When I was earning most of my wages, and putting all of my efforts into acting, it was obvious to me, without being told, that I had to renew my portfolio every six months. Sounds like a waste of money? Maybe to those who have yet to earn a living from the profession. However for me, it reminded me each time that my gut feeling was correct. Every six months I renewed my portfolio, and believe or not, each time I got more auditions almost immediately.
The agency that represents you appreciates new headshots. It shows that you are professional, that you don’t just wait around for others to do all of the work. Quite the opposite, it shows that you are doing all that you can so that the doors meant for you will open all the more easily, if not faster. In addition, new headshots reminds your agent of your abilities, your particular typecast and your range. In a way it can refresh their view of you, and more importantly their desire to give you a real chance by putting you forward for the roles that were made “just for you”.
Then come the casting agents! The second stage of the food chain, those who turn to the agencies in order to get options for actors that fit the roles they need to fill. The casting agents look at all of these photos for a long time, often skipping over the familiar faces from previously unsuccessful auditions. This is the time to refresh that pile of endless headshots they look at, for a newer and more interesting one (especially if you have changed something in your appearance), something that will make them stop and truly look at you before you miss yet another potential audition.
Third stage is the customer/director. After you have been called in for an audition, and you have passed to the next stage – the matching stage if the job in question is a serious role in a movie or series, or if you passed the audition for a commercial – the customer/director will want to see your headshot, whether if it’s to double check their decision or to see if they would want to use still photographs as well as film. It’s important that the photos your agent has of you are professional and good!!! Don’t forget photos for publicity. When an agent wants an article written about you, they need to have good photos at their disposal, and not ones that have been “recycled” for a while, so that the editor can add a little color to the article.
In conclusion, your business card, or signature, or finger print (choose the one that speaks most to you) as an actor, is first and foremost a good headshot.
Before you get a chance to introduce yourself or your talent, you will need to show how you look, what character you represent and the
range of typecasts you have. So if you have had your portfolio for over half a year, or you have changed something recently in how you look, don’t hesitate to go out looking for the photographer for you and book a session to renew your portfolio!
With new headshots, you will soon get new quality auditions, the ones you have always dreamed of. I guarantee it!!!
And don’t forget to smile
Keren Ben Ami