Recently, I wrote a blog post about headshots that a lot of people found helpful and insightful.
It kinda went viral among the professional actor crowd, and people left me great feedback, and shared it around the interwebs.
I am pretty proud of that, and it made me want to write some more.
I’m glad I wrote it, but I can’t take all the credit; I was just reporting on what I had learned from Bob Fraser, from all his years as an actor, director, and producer before he passed away.
People started emailing me and messaging me privately on facebook, and wanted me to look at their headshots and all of that, but I kinda shy away from it because the entire philosophy around my business is helping actors take control of your own business and your own life.
And yet, of course people want advice and help!
So, rather than write to everyone individually, I had people post their headshots in the comments of a different facebook post, so I got to see a lot of people’s headshots.
They ranged from the veteran professional, to the newbie, to the retired person looking to start a new career.
(Add yours to the post by clicking here)
You might also want to check out “No More Waiters” graduate Ashley Wool’s facebook group: “Headshot Critique For Actors“
But here’s the thing.
I don’t ask ACTORS what they think of my headshots, because they aren’t the people who BUY my services as an actor.
You get it?
That’s why I like Bob Fraser’s work so much because he was a DIRECTOR and also the person with the REAL power- a PRODUCER.
So, I am here passing on tips from a PRODUCER.
|Download My FREE HEADSHOT CHECKLIST by clicking here.
Since people enjoyed the last post so much, I figured I’d deliver a “part 2” to the training he did:
YOU ARE TRYING TO SELL A CHARACTER:
Although I mentioned this idea in the last post, it means a lot more than just as a footnote.
It should inform the entire shot.
And to that affect, Bob Fraser had a lot to say about how to CROP your pictures for maximum effect.
A lot of people get their headshots to kind of be a “one stop shot” of themselves, and want to use it for many different purposes.
This makes total sense, and my friend Lisa Gold, who is an excellent acting business coach says that actors should use ONE shot over and over so that casting directors learn it.
But, let’s take a look at two in particular, and please remember that this is my opinion based on what I THINK would be Bob’s opinion, and he even said that the opinion isn’t worth much.
He said to concentrate on whether it WORKS or not.
Again, this is just my opinion of what I THINK someone else’s opinion MIGHT be.
This is Mary Looram, she is getting back into the business, and posted this headshot on that thread:
But Bob Fraser said that what you want to do is CROP the picture so that your EYES and FACE are the focal point, and to CONNECT with the camera.
She’s a lovely woman, and her smile is certainly a nice one.
But look at all that SPACE above her head.
Her folded arms aren’t really making me come closer to her, and her shirt is a little distracting.
Isn’t she also kinda F A R A W A Y to connect with her?
So, I took her picture and just CROPPED it a bit to bring her close in, and concentrate on that beautiful smile, and those warm eyes that really make you feel like she’s about to hug you!
Don’t you want to call this woman in? Even if it’s just to make you cookies!
Again, just my opinion of what I think someone else’s opinion MIGHT be.
But you take a look side by side, and tell me who YOU’d rather call in:
|Download My FREE HEADSHOT CHECKLIST HERE|
To illustrate this further, let’s take a look at another one,
this time a man, Alvin Kershaw:
This is another case of being a great smile, but so far away!
His body also fades into the background because he’s wearing that black shirt.
What if we CROPPED away the unnecessary stuff, and just captured that radiant, friendly face:
Wouldn’t you want this guy to come over and have a beer with you?
How about to come in, and read for the “fun black friend” of the white guy superhero?
I mean, we HAVE to have to know that our white guy super hero is “down”, and has black friends… in jail, right?
(Ahem, Ant Man)
DAMMIT. BUT, WE’LL TAKE IT!
So, let’s call this guy in for that.
Let’s see them side by side, and tell me who you’d call in:
Well, here’s the final note on all of this, again, just stuff I learned from Bob Fraser.
No matter what your headshot looks like, they will call in the guy they KNOW with a bad headshot before the guy they DON’T know with a great one.
I mention this because someone on that facebook thread said that he has booked number of films without ever having a headshot, and some of the actors in the group kinda jumped down his throat.
But I said that if he can get in the room without one, then GREAT- that’s where you WANT to be!
|Download My FREE HEADSHOT CHECKLIST HERE|
When the people who NEED your services know who you are, and want for YOU to come in and show what you can do for them, that’s the WHOLE point of being in business!
And remember- we’re in BUSINESS.
So, use your headshot as the best flyer advertisement for your service business that you can!
If you appreciated the time I took to write this out and would like to show me, then leave me a comment, and SHARE IT so other people can benefit from Bob’s advice!
Let Your Light So Shine Before Men,