where you want to go. If you're looking for someone else to help you, or merely justify your choices - you will be searching for a good long time - maybe forever.
Most of the time, other people do not care deeply about your dreams.
You DO care deeply, so I urge you to 'gird your loins' and do the hard work part.

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this posted by David August at 2:48 PM 

comments: These are good tips. I completely agree with the Not asking friends or family for advice. A good picture is not a good headshot. Our money shots are important.

# posted by Anonymous Steven J Wilson : 8:20 PM  

I know first hand asking friends and family will not work out to well. Stick with the professionals like your acting coach or agent!

# posted by Anonymous Steven J Wilson : 8:22 PM  

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