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7 Headshot Looks to Include in Your Repertoire

Headshots are a vital part of an actor’s hiring process. Although you’ll end up using one or two essential headshots for most projects, sometimes it’s good to have other, more specific looks to fill out your profile and submit for distinct projects.
If you’re looking to expand your headshot repertoire, here are some options for inspiration.

1. Commercial

Actors are probably most familiar with commercial headshots: the smiling, polished, relatable shot. For a commercial headshot, you want to be at your friendliest. Smiles that show teeth are advised, as is clothing that is upbeat, modest and generic yet flattering.

2. Theatrical

Despite its name, the theatrical headshot is used for more than just theatre purposes. This is also your television drama and your serious feature.

You don’t want to go too niche with your look for this, but it’s good to be aware of and highlight your general type. Think in broader strokes, like “romantic lead” or “strong and silent” rather than specific roles such as “cop” or “intern.”

3. Cop/Procedural

Procedural roles can be an actor’s bread and butter. Determine who you are in the recurring drama and cater to that look for this headshot. This is your time to get a little more specific.

Are you often cast as scientists or experts? Break out the glasses. If you’re the lawyer type, a blazer is your best friend. Do you tend to get cast more in working-class roles? Perhaps a blue denim button-up with rolled-up sleeves is your calling card.

Avoid going full costume. However, you can get a little more specific as you cater to this look.

4. Business/Young Professional

From intern to CEO, you can choose where you best fit for the business headshot. This is your smart, buttoned-up, white-collar workforce look. Suit up and dress to impress.

5. Mom/Dad

This is a family-friendly look. The cardigan, elementary school teacher, comfort look. The “parent” headshot is similar to your commercial look, but a bit more mature and restrained.

6. Apocalypse/Gritty

This headshot is very specific, but with the popularity of The Last of Us and similar disaster genres, an edgier look might be good to include. Going urban or outdoorsy is up to you, but a good natural face showcasing bleakness and grittiness is a good contrast to other niche looks for your headshots.

7. Sultry

Don’t worry, no one expects you to have boudoir shots. However, a look that reflects your special brand of sexy or sultry can be a fun alternate look to spice up your headshot collection and show some range.

At the end of the day, if you don’t have all of these, you’re not out of luck. Commercial and theatrical headshots are the most important. As long as your headshots reflect your current look, you’ll be okay.

Once you’re able to start including more looks in your portfolio, start with the types you get called in for the most.

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