Hi friends! I’m a photographer & Makeup artist specializing in Actor Headshots. I’m sharing with you in this article how to get amazing actor sessions by using my Preparation System that I have developed for my clients. I can’t wait to teach this to you to help you get some Amazing Actor Headshots at your next shoot!
How to Prepare for Amazing Actor Headshots at the Hollywood Level!
The Successful Actor HEADSHOT Series Part 1 — PREPARING FOR AMAZING ACTOR HEADSHOTS. By Angie Papanikolas, Actress, MUA & Headshot Photographer (Owner of Angel Studio Photography)
I hope this article helps you take your next HEADSHOTS from GOOD to AMAZING, so you can be taken seriously as an actor with PROFESSIONAL, HOLLYWOOD LEVEL HEADSHOTS! Yes please!!!
I am so excited you found this article to help you you prepare to get amazing actor headshots! Helping actors do this is my passion. If you haven’t read my articles or seen my work, I want to first introduce myself. I am Angie Papanikolas and I am also an actor and the owner of Angel Studio. I am a headshot photographer and a Professional Makeup artist. I help my clients shine in their photos and my motto for my clients is, “show them who you are and what you do –or what you want to do more of!”
If you have never shot headshots, or have shot a few times but are still not getting some really amazing headshots to help you stand out to casting directors and agents, then you have come to the right place! Welcome!
I have a simple and effective method for focusing you and preparing you for your SOME AMAZING headshot sessions! This system is MY PHOTO PERFECT SYSTEM FOR PREPARING MY CLIENTS FOR AMAZING ACTOR HEADSHOTS, AND I AM VERY EXCITED TO SHARE IT WITH YOU IN THIS ARTICLE.
Photo PERFECT PREPERATION SYSTEM FOR AMAZING ACTOR HEADSHOTS
This article will introduce you to my system to help you prepare, plan and focus for not just a good headshot– but for a GREAT, actor headshot session! One that WILL hopefully help you get MUCH more momentum in your career!
It will also cover some easy ways to bring yourself out on camera during your shoot, mindset success for actors, and provide practical advice on what wardrobe and looks you could choose to wear that could better market yourself in a simple and effective way! I call that aspect “branding made simple for actors!” So get out of your head, and let’s get back to having fun! Isn’t fun one of the many reasons you chose to become an actor!? I know it was for me!
With love, Angie
KEY ASPECT FOR PREPARING FOR AN AMAZING HEADSHOT SESSION:
Just as an actor prepares for a role, the actor must also prepare for a great headshot session!
INTRODUCTION TO MY ACTOR PREPARATION SYSTEM
THE PHOTO PERFECT PREPARATION SYSTEM FOR AN AMAZING ACTOR HEADSHOT SESSION
THE MAIN CONCEPT is: “The Actor Prepares!”
Just like Uta Hagen Said, “An Actor Prepares!”
Just as you prepare when do when you do a role or a scene, you must prepare for your session! Not only in terms of emotional acting preparation, but in thinking about what roles you want to play more of and audition for, to preparing your wardrobe, to getting your skin in shape, to giving up drinking a few days prior to the shoot, to spending time to really think about YOUR amazing qualities as a person (not an actor) it all takes time and should be planned out so you are not just throwing spaghetti at the wall!
2 ASPECTS ABOUT PREPARATION:
A) Do the work to connect to yourself as a person
B) Do the work (THE ACTING WORK) Prepare emotionally whatever your methods are) to the roles you want to play!”
C) COMBINE IT ALL AND PICK YOUR WARDROBE TO GO WITH A AND B! MORE LATER ON THAT!
A-CONNECT TO YOURSELF! KNOW THYSELF
Just as an actor takes the time to connect to a role emotionally, you must take the time to connect and do the prep work as an actor.
Take time to reflect who you are! Get in touch with YOU! Connect to yourself as a person! The real you!
Recognize your unique, beautiful, wonderful, amazing qualities! Get in tuned with YOU and connect to yourself; your true self! WRITE IT OUT! ASK FRIENDS AND FAMILY IF YOU NEED HELP.
Just like you prepare for roles and you connect parts of your true self to those roles, (WHICH YOU WILL ALSO DO LATER IN OUR PREP WORK) you must also prepare by recognizing who you are as a person (not an actor but the real, authentic YOU!). You must reflect on what makes you unique, your personality, all your amazing qualities that are beautiful and unique and are YOU! These things are you! They make you book! You being you! Think about it…You being YOU in a role like no one else could is what makes actors book! Think about you, reflect and connect! It makes you sparkle and shine! Write it all down on a card or piece of paper! You can also ask family and friends to describe you! Recognize who you are as a person, describe yourself, your heart, your soul, unique things about you that you love, etc! Write it down and reflect on it!
JUST AS YOU PREPARE FOR ACTING ROLES BY connecting yourself to the roles, YOU MUST ALSO PREPARE & DO THE WORK TO BRING YOURSELF OUT IN YOUR HEADSHOT SESSIONS AND to PREPARE AND PLAY FOR YOUR SHOOT OVERALL, IN MANY WAYS!
part b- do the work as AN actor WITH CONNECTING TO THE ROLES YOU DREAM OF DOING.
PREPARE! Just as you do in scene class or when preparing for a role! Don’t skip this! Just AN ACTOR CONNECTS AND DOES THE WORK TO CONNECT TO A ROLE, IT IS VERY GOOD TO HAVE SOME SCENE OR CHARACTER WORK TO PULL OUT DURING YOUR SHOOT! (DETAILS LATER)
I find it’s helpful to in ADVANCE– have connected to a role, done the work behind the scenes (just as you prepare for a role or scene) , and LATER act it out on camera (during your headshot session) but also be ready to let it all go and be in the moment and have fun. Just as an actor prepares to connect to roles, you also must prepare and connect to THE ROLES YOU ARE WANTING TO GO OUT FOR, AND PREPARE AND THEN TAP INTO THEM WHEN YOU GET YOURSELF INTO THAT LOOK AND WARDROBE. (More on this later in the article)
But first, before you do this prep work, however, you need to really take time to brainstorm roles you want to play, THAT YOU PLAY, OR THAT YOU WANT TO PLAY MORE OF! ASK YOUR AGENT WHAT LOOKS AND ROLES THEY SEE YOU PLAYING IF YOU HAVE ONE. Have FUN DOING THIS AND BRAINSTORMING THIS!
WRITE IT OUT
UTAH HAGEN SAYS THIS GREAT PHRASE, “THE ACTOR PREPARES.”
The phrase is true not only in acting in general, but it is also a key element for amazing actor headshot sessions!
RECAPPING THE SECOND PART OF THIS IS: PREPARING BY CONNECTING TO THE ROLES YOU WANT TO PLAY– LIKE SCENE STUDY.
BUT FIRST, WE NEED TO BRAINSTORM MORE ABOUT WHAT ROLES WE SHOULD TARGET IN OUR SHOOT AND DO SOME MORE PREP BEFORE WE GET TO THE DEEPER “ACTOR PREP” PART.
KEEP READING… WE WILL LATER DISCUSS DEEPER HOW TO APPLY THE CONCEPTS TO PREPARE FOR A SHOOT
Let’s discuss further the two concepts from above… and see how they will work together (and separately) in preparing for an amazing actor headshot shoot:
1-THE CONCEPT OF CONNECTING TO YOURSELF! aka EMBRACING YOU UNIQUENESS
I want you to GO BACK TO THE IDEA FOR A SECOND OF CONNECTING to yourself. Think about all your qualities! Take some time to do this. Think about who you are. Think about the authentic, YOU! (Not just the actor YOU- but the real, raw, beautiful, Authentic, UNIQUE, YOU! Prepare for a shoot first, by getting in touch with yourself as a person and i n touch with your unique qualities.
Write it all down.
Think about it. Savor in It. Be Thankful for who God made you. More Exercises and details later on..but you get the gist. Get in tune with YOU! not actor you- YOU!.
2-DOING “THE WORK” AS THE ACTOR.
After you have reflected on who you are, and connected and reflected about the unique qualities you have, you will now start to do some “acting” work. But first, you will need to start dreaming and brainstorming about what your dream role would be, and this can give you major insight into the direction for your photo shoot.
Brainstorm and think about what roles you really want to play– and what sort of roles you play really well.
What sort of characters do you love to play? What do you go out for most or what do you want to go our for more often? You can start brainstorming and writing ideas down now. Also, I have many exercises about how to do this that go into some major detail if you continue reading, but for now just start thinking about this and writing down your thoughts. Later after these target roles and character types get solidified, that is when we will have you do some actual prep work as the actor does, where you will layer in actual “acting work.” You can you do some actual scene or character work for the looks you will shoot –so you have some deep acting you can work with during your shoot!
The…”doing the acting work… The work as the actor.
For example: In acting prep work for a scene or role or character: you “connect yourself to the roles.” And then after we discuss this further and you “do the work.” you will later physically prepare for the shoot by “dressing yourself in those roles” (aka finding wardrobe that would suit those roles and still keeping it you). Then it all comes together in the photos! If you are not fully grasping this yet OR MAYBE YOU ARE. EITHER WAY, KEEP READING. IT WILL MAKE MORE SENSE AS YOU TAKE IT IN AND READ MORE.
Now this was a short summary above, but I go deep into detail on this if you keep reading.
However, if you play with these elements- and prepare a bit– and also LET IT ALL GO AT THE SHOOT…I hope you will get some very amazing and unique photos that will help “brand you authentically” and get more momentum in your career because you are being yourself, you are showing yourself in these different roles, YOU ARE SHOWING YOURSELF, and you are having fun and also feeling confident!
I LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT CLIENTS FLIP FLOP BETWEEN “THE ACTING” AND THE JUST HANGING OUT AND BEING THEMSELVES– FOR ALOT OF VARIETY AND MOMENTUM!
ANOTHER GREAT ASPECT ABOUT PREPARING IS THAT HAVING A PLAN CAN HELP MAKE YOUR SHOOT FROM GOOD TO GREAT WITH CONFIDENCE!
Preparing for a shoot overall can help boost confidence during your actual shoot, because you have taken the time to reflect, plan, connect and you put in the work! It feels good because you have a plan and you aren’t just staring at the camera trying to hope the photographer gets you! You are now presenting yourself and bringing yourself out! This is a huge key to being alive in your photos! So take control back, have some major fun, and I hope this helps you get some truly amazing Hollywood Level Headshots! Headshots that help open bigger doors in your Hollywood Career!
If you try it and let me know what if it works for you! read on for more details! If you want me to coach you to do this, I do private sessions also. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
PHOTO PERFECT SYSTEM IN MORE DETAIL WITH PREPARATION
I tried to give you the nitty gritty details above. But if you are a detail oriented person like me, and you want some practical tips and tools to understand how to actually do this and apply it, Read on for VERY DETAILED, details.
HAVING A PLAN OVERALL IS HUGE ELEMENT IN AN AMAZING HEADSHOT SESSION
A Key component to my work in helping actors get amazing headshots that could open more doors, is “preparation.” I said this above in a few different ways and aspects, but I must mention this again! Preparation in many forms is a “key” component in getting an amazing headshot session! It can ensure an amazing actor headshot session in every way from making sure you tried on your wardrobe and that is was flattering in terms of cut and color, that you have wardrobe that suits you and the vibe and tone of the sort of roles you want to do more of, to understanding and taken the time to learn how to do your actor makeup correctly for under the lights and to keep it still natural while bringing out your features, or taken the time to instead hiring a makeup artist, to and to have taken the time to choose your looks and think about what roles you want to play, to being on the same page as your photographer (a big key), and to having fun and shining on camera! No matter what, I encourage all my clients to have fun and shine from within! And if you are interested in more details ABOUT MY PROCESS TO HELP ACTORS TO REALLY DEEPLY PREPARE FOR A SHOOT AND ALSO CONNECT DURING A SHOOT, read on or contact me to work one on one at email@example.com
IF THIS HAS SPARKED YOUR INTRIGUE, LET’S DIVE EVEN DEEPER.
BUT FIRST, I MUST SHARE AN ALL TOO FAMILIAR OLD HEADSHOT STORY
YOU MAY RELATE TO THIS IF YOU HAVE EVER SHOT A HEADSHOT THAT DOESN’T WORK OR DIDN’T GET YOU ANYWHERE…REGARDLESS, KEEP READING BECAUSE THERE IS A LESSON FOR EVERYONE IN IT
I want you to hear this story and learn from this.
It is a story about headshots that didn’t do much. Let’s go back before we can go forward… it is a tale too many actors have had in the past.
If you have ever “forked” over the money to finally get those new headshots you have been desperately needing to get your career moving, AND THEN HAD IT GO NOWHERE?… THEN YOU ARE READING THE RIGHT ARTICLE! THERE IS LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL. Keep reading my actor friend…
THAT DARN, Annoying, OLD Headshot Scenario
Maybe you paid good money to get headshots that would advance your acting career, that would get you an agent or a bigger agent, or maybe your goal was to generate more auditions (either from your agent or through self submissions on actors access or LA Casting)… SO YOU SHOOT….
YOU are so excited, feeling great…then you submit the final edits and picks, and upload load them to all the casting sites….DRUM ROLL…. nothing changes much?!!!!! SAY WHAT?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Huh? What happened?! What is happening?!….
What happened? WTF?! We were not expecting THIS RESULT AT ALL!!!
If this has ever happened to you, I am here to encourage you and help you! There is alot to discuss! And light at the end of the tunnel! So don’t fret! Cheer up and read on! I hope what you have read previously about preparing has already opened your eyes to new ideas for getting great shot at your next shoot!
LETTING GO AND TAKING BACK CONTROL
I understand your pain! This has happened to me in the past. This is the entire reason as to why I now shoot headshots: So I could help actors to get amazing headshots that could help get them more momentum! This has become my passion project! Because of my past frustration, I have spent a long time developing these PHOTO PERFECT SYSTEMS, to help actors get amazing shots. I also have an actor makeup system as well, since makeup is a huge element to getting a Hollywood Level actor Headshot. But the whole system starts with a PLAN, GETTING IN TUNED WITH YOURSELF, WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, AND ALSO THEN HAVING FUN AND LETTING IT ALL GO AT THE SESSION! Like mentioned before, this is just like acting; the art of connecting to and preparing for a role, then letting it all go and enjoying the ride during the scene (or in this case- the photo shoot session!)let’s go back first and talk about why your old headshot may not be serving you…and then just let it go!
BUT… HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT TO NOT GET A HEADSHOT THAT WORKS AFTER FINALLY SHOOTING THOSE HEADHSHOTS!
Ugh! I Want to prevent this from happening to you. But first let’s talk again about how frustrating is this in the first place! Why does this happen?! And even throw In the fact that maybe the new headshot may even be drop dead gorgeous or extremely handsome! You would think it may do something for you!
We must NOW CHOOSE TO accept it SO WE CAN MOVE ON FROM HERE
Sometimes the prettiest headshot just really doesn’t get much momentum when submitting to the actor breakdowns (on your side on self submissions on actors access, casting frontier or other sites, or maybe you have an agent and they are still not getting you much momentum with the auditions! Why does this happen? Well honestly, who knows but I have some ideas. Maybe it’s the fact that pretty just doesn’t cut it these days and they maybe think it’s even too pretty and they are not sure if it’s airbrushed or not! So maybe they skip it in case since they may not know you yet. (sad for them). Or maybe THEY WANT TO FEEL YOU more and have your personality also jump out more out of the thumbnail that casting sees. Acting is about the soul, heart and personality… we want to look our best! Yes! But even if your headshot feels to have it all (beauty, flattering shot, heart, soul, personality. and it’s not working… we just have to move on and try again with a new plan!!!!
Let’s accept it didn’t do much, move on and try again with a new approach!
We want to look our best– YES! But let’s leave that last headshot that is not doing much behind for something better that will serve us better NOW!
Let’s show ourselves in a fresh, new way with a new approach! So as frustrating as this was, and as much as you may have let all your emotion and heart out in your last shoot, AND MAYBE IT DOES ALSO CAPTURE YOU AND EMOTION LET’S START OVER AND TRY AGAIN.
TRY ANOTHER APPROACH.
TRY ANOTHER COLOR OR OUTFIT. REMEMBER the pretty photo still isn’t working, so let’s shift gears and talk about another wonderful component for the actor life for a moment, one that I haven’t yet discussed:
A STRONG & POSITIVE MINDSET IS ESSENTIAL FOR ACTORS
FOR A MOMENT, Let’s first shift our focus from “HEADSHOTS” to think about a key factor for success and longevity as an actor IN EVERY ASPECT:
The key to being successful as an actor, or to being successful in anything for that that matter, is having a GREAT mindset.
A GREAT MINDSET THAT IS POSITIVE CAN HELP EVERY SITUATION WETHER IT BE AUDITIONS, ACTOR HEADSHOT SESSIONS, AGENT MEETINGS, NETWORK MEETINGS, OR JUST DAILY LIFE AS A PERSON!
AS ACTORS AND PEOPLE, WE need TO DEVELOP THIS MINDSET MORE THAN ANYTHING!!! Since this business is a tough one, we MUST BE resilient and strong minded. WE MUST FOCUS ON THE RIGHT THINGS.
FOCUS on the things that we can control!
Because, truth is in this crazy and amazing industry, there are alot of things we CAN’T control; therefore, we must be ok with that and surrender it… and next we must focus on the things we can do to add to our career; THINGS WE CAN CONTROL. LET’S TAKE SOME CONTROL BACK AND SURRENDER CONTROL ALSO!
Mindset is Key for Actors!
We as Actors must Develop a Great Mindset, Strong Work Ethic, Positive Habits and A Positive and Healthy Attitude.
Because Many Things are Out of Our Control in This Industry, Actors must develop a great mindset AND focus on what we can control WHILE LETTING GO OF THE OTHER ASPECTS OF LIFE AND THIS INDUSTRY:
We can’t control what we really look like or control if we actually book a role, or if a new “pretty” headshot is going to generate more work, but we CAN CONTROL how we go about our work and craft. WE CAN CONTROL choosing to work on out craft and to connect to the work and do the work! And we CAN CONTROL how we go about our next headshot session and finding ways to do things different! Forgot the old shoot and headshot- maybe it didn’t work great or for some reason or your photo isn’t generating alot of new opportunity. Well now its time let’s plan a great session and maybe even try working with someone new for another photo that is different than the last.
ACTOR AFFIRMATION: Repeat After Me:
“I am taking control of the things I can control and letting go of the rest!” What will be will be and I’m surrendering it.
This is very important! PLEASE LEARN TO ADAPT THIS MINDSET.
So now that we discussed that hugely important element and got it out of the way…so about that headshot session that you can control?! READY!? \
THERE IS ALOT OF PREP WORK TO DO- SO Let’s plan it out! LET’S DIVE IN. READ ON FOR A PLAN FOR AMAZING HEADSHOTS:
PUTTING THE SYSTEM AND PLAY ALL TOGETHER!
DETAILED PREPARATION FOR AMAZING ACTOR HEADSHOTS:
tHIS IS WHERE A GREAT SHOOT PREP PLAN FOR NEW, EFFECTIVE HEADSHOTS COMES INTO PLAY!
It’s time to make YOUR plan!
Below I will help coach you in this detailed approach with some branding made simple, combining it all with elements of your unique personality, your vibe, and your dream roles to guide you in your shoot and to help you choose some great wardrobe and looks to shoot!
It’s time to make a plan and take back control! I am so excited to meet you online here and help you. I call this branding made simple using my photo perfect system! This is what I teach to all my personal headshot clients. Don’t stress too much about it after learning it and embracing it, but do read it, learn it, and let it all sink in!
PHOTO PERFECT: MY AMAZING ACTOR HEADSHOT SESSION PREP GUIDE
First, Don’t let the word “branding” scare you, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT PREPARING for you actor headshot SHOOT, ok! I totally get how the word “branding” or “marketing” or “preparation” as an actor can scare you when it comes to headshots! I get it! It’s overwhelming! There is too much information on it can feel like “overwhelm.” And also, I get it! You are an actor and can chameleon into many roles! You do so many things as an actor and you don’t want to feel locked in on your “type” or “branding”– or maybe you can’t figure out or “pinpoint” your own branding, but you can for everyone else in your acting class… well I get it!
So be free about this…I am here to tell you NOT to overthink this!
PLEASE READ THE NEXT STEPS AND EXERCISES WITH AN OPEN MIND. IT’S MEANT TO FREE YOU UP AND LET YOU NOT STRESS ABOUT YOUR BRANDING! When you go through this article, it will help guide you to branding made simple by helping you plan to bring yourself out in your photos, and to hopefully also plan a shoot that will capture you and what roles you play–( OR WANT TO PLAY MORE OF). THAT IS THE ESSENTIAL GIST OF ALL MY WORK! It will also lead you to actor prep work and personal prep work, and will give you ways to connect during your shoot and before. But don’t overthink it ok– and don’t stress!
All we are doing here is getting you an overall shoot plan with some simple marketing. The overall purpose in this plan here is for a great shoot and photos that show YOU and standout! So I will ask you to go through with me some questions that will help you define and decide your looks and the direction to best market you, and questions about who you are as a person too (not just an actor), and what you do and what you want to do more of. This plan is effective for a great shoot and headshot session-if you follow it. Simply put, after you go through it, it will serve as a simple and effective marketing and branding plan for your professional services as an actor and/or model.
ESSENTIALS OF MY BRANDING MOTTO FOR ACTORS:
Show them who you are and what you do (or want you want to do MORE OF).
IT IS AS Simple as that!
LET ME WALK YOU THROUGH IT.
Read on…. Or contact me for a consult and I will walk you through this in my FREE consult session!
In the next steps, we will take the time to really figure out what sort of vibe you will shoot THAT WILL CAPTURE YOU, and what sort of roles you should try to target. This will then effect the different wardrobe that you choose. I love an approach that talks about using your dream roles to help you decide on looks. BUT IT’S not just all about an idea of these dream roles. You must also tap into your unique, real qualities that you will bring into these roles that you will book. You have personality that only you have that make you unique. We will have you do some exercises to have you focus into these. Then, We will then focus on combining your inner qualities and bringing them to some genres and dream roles that are what you want to do and suit you well.
In the next steps, we will take the time to really figure out what sort of VIBE you will shoot that will catpure you, and what sort of roles you should try to target. This will then effect the different wardrobes that you will choose. I love an approach that uses your dream roles to help you decide on looks. But it’s not just all about an idea of these dream roles. You must truly tap into your unique, real, raw wonderful qualities that you will bring into these roles (that will make you book!) You have personality that only you have that make you unique. We will have you do some simple writing, reflecting exercises to have you focus on these! Then we will then shift gears and combine your inner qualties and bring them to some genres and dream roles that are what you want to do more and suit you well and have you later do some acting for those roles and connecting yourself to them!
Then, we will have you fine tune them into “looks/wardrobe” dressing them up with hair/makeup and wardrobe to really “sell” them. It’s actually quite simple and keeps you on track for a great shoot. At the moment, this may sound a bit abstract, but read on. It will make more sense as you go through exercises.
I have an IG video series about these ideas. This is also how I approach client’s branding. (More on this in future blogs) You can check out my instagram for Actors where I discuss all these ideas in depth. It’s called TIPS FOR GREAT HEADSHOTS.
STEP 1- INNER REFLECTION WORK/INNER PREP WORK:
Take some time to think and reflect about your special, beautiful and unique personality, quirks, humor…take some time to think about this and reflect on who God made you. Write it down. Tap into it. This stuff iw the stuff that makes you book. It is your individual flavor and uniqueness that only you can do.
USE THE INNER PREP WORK FOR SHOOT PREP TO DECIDE ON YOUR LOOKS- BUT YOU CAN AND SHOULD ALSO DO INNER PREP WORK FOR THE DAY OF YOUR SHOOT TO GET CONNECTED AND BE REAL.MORE ON THAT LATER: FOR NOW LE’TS FOCUS ON THE PREP BEFORE THE SHOOT TO DECIDE WHAT DIRECTION WE WILL GO AND MAKE YOU A PLAN.
HOMEWORK: QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF FOR INNER WORK CONNECTION/GETTING TO KNOW YOU
Write down and answer the following questions:
So now….before you shoot and before you think about what sort of roles you want to play, Take some time to ask yourself AT LEAST THOSE 5 questions.
Get in touch with these things about yourself: Personality, vibe, soul, core, characteristics, even the way you talk. Really try to get a feel for yourself. Then at the shoot, bring the amazing qualities about you to the camera, by just being you. Even just tapping into this subconsciously and consciously will really help you “feel yourself” during your shoot and make you feel confident about you and who you are, and what you are doing. Because you have a ton to offer to these roles you will play. You are made by God and amazing.
FIRST THINGS FIRST:
Get in tuned with your uniqueness
I think the getting in “tune” with you is first and foremost one of the most important things you can do in your Shoot Prep. It’s also useful to tap into this during your actual photoshoot as well. You can use this to not only help you figure out your vibe and what you should be going for in your shoot, but you can also use it to get in touch with yourself during your shoot so you are connected and bringing yourself to your photoshoot and your phtos. Use this the day of/day before/ and to prep- and can be used as a self love exercise about the awesome person God made you to be!
STEP 2- DREAM ROLES.
WHAT DO YOU DREAM OF DOING IN YOUR CAREER?
NOW IS THE TIME THINK ABOUT THE TYPE OF DREAM ROLES YOU WANT TO PLAY. ALLOW YOURSELF TO DREAM BIG. WRITE IT ALL DOWN NOW.
Think about shows, genres, roles already been done, roles that you would want to see. Do you see yourself doing comedy, drama? What networks? Is there a show on now and a character you would just be amazing playing? What lights you up thinking about this? Write it down.
Next after you brainstorm and write and dream freely- go deeper. Write a character description for the role/show so you can get specific. After this, I’ll ask you in the next steps to also include next what you will bring to the role from your unique personality. Some roles will have you bringing certain aspects and others will have you bringing certain aspects. We all play roles differently because we are all different. Get specific. As in acting, the more specific the better we respond. So do the same here! Go ahead and write this down when you are ready too. May as well do it while you are on a roll writing now. But I’ll discuss this more below. If this confuses you, just stop at the character description for now.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER:
STEP 3: HOW TO PINPOINT YOUR LOOKS FOR YOUR SHOOT- USING THE TWO ASPECTS OF DREAM ROLES AND YOUR UNIQUENESS AS A GUIDE
LET’S TALK SOME WARDROBE AND LOOKS! you deserve it AFTER ALL THIS TALK AND WORK you have done!
How I like to approach finally deciding on direction and looks?
- First –let’s use your decided on dream roles as a main structure AND then layer in your uniqueness to it in a moment. I recommend asking yourself (and your agent) about the roles you could play, and also the roles you WANT to play!
- After you have chosen some that you realistically could play well –Go for your dream roles in look and vibe. That’s how I approach choosing looks you will shoot. I ask, “what roles do you want to play?” And then find looks for those that you could book, and shoot those. You can even base wardrobe off shows, movies and characters you would totally play well! But remember the other aspect too of using your uniqueness and true self! Now, layer in the YOU factor as discussed above. (Yes I jumped ahead a bit above). Don’t forget that you would play that character in your uniqueness and quirks. Ask yourself, “what would I bring to that character that is unique to me?” THEN WRITE IT DOWN next to the role! You would maybe use some components of your personality for this role more than other roles. Now also write those key words down. Choose 4 dream roles that speak to you and showcase yourself! If some of them overlap- skip one of two or combine the roles into one look.
- Next, dress yourself in the role! Wahoo! Now add your own vibe and even wardrobe you would wear to this character/role. Make it “inspired by,” and then make it your own! Then go a step further than wardrobe after you nailed it down. If a show is on or a movie is real, take a look at the poster or imdb set photos for inspiration. Then also make it your own in character for you. Also consider colors that look good on you! There are lots to colors and emotions they can evoke- but this article can’t cover this now. Stay tuned for another blog post coming soon with more on choosing colors for your headshots 😉
Go Deeper Now And Connect YOURSELF to the Role. DO THE WORK OF THE ACTOR. Discover More.
Also write yourself a character analysis, character breakdown combining this role and the unique aspects about yourself you would bring to the role. Write it on a card and bring it to the shoot and tap into it all during the look. Act and get into the role and bring yourself to the role. The expressions will be connected and real! So there you go– there is a way you get looks/wardrobe above and here is also a huge tip on what to do during the shoot using more prep to go deeper than just a random idea of a “look.” Connect to the character, go deeper, Act and Bring Yourself to the Role and Your Photoshoot! It will make the world of difference in your photoshoot.
You can even do an inner monologue/ or scene using emotional prep and storyline during this shoot for the look. Do whatever works for you! Just an idea that works well for myself!
This is my system for getting a great shot!!!!! I hope it helps you. Please comment and write to me if it did. Tag me in your headshots!
It’s very good to take time before you shoot to tap into who you are, focus on what you want to do more of and showcase, and also to really plan your looks based on all this. Also, it’s great just before you even choose the looks you will shoot to get in tune with YOU! The REAL YOU! Soak into who God made you.
Ok, so now, let’s try this whole photo shoot thing again, but with a different and strategic plan! A plan to really market yourself and get some very authentic vibes of YOU! Forget about pretty. Most of us photographers shoot pretty. Meaning, we will get you flattering and striking shots. That is just going to happen. But what you need is the real, diggity, dawg YOU. We need real. Raw. YOU! The good, bad and ugly too. But of course, for your main shot, show more of your good side. Show yourself in a good light, even in a more friendly light (not Ugly haha). Unless of course, all you really do is the bad guy. But even the bad guy can be good. Think about that.
Now going back to the word, pretty. Pretty is well…don’t judge me when I say this, but pretty is pretty much the normal in LA and also in headshot land. And a lot of casting directors see a lot of pretty shots. Everyone is pretty. Shots are shot to “capture pretty.” Even if you don’t think so, you are pretty or handsome. But what everyone is not, well what we all are not– is YOU!
Challenging all actors: I challenge you to really dig in to find some very unique attributes about yourselves in your inner core. Pray about it. Ask God who you are. Get in tuned with the real you. Don’t hide behind the acting. After you dig into these things and really think about them, at your shoot, feel free to let it all go. You can do some acting at the shoot too, with putting yourself in a role, in the dream look/dream role you are shooting. Ask yourself, what am I going to bring to this role, how am I GOING TO DO IT that’s uniquely me? But also, I encourage you to also shoot some shots just as you– being your amazing self. See what happens and what sort of great shots you get by doing a combination of this. Let’s get some expressions and vibes that are uniquely YOU.
It is my hope that this will really help you to let it flow at your shoot, to have fun, and to be you and get some raw captures of YOU. Try it. Message me, dm me, tag me or leave a comment below! I’d love to hear how your shots turn out. Or if you would like to shoot with me, reach out. I’d love to help capture you.
Follow me on instagram @headshotsbyangelstudio for my video series about how to get a great actor headshot. My personal instagram is @girlrambo
Take the time to really be in YOUR shoes and bring your true self to YOUR PHOTOS. You do this often when you act. You bring yourself to the roles you play and connect to them. (If you are way different than the role, you don’t of course, but you know what I mean here. Hope you get what I am saying). You bring characteristics of yourself to roles you play, so why not bring yourself to your photos, too?!
I believe a lot of people don’t do this, or even thinks about this whole headshot approach plan. Or no one really talks about a process to do this. IT IS SO HELPUL AND IMPORTANT.
You can control how you go about your headshot session and you can control your prep work for your photo shoot, just like you can control doing the work to connect to a role in scene work.
Decide Now The looks to shoot that will best market you in who you are and what you want to do more of!Using the 2 Aspects to Do this:. 1-Your personality and uniqueness– and 2-Your Dream Roles.