How I Prepared for my New Headshots

 My very first headshots taken by my mom.  This is me at  12 years old!

My very first headshots taken by my mom. 
This is me at  12 years old!

(All photos pictured in this blog are un-retouched). 

I know some actors groan and roll their eyes at getting new headshots taken. I love it! It helps that Seattle has some spectacular headshot photographers that I've gotten to work with. My recent session was with John Ulman Photography.

I love what Bonnie Gillespie says about headshots--it's not a photograph, it's a marketing tool. They are the first, and sometimes only point where a casting director will see you and consider you! It should be something you give thought and consideration!

 Here I am with my friend and photographer, John Ulman! 

Here I am with my friend and photographer, John Ulman! 

 

What am I selling?

A headshot should look like you. Period. You also should hint at what kinds of characters you might play. You don't need a costume, but can to lean-in to how you should be getting cast. If I'm not the drop-dead glamour model type, I don't need the deep V, dark makeup, sexy look. I'm also not a doe-eyed ingénue, so I had to stay away from looks that read too young, or vulnerable.

I targeted the looks I wanted, based off of my actor brand. My type words are Confident, Approachable, Fun-Loving, and Trustworthy.

 From my previous headshot session, with the  Amazing   Danielle Barnum . I love this photo, but always had to crop it because the tank top is just not working for me! This was a year and a half ago, and I look...24? 

From my previous headshot session, with the Amazing Danielle Barnum. I love this photo, but always had to crop it because the tank top is just not working for me! This was a year and a half ago, and I look...24? 

 

WARDROBE RULES

I am trying to represent myself as a 30-something woman. I noticed that while I love the look of tank tops on other, they tend to make me look younger than I want, so I had a strict NO tank top rule for this session!

(NOTE: This "rule" is for me, I know other women over 30 can rock this, no problem).

Because Fun-Loving is part of my brand, I chose bright colors, rather than dark, to reflect the approachable/fun-loving side, even if I wasn't doing a big toothy grin. (Expect for my one edgy look).  I previous headshot I had, I wore black, and that doesn't represent who I am, and who walks into the room in a casting session.

 

Research phase:

With all that in mind, I also like to see what's our there - trends in wardrobe, backdrops, etc. I look at the headshots of my agency, other agencies, tpsonline.com, I google headshots, I look them up on Instagram. I try to find people similar to my type-- do they have similar hair, coloring, or energy? I screenshot it, so I can find what I like about them, and see if there are elements I can incorporate into my shoot.

Back to Bonnie Gillespie and her article on headshots.  She recommends have a line you think in your head as the character you want to come across as.

Some faves from my recent shoot:

ENJOY Yourself! 

At one point I started telling my photographer about Porn for Women--You know, the stuff where guys are photographed doing chores? So we had a good laugh about that being what I was thinking about. Do you think that showed up in one of my shots? That's my secret!

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Special Thanks to my makeup artist, Shyn Midili, for my fabulous makeup. Shyn haS done makeup for previous headshots, my best friend's wedding, and my own wedding. She always makes me Look lovely, and is fun to hang out with!