Finally! Your long-awaited final installment of Bad Headshots, Good Headshots is here! (Here are links to versions I, II, and III, plus the retouching article.) Woo hoo! This week, I specifically chose headshots that did a great (or not-so-great) job at nailing the actors’ primary TYPE. We’ve talked about type a couple of times before, and getting it right really is one of the most essential parts of your marketing endeavors. Because until the industry knows how to cast you, you pretty much have to SHOW US your primary type from that very first time your headshot crosses our desks. And if we get a really true sense of you–and your primary type — from your photo, you can bet we’ll call you in on better-matched roles (and that’s win-win for everyone).

An actor knowing his type is one of the most important — and most difficult — factors in finding success as an actor. After you have achieved a certain amount of success, you can blow off issues of type almost entirely and reinvent yourself as many times as the industry will allow it. But there is that “getting there” that requires that you know your type and market it correctly. Becoming known as a talented, professional actor somehow comes after getting attention as THE GUY to go to, when the industry needs your particular type. The question you should ask yourself, when you feel sure that you know your primary type better than the industry might: Do you want to be right about your type or do you want to be working? Since I guess your answer is, “I want to work,” let’s get down to choosing headshots that best sell actors’ primary type.

Next week, I’ll wrap up with some emails from actors and headshot photographers who had input on this series. That means that this week is a wonderful time for you to shoot me an email if you have any last, burning questions about why certain headshots were considered better than others or if you are just dying to know who shot a particular headshot (I’m sure the photographers would love to have your business). Again, I need to thank everyone who made this series possible: the actors who submitted their headshots for review, the photographers who shared some tips for great photo sessions, and the amazing people who helped me sort the hundreds upon hundreds of headshots to get to the few dozen that really “taught” the best lessons this time out. Y’all rock, and I couldn’t do this column without your support!

Click here to see the headshot samples for this column. Enjoy!

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

Originally published by Actors Access at Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.

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