Tips on creating a successful professional head shot

A professional head shot, also know as an acting head shot or an actor's head shot, is an essential component to any actor's resume.  It gives casting directors and producers a sense of who you are and if you have the physical attributes for a given role.  With the growing number of filming projects in Toronto, the demand for actors will only increase.   Based on my experience, here are the essential steps to creating suitable professional head shots.

  1. Type of shot: A decision needs to be made on the types of shot (commercial, theatrical) to produce and the format (8x10, 8.5x11).  In a commercial head shot, the subject looks very approachable and happy.  However in a theatrical head shot, the subject will look more dramatic.
  2. Environment: This includes the shoot location, outfit and mood.  Traditionally, professional head shots are done against a white or grey backdrop.  However I am seeing a trend to shoot on location, as a way to make the head shot stand out from the rest.
  3. Patience: It usually takes at least an hour to get a good variety of shots to choose from.
  4. Choose carefully: Ask you casting agent to help review the images and select the right ones for editing.  It is important to keep the retouched images looking as natural as possible.  A professional head shot should be a true visual representation of who the actor is.
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