Types of headshots
Business or Professional HeadshotsBelieve it or not, actors and models aren’t the only professions that require professional headshots. Any industry that requires facial recognition, like politics, real estate or law, will require a headshot; these images have a very different appearance than that of someone in the entertainment industry, so it’s vitally important that you clearly tell your photographer that you’re not looking for this type of photograph.
Business or professional headshots tend to look “business-y” – they’re commonly shot with a darker background, while the person being shot is wearing a suit or other professional attire. They aim to invoke trust, and they’re hoping to sell the person’s “business” personality, rather than the essence of who they are in all facets of life. In other words, they’re a little one-dimensional.
Modeling HeadshotsA model’s headshot will vary depending on the intent of the photograph. If you’re hoping to sign with a modeling agency, the agency won’t want to see you all made up and glamorous – they’ll want to see you at your core. In most cases, a simple, bare-faced Polaroid is all they’ll want or need. That said, once you’ve been signed, you’ll need a headshot or portfolio that can be shown to potential clients. The standard “beauty shot” of the head and shoulders should be simple, with minimal makeup and hair, but it should still aim to show off your modeling chops – clients need to know that you’re able to deliver a good photo.
Acting and Entertaining HeadshotsIf you’re entering the entertainment business, your headshot is essentially your resume. Before holding tryouts for a production, directors will scan through stacks of headshots to determine who does or does not have what it takes to play a certain role. Your headshot should show off the best of who you are at your core, and because directors need to be able to glean what type of character you can play in less than a minute, you need to make sure your attire, makeup and hair do nothing to distract from the headshot itself. It takes a lot of skill to capture a person’s “essence” in a headshot, so it’s especially important that you choose an experienced headshot photographer whose work you love and trust.
by Laura Williams