Here are a selection of acting headshots from my portfolio. Depending on the computer or device you're using, you can either click on the thumbnails, use the arrows or swipe left and right to navigate.
Acting headshots - standards and formats
As an actor, it’s important for you to be aware of both the industry standards for actors headshots and the latest trends, as both have an impact on your own portfolio of images. The industry standard for the Spotlight directory listing is still a 10"x8" headshot i.e. a head and shoulders portrait photograph, and colour is now widely accepted as well as the more traditional black and white format. My portfolio therefore includes a mixture of colour and black and white headshots.
Acting headshot portfolios
Last year saw a significant change as Spotlight stopped printing their yearly directory books and moved everything completely online. This means that Spotlight Interactive is now the primary tool for casting directors to search for acting talent and this gives you the opportunity to have a portfolio of headshots, rather than being defined by one single image. Casting directors therefore like to see some variation in your headshots to help them understand your range as an actor. It’s good to consider having different headshots to demonstrate your playing range and subtle variations that suggest different types of roles that you can play.
Natural light vs. studio lighting
I will usually photograph you both in the studio environment and outdoors in natural daylight. Good acting headshots are quite subliminal and by using different lighting styles and setups, we can harness the power of suggestion to create more range in your portfolio. As an example, shots taken in the studio with simple backgrounds and directional lighting are often slightly more suggestive of a theatrical feel. Outdoor headshots in daylight produce a very natural look, and when this is combined with the narrow depth of field (blurred out backgrounds) it creates an image that we associate more with film and television. It's worth noting that some casting directors and actors agents also seem to have a preference for natural daylight headshots, which is why it’s important that you have that option.
What do casting directors want to see in acting headshots?
For more information about what casting directors want to see in a good actors headshot, here is a great video from Spotlight :