First and foremost: anytime you are going to be photographed, wear something that makes you feel good. If you feel good, you’ll look good. Clichéd I know, but true. If you are wearing something you are not comfortable in, it will 100% show through to your face, in your eyes and right onto the print. That being said, there are a few guidelines you should follow to complete the package.
Choose a shirt or top that is a good, solid color. Prints, patterns and texture are acceptable, but can be distracting, so if you can’t live with out your pattern, choose a mild one. We want YOU to be the focus of the photograph- not your clothes. With that being said, you do not have to pick a solid white or solid black shirt. Think of colors that look good on you, make your eyes pop, or compliment your skin tone. Chances are, you will be getting color images too, not just black and white! I was always told to choose Jewel Tones for auditions, so this is knowledge I pass along to my clients now.
Great example of a subtle texture that works in color and B&W.
Complimentary colors highlight skin tone and makes eyes pop.
This next part may seem pretty obvious, but people never cease to amaze me... You also don’t want to dress like you are out for a trip to the grocery store. You do not have to “dress to the nines” but you should put some effort into your appearance for this occasion. A head shot is part of your interview. Stay away form t-shirts with logos, cartoons, pictures and the such. Casting directors do not care if you graduated from The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, or if bacon is your favorite food.
Keep your hair out of your face, especially your eyes, as much as possible. Use bobby pins, or hair ties or a cool head flick. Do whatever you have to do, but we need to see your eyes. (**girls, I do not recommend pulling your hair up into a ballerina bun... it lends to the chance you might look ‘bald’ or give your face an odd shape/feel.**) Remember: clean, presentable, comfortable. Look like you are going in for an interview.
Personally, I love me some guy-liner! But in all seriousness, a little cover up or a small amount of eyeliner goes a long way on you guys. A little lip balm never hurt any one either. Ok... well, maybe not THAT much.... but hopefully you get the point. Just like for women, make-up should highlight your best features, not turn you into a clown.
Focus on your eyes. WARNING: another cliché ahead....The eyes are the windows to your soul. So do them wisely. Again, eyeliner, eyeliner, eyeliner. I cannot stress this enough. You want your eyes to pop, to tell a story to catch the eye of the casting director. Also, as an actor, you understand (or will shortly) how expressive and important your eyes are to the story telling of the script you are working on. How a scene can fall if there is not eye contact (when there should be) and how eye contact (an oddly intimate thing) can create such palpable electricity. I want to help you convey that in your photograph. It's what casting directors are looking for.
Silly as it sounds, practice making faces in front of the mirror. Take some selfies (see, they DO come in handy) You need to be able to see how you are portrayed. If you never look at yourself, you will never know! Your mouth does not always have to smile, but your eyes should! You may think you are happy-go-lucky, smiley and fun, when in reality, you look like you are ready to stab the next person who opens their mouth. And, unless you are auditioning for Carrie, that's not a good look for a head shot.
Hey, at least she has great eyeliner....
And of course, I'm always available when you want to book your next series of head shots. I'll make you look good. :)