This is probably the question I get asked most about actor headshots – how often should they be updated? The rule of thumb is to ask yourself:
“Do I look any different to my current headshot?”
Have you gained a few years?
Had a few birthdays? It can be surprising how much we change in just a few short years and how that rate of change differs across age groups. Here are my recommendations for how often you should renew your actor headshots when it comes to aging:
Children under 10
This age group is the one that requires the most frequent updates to actor headshots as children grow and change at an incredibly fast rate. It is recommended that child actors update their headshots every 6-12 months. When you’re buying them clothes the next age up, think about getting their headshots updated!
Teens are still changing and developing each year so it is recommended their headshots are updated every 12 months. This is especially important when younger teens start transitioning into older teens and begin developing more adult features such as developing curves and facial hair, as it dramatically changes their casting type.
From 20 years old and upwards, I recommend updating actor headshots every 1-2 years. This frequency is recommended as not only will looks change, but so will your casting type as I mention in more detail further down. In addition to this, a casting director may get bored seeing the same headshots over and over. A fresh one can be the prompt the casting director needs to look at you again and see what new work you’ve been involved with.
Is that it?
Well, no. Other things like these might be a sign you need to update your headshots:
Have you got a new fro?
Rocking a new hair colour? Maybe you chopped it off or have added a few inches, or perhaps you’ve got a weave or are letting loose your gorgeous afro! Whatever the change, it’s a good idea to make sure your headshot reflects your current style.
But what about hair in *other* places?
Beards and moustaches!
It’s time to get brutally honest…
Have you put on a few pounds or lost weight?
No one likes to admit they’ve put on a bit of weight but it’s important to be honest with casting directors about your size and shape.
It’s not just weight either:
If you used to be an Adonis and haven’t updated your headshots since you started getting too busy with acting work to hit the gym, a casting director is going to be disappointed when you walk into the audition room and no longer fit the look of the character they need. Even if you haven’t gained weight, have you substantially lost your muscle definition to make you less suited to playing Superman or Wonderwoman without some serious pre-production prep?
But don’t forget…
Pretty much any other kind of change is worth bearing in mind when it comes to updating your acting headshots. For instance, noticeable scars, tattoos and piercings are also good to be honest and transparent about when it comes to your headshots.
The final thing to ask yourself is:
Have I changed my casting type?
As you develop your craft, you’ll discover your casting type and this may change, particularly in the early years of your career. If you feel you are moving away from the kind of characters you used to play a few years ago and want to go in a new direction, headshots are a great way to do this.
For instance; if you want to start being cast for more serious and gritty roles, you might want to consider letting go of your sweet baby faced headshots and updating them with something with a little more edge. Just look at the difference in casting type between the early images of Zach!
Your casting type should always be at the forefront of your mind when getting your headshots done as this is what you want to be selling to a casting director. Speaking of casting directors, why not check out my recent interview with casting director, Sharon Sorrentino and director, Tracey Street, where we discuss exactly what they look for in a headshot and what decisions they make when going through the process of selecting actors for audition!
A new you, means new headshots!
Want to get some new headshots done? Check out the links below!
Interested in booking your next actor headshots? Find out all about my sessions along with prices, HERE. In the meantime, why not check out some of these useful links?