A Producers Guide To The Perfect Headshot

I’ve been a full-time actor for about 13 years now, and I have to admit that I haven’t gotten as many headshots as I should have in that amount of time.

Recently, I’ve decided that it’s time for new headshots, and I wanted to be sure I reviewed some great tips I got from the Late Great Bob Fraser, who was an accomplished actor, director, and most importantly- PRODUCER.

bob-fraser

 Bob used to sell a course for actors called “You Must Act”, along with other great courses, and I bought ALL of his stuff- it was always packed of great information, and got me motivated to keep moving.

We were working on creating a product together, because he would teach actors about the business of acting, and I would teach them how to quit your day job, so you can be free to be a full-time actor.

Together, we would have made a great team! I would get people FREE of the day job, and he would make them STARS!

Unfortunately, he passed away a while ago, and his family chose to not make his great products available anymore, so I have chosen to give you some of his tips from his fantastic headshot book “Headshot Secrets”:

The most important part of a headshot is that it LOOK LIKE YOU! As Bob says:

 

“So your first bit of homework is to take the time, each day, to repeat
the most important and basic mind-set adjustments, until they
become second nature to you:
◊ I look like me.
◊ I must get comfortable with it.
◊ I must use how I look to my advantage.
Here are the first few ‘baby steps’ in adjusting your mind-set:
1. Work hard at becoming ‘okay’ with the way you look.
2. Dump the idea that a headshot gets you work. It
doesn’t. Your headshot will only get you the chance to
sell yourself.
3. Maintain your objectivity.
4. Focus on your REAL goal: Getting IN THE DOOR!”

Bob was very clear that we were in a BUSINESS, and his advice always came from a PRODUCERS point of view instead of as some fellow actor who is also just fumbling along the path.

 You see, too many actors are worried about if they look “good” or not, and should instead be looking at the headshot as an ADVERTISEMENT FOR THEIR ACTING BUSINESS.

He goes on to say this:

 

“If your headshot doesn’t work, you must get another one.

One more time:
If your headshot doesn’t work, you must get another one.”

 

Just like if you had an AD that didn’t work for a home business, you’d want to create a new one.

Isn’t that a REVELATION?

Instead of asking if you look “sexy”, you can just ask “Is it getting me in the door?”

Aside from some of the great tips I learned from Bob (Which people who are part of my mastermind have access to), I learned that when you are getting new headshots- it’s YOU who is the business owner- not the photographer, not your agent or manager- that it is all up to YOU.

That YOU should be selling a CHARACTER that you play well. 

Y’know how Paul Rudd is pretty much always playing a version of Paul Rudd?

Or how Chris Hemsworth is pretty much always playing a Hunky guy?

or how Scarlett Johanssen is pretty much always Scarlett Johansson?

 

THAT’S what the business is.

Sure, you want to have “range” and all of that, but for the BUSINESS, you need to know what you’re selling, and your headshot is the first way people know what you’re selling.

Look PAST the camera, connect with the viewer, and SELL that character!

Also- No Arms, stop cutting off your own head, and get a good photographer for God’s sake!

This is where people tell me that a good photographer is expensive, and I tell them to make money like I do  instead of waiting tables, walking dogs or watching babies!

So many actors don’t want to spend ANY money on their acting career because they think it’s a job- it is NOT a job- it’s a BUSINESS, and you absolutely have to stop being a penny-pinching loser with your business.

Your acting business is starving because you won’t pay for information, services, or anything because you think your “talent” will do it-

and that’s why most headshots suck.

and that’s why most actors careers suck

and that’s why most actors quit

Remember that you are SELLING your acting services, and you’ll have an advantage over all the other “artists” who are penny-pinching, broke and about to quit!

In PART 2 of “The Producer’s Guide To The Perfect Headshot”, I compare people’s headshots with before/afters, and give away the perfect headshot checklist…

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One Reply to “A Producers Guide To The Perfect Headshot”

  1. Bones, thank you SO much! As an actor who recently has begun working as a headshot photographer, I was hoping to find an article like this one that could explain exactly how I feel. Yes, we are actors, and yes, we are self-conscious… but we also tend to not be very self AWARE. Its more important to sell your business accurately than it is to look different than your headshot. Otherwise, you’re not in the acting business.

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