November 27, 2015 Alex Lagarejos

The 5 actors not to be on your headshot shoot

The 5 actors not to be on your headshot shoot


When you are getting ready for your headshot shoot, there are a few characters that you absolutely need to avoid. It’s very easy to slip into one or two of these (I’ve been guilty of at least two in the past – No, I’m not going to tell you which ones!) Just being aware of these pitfalls will be a massive help for your headshot shoot.

1.The ‘Get my good side’ Actor

Get my good side

Ok, so most actors believe they have a good side, which is fine. The problems start when people refuse to turn their head to a certain side or angle – believing their least favoured side so horrific it will irrevocably damage their career if ever seen in print. The result is some oddly contorted body shapes as the actor is desperate to hold their head on a certain side. It’s weird and makes for an awful headshot session. Firstly, your bad side is great. Seriously, this is one of those times you ARE being paranoid! Anyway, it’s likely in your career as an actor that people are going to want to see all of your face at some point!

2.The ‘I only do angry/happy/etc’ Actor

Angry headshot

I’ve had quite a few clients who insist that they only play one type so that’s what they need to look like in their headshots. All of them! Now, if you are frequently cast as a certain type, of course I’m going to capture that, but not for 400 shots. If you’re great at being scary and intimidating, having the odd headshot where you show a little bit of depth or a different side to you is not going to instantly make you uncastable, what it will do is open up more possibilities. 

3.The ‘I must remain neutral’ Actor

Neutral is boring

The opposite of the last actor. This actor doesn’t want to miss out on any castings so insists in hiding any hint of personality throughout the headshot session. Unfortunately, headshots without any personality are incredibly boring and very easy for casting directors to flip past. Your headshot needs to leap off the page and demand attention, that neutral look isn’t going to do that for you. The biggest problem is that when anyone decides they are going to be neutral, their energy levels drop massively and the first place it shows is behind the eyes. Dead eyes equals a dead headshot.

4.The ‘I’ve come in disguise/character’ Actor

London headshots

No matter how much you think it might help you nail that awesome part, never, ever, bring props or costume to a headshot session. Ever! Equally, make sure you come looking like you, you’re awesome, so let’s show that off!

5.The ‘Blue Steel/Fish pout’ Actor

Crazy headshot

Ok, so we can all be a little bit guilty of this one, we have our ‘photo look’ which is fine and why I’m there to reign you in, but some actors refuse to give it up. No matter what we do, as soon as they see the photographer go to release the shutter – Boom – Blue Steel. Look, Blue Steel, fish pouts and flashing up gang signs are cool for social media but not so great for your headshots. Look, I’ll even shoot a few for you at the end of the session once we’ve got what we need as long as you promise to reign in your inner Zoolander during your headshot session.