Jom the photographer's guide to better
Actor's Headshots ...
and more acting work!
Nobody will consider casting you in a role unless they see a headshot of you first.
Most casting is done over the internet nowadays.
When producers or casting agents look for talent online,
you can not stand before them and dazzle them with your presence,
and you can not make excuses and charm them. All you have is your actor's headshot to represent you.
You will never get through an agent's door unless you have a fantastic headshot.
After all, how can they market you without the best photo you can possibly get?
If you DO have an agent, you had better keep them supplied with good actors headshots,
otherwise they will be frustrated and you will lose work opportunities.
You could hardly blame them for "letting you go."
No headshot = no enthusiasm.
New Headshots are a good excuse to remind the casting agents that you exist, and are committed,
In the USA actors shoot new headshots every 5 months.
Australia is a lot more relaxed, but if your headshot is more than 2 years old
one could safely assume that you are no longer "white hot."
So your TOP PRIORITY, and your main investment in your acting career is your headshot.
Even the World's Top Actors
Even when you have "made it" in Hollywood or Broadway,
the most important tool you have is your acting headshot.
If you look at the behind-the-scenes video on the "Chicago" DVD,
you will see the movie's director discussing his casting decisions. He is gesturing to a table with headshots on it.
He picks out Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones' headshots and discusses them, and they are fantastic photos too.
Even these big stars take their headshots very seriously.
A professional actor makes sure their headshot is current, absolutely amazing, and easy to find on the internet.
How do you find a headshot photographer?
I'm not going to insult your intelligence by pretending to be objective.
I think I am your best choice, so I will tell you why.
There are 4 factors to this.
You must feel totally relaxed during the shoot
You must be directed into portraying yourself, or more accurately the person that others think you are based on how you look (ie. what type you are)
The lighting must be absolutely beautiful... for you. This is harder than you would imagine, and it is where 90% of headshots fall short.
Limited retouching can make the shot POP more to give you an advantage (no fakery allowed - you must look like you look)
My whole life is basically set up around these factors.
For 20 years I have lived and breathed photography of actors.
My studio is set up to be comforting, non-intimidating and fun.
I am a very relaxed, happy, easy going guy who likes to help people.
My camera and lighting is state of the art.
I am basically obsessed with improving my photo process to make it easy and second nature
- no stress required to get world class lighting.
My retouching skills have been refined and sped up so much that I can retouch a photo in
10 minutes that professional post-production labs would charge 2 or 3 hours for (at $200 per hour.)
Best of all I am very reasonably priced.
Of course, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys; but I believe that it is more rewarding to
help someone and feel great than to be a rip off merchant and die young!!!
I have worked for all the major, and the minor acting schools in Sydney,
including NIDA, The Actor's Centre, Sydney Theatre School, Wesley College, The Actors Studio Australia. And many more.
I have photographed the principal marketing and promotional images for the
"SHORT + SWEET" drama festival for the past five years.
This video is REALLY OLD now.
But it makes a good point about "the look in the eyes."
Note: we have moved to a better photography studio in Edgecliff, Sydney.
The address and phone number have changed but the spirit is the same!
And I'll say it again... this video is REALLY OLD!
Many actors dislike having their headshots done. It is very different to playing a character.
The process I use gives you feedback and confidence, and my success rate is 100%.
We shoot test shots to get everything perfect with the lighting, pose, and attitude.
We look at the photos together on the computer screen.
If necessary I allow the actor look through the pics alone and have a good think about who they are and what they want.
This sounds silly, but if you are nervous, that quiet time can get you focused!
Then we discuss the headshots from a casting perspective, to see what works, and what doesn't.
My process of shooting, looking, talking, then shooting some more, (over and over) culminates in the perfect headshot which captures you at your very best.
By the time we shoot for real, we are ready and psyched!
The next step is selecting the best 50, and some free retouching to remove any stray hairs, skin blemishes etc.
In just one visit you leave with 2 professional prints
(of one retouched shot) and a CD with all shots on it in high rez and low rez.
This process stops the "proof sheet surprise" when you go back next week to look at your headshots and they are not what you expected.
Much, much more
Please have a look through the rest of my Actor's Headshot
advice pages, you can learn a lot from my 20 years experience
and total dedication.
For example, the next page explains a little about "the biz" and how the big dollars
involved affect the standards of headshots.
Best Actors Headshots in Sydney.
Best Corporate Headshots in Sydney.
Why not use the best photographer in Sydney?
JOM PHOTOGRAPHY pty. ltd.
Level 1, 136 New South Head Road Edgecliff NSW 2027 Australia
Corner of Darling Point Road, Opposite Edgecliff Station
studio phone - 9327 1495, mobile- 0414 9361 45
e-mail- firstname.lastname@example.org, website- www.jom.com.au