Getting photos is one of the most important chores that an actor has. Your photo is the first thing the casting director sees and is one of the most important factors in determining if you should be called in for an audition. So it makes sense that getting photos is part of the "job" of being a actor. Actually performing in front of the camera is the reward for good work.

But even if you aren't an actor and want to get a good color or black & white picture taken, the principles are the same. A photograph is a minute slice of time preserved on some sort of viewable media, like a piece of photo paper. So it makes sense to be your best on photo day.

Find a Photographer

First, you need to find a photographer. The best advertising is word of mouth. If you are an actor, find some headshots you like and find out who did them. If you can't find someone that way, check the trade publications like Backstage/West. There are plenty of ads by headshot photographers and publications like these can be wealth of information about the acting profession. Here in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area, competition is keen and you should be able to find a photographer with reasonable prices. Keep in mind that many photographers show their most dramatic photos. These are impressive and show that the photographer has a certain amount of skill, but many agents prefer "safer" photos. The ultimate goal is a well-lighted, well-exposed photo that shows you in your best light (no pun intended), but which looks like you. It really irks a casting director to call someone in based on their photo and have them not look anything like the person in the photo.

If you aren't sure about your make up, hire a make up artist who is experienced in still photography. Some photographers can refer you or may have a make up artist in the studio. Be wary of photographers who do the make up themselves. Don't let anybody give you a used puff or any eye make up that has been used. Bring your own eye make up.

Have your clothing ready the day before. Iron it if it needs it. (I once had a client bring his wardrobe in a sack and expected my make up artist to iron everything). Have all your accessories handy so you won't have to hunt for jewelry, etc.

Be Physically Ready

It's important that you look your best for your photo. One good way to do that is to take the shoot as seriously as an audition or a job interview. Get plenty of rest the night before the shoot. Be alcohol and drug free. Allow plenty of time for the photo session. Don't have an important appointment coming up right after you face the camera. It will show. Don't make the photo session an afterthought. Don't stop by on your way back from the beach. I've had this happen. Bring your wardrobe, plenty of time, and a good attitude.





Photos for Performers




My Headshots