- It has to provide a clear and accurate representation of what you really look like. Although there may be a bit more latitude when it comes to theatrical headshots and casting for specific roles, the idea is that you need to show up looking like the same person that’s in the photograph. Makeup for women should be clean and natural; men should limit makeup to glare-reducing translucent powder. On the photographic end, the lighting should be flat and even, and the shot should be crisp. Retouching of the final photograph should be kept to a minimum and limited to correcting transient flaws, like acne. Permanent features – like moles and scars – should be left alone. Some photographers can get a bit heavy-handed with post-shoot retouching, and the look can end up being artificial. While it may be flattering, if you don’t walk in the door looking like you did in your headshot, you’re going to have problems. Your head shot should capture your best and most unique features while remaining true to your actual image
- It has to have enough impact to make someone want to take a second look. For that to happen, the head shot needs to create a relationship between you and the viewer. As Allentown, Pennsylvania photographer Joe Edelman aptly puts it, “a great headshot will intrigue the viewer and make them want to meet you. It will hint at certain aspects of your personality and leave the viewer curious and wanting more.” While a head shot for commercial modeling is about smiles and being likeable, theatrical headshots may take on a more serious tone; either way your photo needs to engage the viewer and capture their attention.