Hey guys! Just wanted to touch base and tell you about some great news.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I LOVE PHOTOGRAPHING ACTORS!!!! The only thing I love more than photographing actors is photographing prepared actors! What does this mean???
Picture this, Sicily 1972... Just kidding. Imagine for a minute that you're a busy casting director. You've been given the task of bringing in, lets say, 100 actors for the role of "grizzly bar-fly." As is the norm for such a task, you've been given 10 minutes to sift through hundreds of thumbnail submissions. Now tell me this. Would you want to take the time to click on a thumbnail of a pleasant, neutral looking guy and imagine what they would look like with a beard and messy hair? Or would you skim through the hundreds of images and grab the ones that popped out and were already exactly what you were looking for? Chances are, you'd go with the latter.
In preparation for their headshots the actor should know the following:
1. In what market are you trying to work?
New York? LA? Chicago? San Diego? San Francisco?
Why is this important? Because different markets require different looks. For example, my agent in San Diego wants a neutral "healthy, happy" headshot and only really requires one look. This is because the majority of work here in San Diego is local commercial, industrial, and print work. For example, one of the major companies here is Petco and they're generally looking for "family" types. In Los Angeles, however, they require a much broader range of looks, the more specific the better. For example - "edgy blogger" "young mom" "exercise guru" "frazzled teacher" etc.
2. What kind of jobs are you looking to book?
Commercials, Theatrical (this means film and tv on the west coast fyi), theatre?
Again, it's important to know the difference in styles. It's also important that your photographer knows the difference as well. If your answer to question #2 is YES! I WANT TO DO ALL OF THAT!!! Make sure that you've planned your looks very well so that you can get the most mileage out of your shoot. If you don't plan well, you will have a bunch of "nice" pics that may not book you a whole lot of work in any of the catagories.
3. What is your "type"?
As actors we bristle at the thought of our artistic potential being stifled by the constraints of a "type." The reality is, however, time is money and casting folk don't have time to figure it out for you. Getting in the door is the hardest part. Once you're in, you can show them your range, but let's get in first! Here's how I break it down... If I can look at a headshot of someone I don't know and say, "oh! I know exactly how I would cast him!.. or her!" well, that's a good headshot. On the other hand, if I look at the shot and say "oh wow, another pretty face..." or "hmmm, that's nice." Well, you get the idea. As a photog, I can only shoot what you bring to the table. If you don't know your type and dress accordingly, there's only so much I can do.
OKAY OKAY! WHAT'S THE GOOD NEWS HOLLY??? WE'VE BEEN WAITING!!
I know, I know! Here it is. One of the most prepared actors I know and have had the pleasure to shoot is my friend Billy. I met Billy because I took his marketing seminar (for details visit www.wcistudios.com
I highly recommend!!!). A while back, Billy came in for a headshot session and because he was so freaking prepared... well, just look around and see what we got!
Because of his preparedness and the resulting fab shots, he has booked no less than 7 national commercial spots this year!!!!!
Great job Billy! Here's to many, many more!!!