How Important Are Headshots?

December 2, 2011

Some thespians are fierce in their convictions that an actor must concentrate on the craft, and not be worried about incidentals like headshots. “I’m an actor—not a model!” they insist. There’s certainly validity to this argument. I mean, how much mileage can exceptional pics get an actor if they’re accompanied by weak acting skills? But try getting a chance to practice your craft if you don’t have good photos. Like a talented writer with poor grammar, or a beautiful aspiring model with no fashion sense, a polished actor with poor headshots is working against him or herself.

As an actor, you need to do everything in your power to procure auditions because if you don’t audition, you don’t book…period. That means take acting classes, network, go to the gym, commit to proper nutrition–and yes, go for the righteous pictures. You’ve heard the phrase You never get a second chance to make a first impression? That’s particularly true in the casting world.


There has to be something that grabs a casting director’s attention and says give this diamond in the rough a shot! And that something is the essence of YOU. One good photo can speak volumes about what makes you unique as an actor and as a person. A quality photographer can capture your sparkle, your intensity, your depth and passion! And don’t camouflage yourself within too much make up or elaborate backgrounds. Rather, be natural, relaxed, authentic–and yet allow your fierceness and confidence to shine through your eyes. Remember, your picture is worth a thousand words.

And on a practical note, don’t make the mistake of skimping. Show them as many looks as you can convincingly pull off. They may not know you can play a biker or a basketball player or a business man or woman unless you show them.