If you’re reading this blog, you know you need ‘em. And you probably know how difficult it can be to finally land the right ones. And yet, they’re one of the most important tools for us as actors and are unlikely to be out of favor anytime soon. So what’s an actor to do when the prospect of headshot photos fills you with dread and feels as daunting as ever?
First, take a breath. Then, trust that with a little planning and some creativity, you can still make it a fun and playful experience!
A couple of months ago, a Client and I were talking through her headshot plan. She had the basics covered: 3 strong looks, a great photographer booked, and a stellar makeup artist. But still, she felt like something wasn’t clicking. So, because we both like to write, I shared with her a little activity I had recently given myself in preparation for my own shoot.
Here’s what I did and also got her to try:
- Write a character breakdown for each look you’re planning to shoot. And give them a name! A short description of the character traits that can speak to the specific piece of you that connects to them. You can make it fun and playful, touching upon the tone of the show this imaginary character could be in.
- Create a color palette for each of the characters. Being specific with color choices can speak quite effectively to the character and look of the pictures. Color psychology is a deeply fascinating deep dive! But be careful not to pick a color that doesn’t compliment your complexion.
- Put together a playlist for each character. So, when it comes time for you to shoot, you can play their tunes and really get into their unique headspaces and physicalities.
- Make a Pinterest board for each look, so you can collect all of your ideas and inspirations in one place that’s also easily shareable.
My favorite part of doing this, aside from the writing process, was sharing the breakdowns and details with the photographer and makeup artist. Having us all on the same page because of something so simple was a game changer.
Not only did this client enjoy the process so much more and get some great shots out of it, but she also got a special bonus in coming up with a new idea for a series that I have no doubt she’s working on right now!
So, what story do you want to tell with your pictures? Dig up those old breakdowns and let your imagination run wild. You never know what can come from a little creative writing!
~ Coach Farah