Strike a Pose: The Complete Posing Guide for Acting Headshots

Getting a role based on appearance alone is a reality many actors must encounter. That is why they must have a quality headshot to enhance their chances of getting acting roles. An acting headshot is equivalent to a professional resume and can either enhance or diminish one’s career. To make a successful career in acting you will need to be well-informed in taking quality headshots that set you apart from most of your colleagues.

Quality headshots can keep your career goals moving along. On the other hand, subpar ones could become an obstacle hindering you from landing that dream role.

Therefore, it is essential to understand what makes a quality headshot and how to trust the photographer’s skill in the process of taking them.

Keep reading to find a complete guide to actor poses and how to land the best headshots.

What The Right Headshots Can Do for Your Career

Headshots are essential for breaking into the industry as a professional actor. It doesn’t matter how exceptionally brilliant you are but without the right headshot, the odds of someone noticing your attributes are unlikely. Taking these headshots is as important as the photographer taking them and by carefully paying attention to their instructions you can potentially end up with a beautiful result.

That said, here are some benefits of quality headshots;

  • When you present a headshot that represents who you are and what your acting career goals are, you may have a better chance of getting specific roles. You may even get that role that you’ve set your eyes upon. Therefore, your headshot should be the focal point of all your marketing materials. Linking your website, social media accounts, casting profiles, and résumé together.
  • A headshot is an actor’s professional calling card. It is a medium through which actors can reconnect with their casting director when appropriate job opportunities come up. Hence, It would help if you had acting headshots to establish your image. As an actor, your headshots should be versatile and fit into most positions.
  • Many auditions now require online submissions. In addition to hard copies, you’ll need digital copies of your headshot to upload into online casting profiles.

Organic Headshots and Poses

A quality acting headshot must convey your physical appearance. This ensures that it gives the casting directors a good idea of your identity and personality. It also makes them understand the type of roles you can play, allowing them to call you in for the proper auditions.

Not only can your acting headshot convey general appearance, but also your brand, type, age-range, and potential jobs. It can convey professionalism, social history, personality, and other characteristics.

The right photographer can help you showcase your talent’s variety and emotional variations by generating different facial expressions based on the subject of interest.

When a photographer gives you instructions to achieve a quality task, it would help if you heed their instructions because of their experience in the field.

Think of your headshot photoshoot as an acting performance that is being recorded. If you manage to follow your photographer’s instructions, you will be surprised by the results. These professionals have your best interest in mind and want to help you achieve your goals as much as you do.

A good headshot photographer will be curious about what kind of work you are trying to do and what type of roles you are trying to land. Be prepared to answer some semi-personal questions.

The range of information you can show a casting director with a single image is glorious when done correctly.

Headshot photographers make it a point to help their subjects feel comfortable. They appreciate and understand the importance of these photographs.

Trust Your Photographer

Hiring a headshot photographer is a big decision. You are trusting this person with your career and how you are conveying your talents in your professional endeavors.

Specifically, headshot photographers consider all of the essential aspects of this work. You will be giving this image to them, along with what you are trying to convey. Your photographer will most likely try to start a conversation with you about what you are trying to get out of your headshot.

They will generally ask you what type of roles you will be auditioning for, your background in acting, and what range of emotions best suits your skillset.

For example, If you are looking for acting roles in New York, your photographer will need to understand the type of competition you are up against because the acting game over there is extremely ruthless. Your main goal for your headshot in a sea of other actors is to stand out and make yourself memorable.

For stage actors, this may mean being more animated in your headshot, and for screen actors, an opportunity to show off the beauty and character of your close-up. You will need a photographer who understands the changing and demanding world of a New York City actor.

Hold The Right Position

Headshot poses can suggest a lot about the person featured in the pictures. They can illustrate a range of roles that an actor can play. This makes it imperative to understand why you should deeply consider what poses you select to be your featured headshots.

The poses you choose can differ based on the role you want to perform and the path you decide to take. It would be best if you chose a variety of poses for your headshot so you can find what suits you and your goals best. To help you hold the right positions, here are a few points to remember:

  • A sincere smiling pose is needed for at least one of your poses. Get yourself as happy and relaxed as possible if smiling does not come easily to you. If leaning against a wall or standing on your toes improves your expression, go for it! Think of something that always makes you laugh and let your genuine self shine through. Remember, the goal is to display a joyful expression with your face and eyes.
  • Exploring what you feel is the most complicated emotion. Try to represent this with your facial expression as an option for your headshotpose. Please don’t hold back during your photoshoot; treat it as an audition or even a scene.
  • Feel free to be open, outspoken, and honest about your headshots. Doing this would allow the professional photographer to take pictures that bring out your best features. The outcome of this shoot could be valuable in many ways, and it is a great way to demonstrate your range during a casting. You want your image to speak for you even if you have left the room after an audition.

Formatting is Everything

When formatting, it’s important to remember a few things, which are:

  • Headshots in black-and-white are almost rare, but print in color wherever possible. The bulk of actors’ headshots are printed vertically (“portrait”). At the same time, others are printed horizontally (“landscape”). Printing vertically makes it more straightforward for a casting agent to turn your headshot over to read your résume.
  • Even though a proper acting job application would incorporate your headshot with your résumé, it’s vital to get your name written on the picture.
  • There isn’t a standard font, but it should be readable. Your name will be written inside an exterior white or black border framing your headshot. So, many different styles are appropriate.
  • Formatting is often needed for digital headshots. Many websites can’t handle raw camera photos because they’re so big.
  • While the information may differ, most websites may need digital headshots saved as the correct file type. Make sure you look at what the listing you are responding to requires.

Landing Your Dream Role

Thinking of your headshots as an audition can help you achieve the stunning and memorable results you are looking for. After all, acting is what you do best, and conveying emotion comes naturally to you.

Acting headshots in NYC rely on many aspects aside from the subject’s range. An acting headshot is dependent on the photographer and their ability to capture an actor’s range and style.

Help your experience to shine. Check out our blog to find out more, and while you are there, schedule a session to get the best headshot you could hope for.

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