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Actor Headshots: Picking Your Shots

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In the last entry, we discussed how posture, expression and lighting can drastically change your actor headshots. If you didn’t catch it, check it out HERE. Today we’re going to look at how to actually choose the few headshots out of possibly hundreds taken over the course of a session that will make it as your Spotlight headshots!


Imagine it: you’ve booked your headshot photographer and had a fantastic session, but how do you know which images to pick? A good set of actor headshots will show your range but also consistently reinforce your casting type. It’s therefore really important that you identify this and talk to your headshot photographer about it so they can tailor your shoot to you.

When picking your final headshots, ask yourself these questions:

Do they show my range of playing ages?

Do they show my casting type?

Are they a true representation of me?


As we mentioned in the previous entry, we’re going to use actor, Torin Pocock’s headshot session as a case study.


When it came to picking his final shots, our main priority was to have one neutral headshot for Spotlight, one headshot that had a friendly and approachable appearance and one that showed a more intense kind of character, all whilst showcasing the range of his playing age.


In the end, the three main headshots Torin chose as part of his session:




This is Torin’s completely neutral headshot for Spotlight and any other acting platform he might chose to use such as Star Now or Cast Call Pro. One of the deciding factors of this image is that Torin felt it made him look a little younger than his other photos which would help to showcase his playing range to a casting director, another important thing to bear in mind when setting your goals for your actor headshots.




This image was chosen as we wanted to capture an image that showed Torin as a friendly, approachable character. One of the reasons we chose this smile over other is that it looked more relaxed and more genuine. Below are examples of smiling shots that didn’t work because they either looked disingenuous or were a little OTT! It’s amazing what a huge difference subtle changes can be to your headshot!




Finally we come to the more intense look, and I must admit it’s one of my favourites!  In this shot, Torin has managed to achieve a much more focused look that could see him cast as a leading man. He looks slightly older, again showing the range of his playing age, as well giving him a very strong and charismatic appearance with a darker undertone to that of the more smiley headshot.


I personally feel that this is the strongest of all three headshots and as a result, did my own little stylised edit. Not strictly in line with traditional headshot standards but as a more creative edit for my own sake – I’m pretty pleased with it!




As industry standards for actor headshots seem to go through trends and different platforms, casting directors and agents have individual preferences and requirements, I always provide all my client’s headshots in colour as well as black and white. In addition to the three photos already talked about, Torin decided to go for a couple of variations on the smiling shot. Below are the final images he took home from the shoot:





If you’re looking for an actor headshot photographer, feel free to check out my headshot page HERE for more information and if you like what you see, why not SAY HELLO


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