What is your opinion on the use of paper digital prints (8x10s) as opposed to real photographic prints?
With so much casting being done online now, the type of paper on which your headshot is printed is becoming less and less relevant. There was a time when I would advise that your submissions to agents and managers be on high-quality photographic paper, as if to present a near-complete marketing package that they would feel inspired to become a part of. And then I would say that submissions to casting directors could be lithos, Repros, or even prints you made at home with consumer photo paper and a good color ink jet printer.
But honestly, if you are working in Los Angeles, you simply are not going to go through the volume of hard copy 8x10s you may have a few years ago. Actors are printing fewer headshots at a time now and placing higher priority on the clickability of their online thumbnail photos (they have to look so good at a tiny format that people want to click to see more).
Therefore, you could technically afford to do a smaller print job at a higher quality (since you’re now not likely to get thousands of headshots done up at a time) and still not break the bank, due to how infrequently you’ll run out of hard copies of headshots these days.
Of course, in the end, it’s up to you what image you want to present. You’ve already read, in my previous columns, about submissions that are simply photocopies of headshots or even faxed images. Getting called in — at least by a casting director — has very little to do with the quality of paper on which you print your headshots. An agent or manager may find the presentation more important, but even then, you have to trust that they really have seen everything by now.
Make a choice that feels good to you, even if that means spending more money for higher-quality printouts than others may be spending on lithos. Heck, you can even get gorgeous glossy lithos these days for much less than true photo prints, yet they look really good. If you’d prefer to save the money and have something that may, someday, cross the desk of someone who feels you should’ve spent a little more on your headshots, that’s the chance you take. There is no way to ever predict what each and every recipient of your headshot is going to prefer. And to try and make choices that please everyone is simply crazymaking. Do what works for you and adjust when you feel that first choice is no longer working. That’s actually applicable to many actor-choices in this industry. Check in with your choices often enough to know when they need re-choosing.
Good luck! And do good work.
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Originally published by Actors Access at http://more.showfax.com/columns/avoice/archives/000111.html. Please support the many wonderful resources provided by the Breakdown Services family. This posting is the author’s personal archive.