Last week’s article on headshots was so much fun, we’re going to do it again this week! First, a MAJOR thank you to the many, many actors who sent in headshots (good and bad) and those who agreed to pose for “recreation” versions of some of those really bad headshots from my files. Y’all rock! I certainly won’t be able to use everything you submitted, but perhaps there’s another article to come from this, down the road. Stay tuned!
Okay, so, let’s get to it. What are the “deadliest headshot sins” out there? The three biggies, as I mentioned in last week’s column, are poor cropping, too much information (TMI), and anything too character-y. Another item, which I will add to this week’s list, comes from Anne Henry and Paula Dorn of the non-profit young actor advocacy group BizParentz.org. That’s a deadly headshot sin that we’ll call “inadvertently feeding the beast.”
“Many headshots unknowingly appeal to pedophiles and fetishists,” Henry explained.
- showing bare feet
- tank tops on guys
- 3/4-shots in which an actor’s crotch is showing
- swimwear shots or any outdoor looks with the actor’s arms overhead
- guys’ undies hanging out of their too-low pants
- kids sitting on a basketball
- camera angle looking down on the subject with the actor looking up, dramatically sad (I think this is designed to give the impression of vulnerability, but you can imagine why predators like this look)
“I was shocked at the number of bad headshots actors have out there,” Henry continued. “Most parents told us that they thought ‘hot and sexy’ was normal in Hollywood, even for kids!” Thanks Anne and Paula, for all that you do! I am so grateful to the BizParentz.org organization for being on the lookout for such creepy, line-crossing issues in our industry. Heck, even adult actors don’t NEED to have overtly “hot and sexy” headshots!
Beyond the above-listed issues, you’ll notice in this week’s samples the use of “non-headshot” headshots, outdated styling, good and bad thumbnails from the same actors, and a couple of rule-breakers that actually work!
Before we get to this week’s round of headshots, I’ll share a resource that was recommended by one of the readers of last week’s column.
Thanks for your hard work putting together this column. I was so excited to learn you were writing about headshots. I am just weeks away from having my first photo shoot. I have learned so much from your column already! There is another resource for actors wanting a headshot that works, and that’s Headshot Secrets Revealed by Bob Fraser. Between your columns and his e-book about headshots, I am confident that I will have a headshot that works!
Okay, so what’s important to keep in mind, when choosing your primary online headshot? Well, the main goals are to choose a headshot that looks like you will look when you walk into the room for your audition, that appropriately depicts your primary type, and that has a thumbnail version that will make CDs want to click on your profile and learn more about you and your credits, when choosing among dozens of thumbnails on a screen. As I mentioned last week, your headshot is often the ONLY thing that will get you past the first round of the filtering process with agents, managers, and casting directors.
Please note that the following headshots include some recreations (based on last week’s request). Each of the recreations is of a headshot ACTUALLY submitted by an actor with an agent or manager in Los Angeles. Also included with my commentary (in the caption area of each strip linked below) is some feedback from the actors photographed. Enjoy! We’ll do this again in the future, I’m sure!
Wanna be sure your tools *and* your mindset are in peak form before shooting your new headshots? Let us get you in gear with some FREE training right now!
Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000400.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.