I’ve recently had the pleasure of speaking at several workshops in New York on what makes a GREAT headshot. Let’s put the idea of a good headshot out of our minds from here on out. Think about it, a good headshot…to me that sounds average. I’ve looked at enough over the past decade as an actor and now as a photographer to know when it works and when it doesn’t. There are plenty of photographers out there that claim to be the best deal going for the price of peanuts and then there are those out there that believe if you aren’t willing to sell the farm, you chances for success are pretty slim. I’m gonna disagree with both ideas. First find a photographer who’s work you LOVE. You’ll know, I promise. Next get in touch with them. Do you need to meet them? Maybe or maybe a phone conversation or skype meeting will do. I’ve had some pretty awesome skype meetings with future clients! I still get a kick out of the whole talk to someone from your desk or even phone now. How do you and the photographer gel? Do they make you feel comfortable? Do they make you feel anxious? I know for me, I want to feel at ease during my sessions with actors. It’s supposed to be fun! Not a doctor’s physical folks. Some people, may enjoy a good physical now and then, but I’d guess it’s 3 or 4 people out there in some really scary town. What is the ambiance you’ll be working in? How many clients are they shooting a day? Is it a factory, will you get the time you deserve to feel comfortable and get THE shot? I also believe a photographer should know their gear and the settings inside and out. It needs to be instinctive. I remember getting my headshot taken as an actor a few times where I almost fell asleep during the session, because the photographer was fiddling with this light and that meter and oh if the aperture is f/5.6 and the shutter speed is 1/160th my iso should be………..and……. we’re asleep. No way, I want my actors engaged, locked into what they are doing and feeling great!! This a chance for you to reveal a very personal side of you. The camera does not lie. Get out there and let people see who YOU are. Not a character, you! You are great enough, you don’t need to be DeNiro, Brando, Pacino, Streep or Foster to be successful. In fact, why would you want to be them? They made it, now it’s your turn. I believe in variation. If you go to your session for 2-3 hours and every single shot is you and a white background, well….crap. Get black, white, gray and then fill in all the colors outdoors. Studio lighting is wonderful, we get to shape the light to bring out all of the physical traits that make you you! Natural is equally as great, that’s how we as people see each other.