You've got mail! Your headshots just came in from your photographer... all 300 of them. You know you only need to pick 6 final images, but how!? There are so many to choose from!
Choosing the perfect headshot to represent you as an actor can be extremely daunting! An actor's headshot is the most powerful tool to getting a foot in the door for auditions, even for the working actors.
I would like to offer you some help in picking your top images for retouching. Remember the images you are looking at right now are only proofs meaning they are only lightly color corrected! Once you have completed the selection process, the next step is for these final images to be retouched. This process will soften flyaway, reduce the appearance of blemishes or anything that isn't permanently on the face, soften any shadows that may have been caused from lighting, and basically just bring all the attention to you in your most natural form. Retouching should never change what you look like, it should be done lightly as you need to be walking into the casting office looking like your headshot.
With so much weight hanging over the importance of theheadshot, this is a very difficult process. I recommend having someone help you with the selects since we tend to be hard on ourselves. Don't forget, your so called "flaws" make you interesting!
You may be lucky enough to have an agent who can help you narrow down your images, this isn't typically something their job title entails so make sure to thank them SO much! This would fall more into the lap of a manager's duties. We may not always have their assistance, so finding someone who understands the industry and knows you as a performer is extremely beneficial. If you are doing it alone though, here are some good things to look for:
1. Think what you realistically could be cast as.
Go to IMDb and research actor's headshots from shows you could see yourself acting in. What expressions are they making? If your target is Disney Channel shows, you might want to rethink selecting images that are overly mature or sexy.
* If you are deciding on your commercial headshot, make sure your smile is real.
2. Get Specific. You may see yourself as the leading actress, but remember there is more to just being attractive. There is the friendly approachable character, the quirky nerd, the stern dramatic character, etc. Identifying your own qualities makes it easier for casting to get a sense of who you are and what roles might be best for you.
3. Keep an eye on the prize. Make sure your eyes tell a story. Think about when your talking to someone and can tell they aren't listening. Make sure you look engaged and connected.
4. Take your time. This is not something you need to rush. Yes, I know you need to print your headshots asap for potential auditions, but these will be images you have for at least 6 months to a year! When going through your proofs, if an image makes you pause for a second, favorite it. There is no limit on how many you can favorite. Once you have narrowed down a few, go back through those. Eventually the right shot will stand out.
I hope this helps and feel free to ask me for assistance in choosing your favorite proofs.