How to Get a Great Headshot


An actor’s headshot can pave the way for an actor to get an audition. It’s like how the cover of a book should entice a reader to open the book. You want casting directors to see your headshot and think, “Yes! I want them at the audition.”

What is a Headshot

A headshot is an 8x10 color picture of your face. You’ll use this headshot as a part of your marketing to try and get auditions and an agent.

You need this to be a quality image, since it’s the first thing a casting director or agent sees. A headshot is not a selfie or a picture a friend took for you. You need a headshot from a professional photographer who specializes in shooting acting headshots.

How Do You Get a Great Headshot

1. Work With a Professional

You need your headshot to stand out. Casting directors and agencies see thousands of pictures each week. You don’t want to blend with the crowd.

Invest in a quality picture taken by a professional who has experience taking headshots. While this will cost more, you’ll know you have a professional image that can help you get auditions.

2. Be You

If you use an airbrushed or glamour shot, you might look different in person. That can be a problem as casting directors expect to see the person in the headshot. Your headshot should represent who you are right now. You’re not trying to be glamorous or an age you’re not.

3. Your Headshot is Your Closeup Moment

You want your face, and especially your eyes, to be alive. You want to convey emotion and energy, not look bored and lifeless. This is where a professional photographer who has experience with headshots can help. They will know how to capture the right look.

4. You Should Be the Focus of the Headshot

You don’t want the background to distract from your image. The background should be blurred, and there shouldn’t be any strong shadows. Your image should be the focus. Also, don’t make any hand gestures or put your face in your hands.

5. Keep Your Headshot Professional

While it can be hard to stand out as a beginning actor, you want your headshot to be professional. Don’t add a variety of props or dress in crazy clothes. Remember, you want this image to focus on you and your look.

Wear a solid color shirt that accentuates the color of your eyes. Avoid wearing white or shirts with strong graphic patterns.

Don’t go over the top with your styling or makeup. Wear your hair and makeup the way you would for an audition. You want your acting headshot to look natural.

Lastly, if possible, try an image in natural light and one in studio light to find what is best for you and the types of roles you want.

Your Acting Headshot Represents You

Make your headshot count. Don’t skimp or cut corners. You’ll only make it harder to find jobs you want. Take the time to get a professional headshot, and you’ll find yourself one step closer to landing work.

Aaron Ayhan