Sunday, January 26, 2014

Actor Headshots: Preparing for the shoot

General Advice for preparing for headshot session

  • Bring complete outfit changes suitable for different looks.
  • Avoid bold patterns that may distract from your face. Plain colors and fine textures work best.
  • You should feel comfortable in the clothes.
  • Clothes should complement your skin tone and eye color.
    1. Caucasian or light-skinned: Avoid solid white shirts
    2. Medium or dark skin and brown eyes: Most colors would be OK, but avoid colors that closely match your skin tone
    3. Fair skin and blue eyes: Wear blues, pinks, and grays
    4. Green eyes: Wear browns, greens, and oranges
    5. Bright red usually doesn’t work for anybody

·         To relax, feel free to bring in your mp3 player with your favorite tunes.

One week before your headshot session

  • Have your preferred beauty treatments done—haircut, hair color, eyebrows, tanning, etc.—so the treatments look fresh but natural
  • Male actors: if you want pictures with and without facial hair, start growing your beard before the shoot. You can shave during the session if you want to include a shaved look

Seventy-two hours before your headshot shoot

  • Stay out of the sun
  • Drink lots of water
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, and salty foods
  • Moisturize
  • Get a good night's sleep

The day of your headshot shoot

  • Ensure your outfits are clean and ironed
  • If you’re using a makeup artist, come to the shoot with nothing besides moisturizer on your face


  • Women: Your daily makeup is not the same as the makeup you’ll wear for a shoot. A professional Makeup artist is recommended. A professional MUA knows how to make you look your best on camera.
  • Men: Men usually don’t need much makeup. Minimal makeup like a little powder to eliminate shine is usually sufficient.


  • Actor headshots are meant to look natural, so a hair stylist is not as important as a makeup artist
  • A hairstylist helps your hair look its best for the shoot, but your hair should look the same as when you go for auditions

Clothing for Theatrical vs. Commercial Headshots

Clothing Suggestions for Theatrical Headshots

  • Dressier, upscale clothes in darker colors
  • For women: stretchy tops, sweaters, velvet, satin, scoop necks, spaghetti strap, tank tops, v-necks, as well as business suits and other professional clothing.
  • For men: Dress shirts, crew necks, textured sweaters, v-necks, turtle necks, suits and blazers.
  • Contrast can be created by layering a T-shirt, collared shirt, and/or jacket

Clothing Suggestions for Commercial Headshots

  • Casual clothes in lighter and brighter colors
  • Contrast can be created by layering light and dark clothes
  • For women: T-shirts, tank tops, sweater sets, denim/leather jackets, textured sweaters
  • For men: T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts, work shirts, polo shirts, denim/leather jackets, textured sweaters


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