Natural look headshots to present the best of you in auditions. For actors, singers and performers who need top-notch quality.
An audition headshot is simply your most powerful marketing tool. Your objective is to stand out from a pile of competitors, get casting directors’ attentions, and to have your face remembered, exactly like how you look. Many actors of all ages shot their headshots at BEAUPIX and got top notch results, fine tuned to the individual look.
Your headshot should have expression, emotion, character. That’s what people notice quickly and remember for a long time. Do people actually remember the pretty model’s face they see in clothing catalogs or the stock photo used in magazine articles? No, those faces are selling clothing they wear. You’re selling your talent, nothing else.
Actor Paper sells regular office paper pre-cut to 8×10. As of this writing, their price is $8.69 for 100 sheets, plus shipping. However, if you have a studio headshot session, you are welcome to bring 100 sheets of 8.5×11 office paper and I’ll trim them for you with a Japanese-precision heavy duty paper trimmer, which makes clean straight cuts.
See 8×10 Audition Prints for detailed info.
The price of audition headshots depends on how many looks photographed, and how many images enhanced or retouched for delivery. The most popular package is 500, with three detailed magazine-quality image retouching included. Budget package starts at 200, where retouching is optional at 60/image. Professional makeup artist is available at prices starting at $125. Through a brief telephone consultation, you’ll get a basic price estimate. Booking for a high demand day, and weeks into the future will require advance payment by check. Cash and all major credit cards accepted.
There are two schools of thoughts: (1) grey background so that the casting director’s attention is focused on your face; (2) outdoor scene background, blurred, so that your headshot visually stands out, even at the cost of diffused attention. I’m unbiased about these two ideas.
There are many actors who come back to the studio every year for updates. Most of them have tried different styles, backgrounds, and locations in their first few shoots, but most of them come back to grey backdrop. Keeping the background unremarkable makes your face the center of attention. This logic does work. In addition, studio sessions are easiest and most comfortable.
If you think this is too boring, we can use outdoor scene, a window, studio wall, or the building interior as the backdrop. Also, some people may want outdoor headshots, especially for TV or film work. For this type of market, there can be an advantage to demonstrating that you are a good fit for a particular environment. We can shoot on a street or in a park. Please ask the photographer for any other possibilities. (Note: depending on the season, outdoor shoot can be difficult to book, due to weather. Also, keep in mind that wind can be a significant distraction.)
At BEAUPIX, you can photograph one style outdoor on a street or in a park, in addition to one or two styles indoor against grey background. Most other photographers do not offer this option at all.
Publicity headshots can use more interesting backdrops.
Audition headshots are made for the casting directors. They want to see your face, from rather straight angle, and without much styling or heavy posing. Keep things simple and clean-cut to minimize distractions from your face, which should be the center of attention. Put bluntly, keep everything boring, besides your face. Don’t wear fancy dress with shiny trimmings, or shirts with designer logos.
On the other hand, publicity headshots are aimed at general audience. You’ve passed the auditions, you’ve gone through the productions, and it is the time to show off your style not just character. To learn more, please read publicity photo section.
You can’t use retouching to lie for casting headshots. But you can remove temporary skin blemishes and lighten distracting under eye circles and wrinkles. Even a light, natural retouching can significantly improve your impression.
An actor’s headshot has opposite aims from fashion photography. A fashion model’s job is to look plain and emotionless so that the clothing stands out; an actor should choose plain clothing to look best.
Keep it simple and clean-cut. A simple example (that works) is a solid colored T-shirt or tank top. You can choose casual, informal or business attire, but don’t use too many colors, too many trimmings, prints or other features that may deprive viewer’s attention. In fact, you can try 2-3 different outfits in a standard actor’s headshot package.
When choosing outfits, try to pick colors that are a bit darker than your skin tone, but avoid pure black. You can also try lighter color, but avoid pure white. You probably know what colors look good on you, but if you don’t, ask your friend to help you go through your wardrobe. Also, you’re welcome to bring extra outfits so that we can choose together in the studio.
A theatrical headshot is usually a straight-looking headshot with a small smile or no smile at all. There are also largely two schools of thought on this: (1) keep the headshot emotionally neutral, so that your casting director can see your baseline; (2) show strong emotion in your headshot so that your casting director remembers you and more easily understands your character. I generally recommend covering (1) and at least trying (2). Expressive headshots are definitely more memorable, and it’s worth keeping some in your back pocket if not using one as your main headshot.
Commercial headshots tend to use bigger smiles and they are more open to engaging posing and creative styling than theatrical headshots.
If you are shooting for audition, use color photo.
In old days, black-and-white was more common, because b&w prints were less expensive than color. Back then, everyone had to describe skin color, hair, eye, etc on their actor resume. Casting directors actually do not like b&w prints, because they are all used to color now.
Some actor’s handbooks still print the same text from the old era, and you see b&w headshots mentioned or even described at length. You can safely ignore that part today.
That said, b&w headshots can be supplied, if preferred.
This is quite detailed and raises many good points and suggestions regarding the headshot photography part alone. It also points out a few options for headshot styles that are more commonly requested these days: horizontal format, full length, and location headshot, as you see in our headshot portfolio.
They say 8×10 black-and-white prints. While black-and-white used to be much more common in the past (due to lower prices when printed in bulk), most agencies and casting directors prefer color 8×10 today. The printing prices are the same for b&w and color. Beaupix Studio can provide the same image in both color and black-and-white if requested.
Magazine-like retouching makes your headshot flawless, while maintaining natural skin and realistic finish.
Set up a quick phone call with the photographer to find the best package option together.