If you have a headshot session coming up be good to yourself. Don’t go out drinking the week before, drink plenty of water and get those early nights. That all sounds very boring I know, but your headshot is your calling card so if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Be good to yourself.
As soon as you have to get up early and be well rested for your session you will of course not sleep a wink. If you don’t have to work that day ask for a later appointment as it means that if that happens you’ll at least get a nap in or maybe get a chance to chill out before. It is all psychological so it might be enough not keep you up late.
Colour headshots are much more fashionable now, so we are able to experiment more. It’s always good to bring something white and something black, but I always encourage my clients to bring colours. Pattern’s are also not a problem and as long as logos are not too complicated, as they can be edited out after, then bring those too. Select items that have interesting and differing necklines and layering items is also a good bet.
Think about your casting… this doesn’t mean you need to come dressed as a police officer, but we want to capture a range of possible castings. If you are not sure bring it all with you… better to bring more rather than less.
Some make up is very useful, but some it can also be a photographers nightmare to edit, especially if it’s not done well. Natural make up is what we want in a professional actors headshot.
EYES – My focus is always the eyes so some mascara and matte eye shadow is great.
EYEBROWS – this is a big bugbear for me… the trend is to have block eyebrows and although it may look nice it is far too modern and is too much of a statement and will leave you out of any period castings. Please keep your eyebrows natural.
LIPS – A lip stain is better than a lipstick, but if you are going to use lipstick a matte one is preferred and make sure it is of a nude or natural tone.
SKIN – It’s good to keep you skin hydrated, but be aware that your skin should not look too shiny. I know it is horrible if you feel your skin is not being great, but part of our skill set is we can edit spots and blemishes so please don’t worry. If you really find it hard to be completely natural then just keep it light… it’s always a good idea to take your makeup with you anyway and that way you and the photographer can discuss it.
HAIR – if you have long hair bring whatever you will need to change your hairstyles.
MEN – it’s well worth bringing your shaving equipment along so that you can get with and without facial hair should you want to.
Although being relaxed is important it is also true that a headshot session is part of your job, so treat it like work and bring it! It can also help if you hate having your photo taken, as it gives you the kind of focus you have in an audition. It is completely normal for actors to feel vulnerable in a session as they are not used to performing as themselves… So don’t think of it as you being you. Switch on. Not all nerves are bad, so don’t worry if you feel anxious, just embrace it and focus. Part of our job is to help you relax… I absolutely hate having my photo taken, but a good photographer will make it relaxed and fun for you.
In an industry where there are a growing number of actors every year, it is more important than ever to stand out. The things you hate about yourself maybe the very things that make you different. We all want to be seen as beautiful, that’s natural, but confidence is the most attractive quality.
If you have a scar don’t let them Photoshop it. I hear so often ‘I don’t like that side of my face’ or ‘my nose is too big’… We are our own worst critics and the things you hate about yourself might be exactly what others love about you.
Embrace the things you hate and have fun!