Hey guys!

This week I have the pleasure of introducing Tisha Ioli to the “From the Source” segment of the blog! I’ve known about Tisha for a few years now and have worked with many actors who’ve studied with and auditioned for her as well as agents and managers whose clients have shared great success in both areas. I can’t thank Tisha enough for taking the time to answer some questions that come up with actors time and time again. I hope you guys come away with an even greater understanding of the importance of having a great headshot =)

A little bit about Tisha:


Tisha worked successfully as an actor for over 20 years, before bringing her knowledge of the craft and empathy for actors into the world of casting. She freelanced with some of New York’s top casting offices and found a permanent home at Donald Case Casting, in 2001.

She takes great pride in giving back to the community, vowing to do her part to support actors who dream as she did of having a career in the entertainment industry. She has held workshops at various New York acting venues including, The Performing Option, The Actors Green Room, The Network, Actors Technique NY, The Magnet Theater and TVI. Tisha is currently on staff at Actors Connection where she teaches an ongoing 4 week on-camera commercial class.

In addition to her many years of theatrical experience, Tisha is an accomplished playwright. Her plays and sketches have been performed at The Merkin Concert Hall, The West Bank Theatre, The Woodstock Theatre and at Hudson Valley Theatre Sounds.


1. What are you looking for in an actor headshot?
This may sound simplistic, but a headshot should look like you! Don’t get caught in the trap of picking out the one that makes you look the most glamorous/handsome or younger. Pick the one that looks like you, on your best day.

2. Amongst the piles of headshots you go through every week, what is it that makes a great headshot stand out against the rest of the pack?
I think it’s all in the eyes. If there isn’t life behind the eyes, it just doesn’t grab the viewer’s attention. The other thing that helps is if a headshot can convey a sense of personality. It is an added bonus if it somehow gives us a peek into your personality.

3. Do you have a preference for vertical or horizontal headshots?
Gosh, I don’t think the way in which your image lands on the page is all that important. Can you imagine? “Sorry, your headshot is horizontal, that means you are out of the running.” Ouch!

4. Do you have a preference for natural light or studio lighting or does the subject matter more?
I think it depends on the actor. I’ve seen amazing shots in and out of the studio. If you choose the right photographer, he/she will probably know in what venue your skin tone, and features will benefit the most.

5. When looking through headshots, do you find that you are more drawn to a pretty picture or a headshot that says something about the actor?
Maybe a little bit of both. Depth for sure-something that moves the viewer in some way. On the flip side, (and especially with models and comp cards), you can totally be drawn to a photograph solely on the basis of how absolutely gorgeous a man or woman appears to be.

6. What are some positives you are seeing with the current trends in headshots?
I think photographers seem to be more willing to do what it takes to get a good shot. There seems to be a kinder, gentler approach out there these days.

7. What are some negatives you are seeing with the current trends in headshots?
One negative would be actors being overcharged for something that can be done just as well for a lot less. Paying more doesn’t mean you are getting more. Also, this isn’t really a trend, but one thing that doesn’t work for me is the extreme close-up. I don’t think it does an actor any good to crop the photo in such a way that all we can see is the top of their head to the bottom of their chin. It’s just not flattering now matter how beautiful you are.

8. Is a hard copy 8×10 still viable in the industry?
Absolutely but it has to be in color. If you are still handing out a black and white headshot, the only impression you will give is an outdated one.

9. Do you see the industry moving more towards digital / web submissions?
Ah, the power of social media! Yes, we are much more digital these days. The 8 x 10 is not quite obsolete so don’t give up on it yet, but when it comes to submissions, the digital/web submission makes our job a lot easier.

Check back in in the coming weeks for more Q & A’s with some truly remarkable professionals in the industry.