Why Does An Actors Need A Headshot?

Good question – Why Does An Actor Need A Headshot?

Well, an actor’s headshot is their main marketing tool. Without a
brilliant headshot, even in today’s modern video driven world of
YouTube, Instagram and a multitude of other social media outlets, a
traditional headshot is crucial to an actor’s success. Of course
training and show reels are important, but if an actor doesn’t have a
killer headshot they’re not giving themselves a fair chance of success.
This couldn’t be more evident than at the start of an actor’s career
when you are an unknown to casting directors and agents etc. It’s your
headshot that’ll open doors for you.

A great headshot can have a bearing on just about every aspect of
your acting career as first impressions do count. Here’s a brief list of
why does an actor need a headshot,7  ways to use your headshot, and
remember we live in a visual world and we make instant decisions on what
we see so your headshot has to have impact. I call it this impact the
WOW Factor!

  • It’s the face of your personal brand
  • You submit it for online castings
  • Use it for production programs and brochures
  • To use on your website
  • For your CV
  • Marketing materials like business cards and flyers
  • To submit to agents

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you’ll have heard me say
‘your headshot is your calling card’ many times before. This hasn’t
changed in decades. True headshot styles may have changed and will
continue to change in years to come. However one thing throughout those
changes has remained constant – your headshot must look like you – that
will never change! Watch this video on headshots that suit your character.

Personal Branding

What is branding and what is it for? Well in the world of acting it’s
about drawing the industry professional to you. In terms of your
personal brand, every successful product on the market is branded so why
shouldn’t an actor? Without realising it we brand actors already, think
of Meryl Streep or Robert De Niro – you know their brand automatically.
But what is and how do you brand yourself as an actor in the early
stages of your career and indeed is it important?

Branding is not as important as doing great work, as being true to
yourself and adding personality to your acting. It is worth thinking
about, but it’s not the most important part of being an actor. In terms
of your headshot it’s about understanding who you are, the kind of roles
you are likely to play and working with what you’ve got. Read Understanding Your Castability here to find out more about working with what you’ve got.

So back to the original question why does an actor need a headshot? It’s
as simple as this; you’ll never get any castings, auditions or meetings
with agents or producers without one. Indeed if you have bad headshot
you can do damage your opportunities especially at the start of your

My advice is to find a specialist headshot photographer who is up to
date with current headshot styles and trends. Someone who knows how to
encourage best performance out of you in front of the their camera. A
great headshot is collaboration between you and the headshot

If you’re looking for more advice and tips on getting going at the start of your career read this great article on Backstge. If you’re still unsure why does an actor need a headshot check out some of my other blog posts.