We all know that an actor’s headshot is very important and that it’s your first impression to anyone in the industry. Because of that, we want our headshots to be as professional as possible and we don’t want any mistakes that make us look like amateurs.
Today, I want to share with you three easily fixable headshot mistakes. In fact, none of them require you to get new headshots taken because they have nothing to do with the actual photo.
Digital headshots are used much more often than printed headshots these days. So it’s important that we pay attention to detail when it comes to our digital headshot, specifically, the name of the file. Let’s say I’m an agent or a casting director or anyone else in the industry and I ask you to email me your headshot. Make sure the file that you send me isn’t named something like IMG40557.JPG
That’s the name of the file that you get back from the photographer. You need to rename that because those letters and numbers don’t mean anything. And make sure you don’t change it to just Headshot.JPG. That still doesn’t mean anything. When someone else downloads it to their computer, they see the file name Headshot.JPG, they don’t know who it belongs to.
You need to properly name the headshot file on your computer with your first and last name. I like to name it with my first and last name dash headshot. That way, when I send it to anyone and they download it, any time they look at the name of the file, they know exactly who it is.
By the way, this also applies to your digital resume. Make sure it isn’t named Resume.PDF. Rename it to have your first and last name just like your headshot. Go check your computer right now. Make sure your headshot and resume both have your first and last name in the name of the file.
Now let’s talk about your physical headshot. The industry standard is to print headshots on 8x10 photo paper. Regular printer paper is 8.5x11. The headshot paper is smaller. It is VERY important to print your headshot on the correct size paper. If you don’t, your headshot is literally going to stick out from the pile like a sore thumb. And that’s going to make you look like you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s going to make you look like an amateur.
Remember that the most important thing you can convey to agents and casting directors is professionalism. Because this industry is built on relationships that are built on trust. Agents and Casting directors need to be able to trust you to go onto a multi-million dollar movie set and be a professional and know what you’re doing. If you make even little mistakes like printing your headshots on the wrong size paper, it conveys the message that you don’t really know what you’re doing. So this may seem like a small detail and may seem trivial but in an industry that is as competitive as ours, small details like this make a huge difference.
So if you have headshots that are printed on the wrong size paper right now, tomorrow or the next day, head over to the printers and get them reprinted on 8x10 paper.
Always always always bring headshots to auditions. Even if they say they don’t need it, what’s the harm in having it just in case? Get in the habit of always having a headshot when you go to an audition. And look, I get it, we’re human and we make mistakes and sometimes we forget. So how do we guarantee that we’ll never forget our headshot when we go to an audition? Keep a folder of headshots in your car at all times. You never know when you’re going to need it and it can be a lifesaver.
So grab a folder right now, put a few headshots in it, and go put it in your car. Now you’ll never be caught at an audition without a headshot.