Many times, actors pick and choose wonderful photos to send off to castings and agents. The problem is that many times the photographs they choose are not good or suitable headshots.
An acting portfolio needs to portray the actor’s personality, not the photographer’s technical abilities. Make sure that every shot in your portfolio reflects a genuine side of who you are. In this type of portfolio, the actor is the product as opposed to a model. Every decision made during the shoot needs to be in direct relation to bringing out the best sides of the actor, and to reveal as many of those sides as possible.
When a photographer shoots all actors in the same manner, there’s a problem! They are most likely not taking into consideration the actor’s unique facial features, and in turn don’t change the angles of the lighting or shots.
Look into the photographer’s previous work before you book a session with them. If you know a person who has been photographed by them before, look at the pictures and see if the photographer captured the actor well and created a successful portfolio. That is a great indication as to whether you have found the photographer for you.
Understanding your typecast is key to having a successful acting portfolio! Every actor wants to portray a wide variety of characters. Unfortunately in this day and age, the only actors who get the opportunity to “push the boundaries” of their typecasts to play diverse roles, tend to be predominantly well-known and regarded actors. It is the responsibility of every budding actor who has not yet had much, or any exposure, to understand how they are seen by society, how his image is perceived by others, and to build their portfolio accordingly. For example, a comic actor will need pictures that highlight those qualities, not dramatic pictures that show him as a brooding sexy man. The more you focus on your typecast, the more your portfolio will be of use to you by helping you get auditions for the roles that suit you.
With this in mind, choose your photographer, know your typecast and choose the photos that portray you in the best way.
Have a great shoot,
Keren Ben Ami