Actor Headshots: The Critical Steps You Must Take After You Get Them

Getting professional actor headshots is a big step toward pursuing an acting career.  Once you get them, however, you are still at the very beginning of your career.  There are a number of critical steps you must take immediately after getting your photos taken.

But before I get to that, let me go over what I mean by professional acting headshots.  Professional headshots are not the kind of shots you get taken at Sears Glamor shots.  They’re also not the kind of shots you see in People magazine – those are publicity shots or paparazzi shots.  Professional acting shots are very specific headshots that make you look your very best – but still look like you.  It’s an art form in and of itself.

Once you find a professional photographer such as Bradford Rogne, one of the tops in Los Angeles, then here are the step you must take to move forward on your career.

Have a professional in the business help you pick out the photo you should use to pursue your acting career with.

There are two main reasons to have a professional like me (Melody!) help you pick out your headshots.  One:  You have too many bad ones and you need someone to see what you can salvage.  Two:  You have too many good ones and you need to somehow narrow it down!  If you shoot with a pro like Bradford who takes a few hundred photos in a session, I guarantee that it will be hard to pick out the best ones.  But don’t try to do it yourself as you have a certain image of yourself that you want to see, but it may not be what sells you to the industry.  Get a professional’s input on this.

Create an acting resume if you haven’t already.

If you’re a newbie to pursuing your acting career, you may already have a starter resume and that’s fine even if you have next to nothing to put on it.   But even if you have no idea what to put on it and you’ve never taken an acting class, you still need to have a resume.  You have to put your contact info on it.  Your height, weight, hair, and eyes.  And if you’re under 21, go on and put your Date of Birth.  All of this is important.

You must have a resume, stapled to the back of your headshot when you send it out to get an agent or manager or to get and casting directors to call you in for auditions.

Get your headshots duplicated.

I’m assuming if you’re reading this article that you are a newbie.  So let me just say very simply that once you get your headshot and you pick out the best one (with help from someone in the business – LIKE ME!), then you will need to get duplicates, meaning multiple copies of them, to send out to Hollywood agents and casting directors.

Here’s how it works.  In today’s market, your photographer will most likely give you a CD of the pictures he took or give you a link to go to online where you can see the hundreds of shots he took.  Once you look at them, you will then need to decide which ones you want to use to promote yourself with.  You might choose one or you might choose two.

After you choose the one (or two) you want, then you will probably need to have it touched up.  That means to remove little flyaway hairs or to soften the smile lines (also known as wrinkles for people who are a little bit older).

Once you have your headshot touched up (digitally), then it’s time to get your pictures duplicated.  One of the places to do this is Isgo Lepegian in Hollywood.  This company has been around for literally decades.  They are a Hollywood staple, and I highly recommend them.  They are consummate professionals and actor-friendly.  You can order in person or online.  There are other places you can go who do a good job, but I will tell you for sure that this one is one you can count on consistently, so I recommend them.

Just to give you an idea of the pricing to expect, you should never pay more than 1.00 (one dollar) for a photographic duplicate, and usually it’s more like .80 cents.  Check out their pricing as a guideline.

Generally, no matter what “lab” (aka “photo place”) you go to, you will pay about $10 to $15 for an 8×10 proof, which means they’ll print ONE out for you to look at and give the okay on before you order the 100 or so pictures.  You’ll also get to choose the type of border and where to put your name on the photo.  Then it takes 3 to 7 days to get them back… and Bob’s your uncle.

So!  That’s how it works.  I’ve written all of this here because I am constantly asked these questions by my newbie, beginners.  And sometimes even actors who have been doing this for a while get some new info on these review articles.  If you would like to know LOTS more tips and basic steps to take, then check out my ebook Hollywood Actor’s Crash Course.  It has tons of good info in it, and I promise you , it will potentially save you not only hundreds of dollars but possibly even two or three years of figuring things out on your own!

Enjoy!