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

Commercial

This is the one actors are probably most familiar with. The smiling, polished, relatable shot. For a commercial headshot, you want to be you at your friendliest and most inviting. Smiles that show teeth are advised (toothpaste commercial, anyone?) as is clothing that is upbeat, modest and generic yet flattering. 

Theatrical

Despite its name, this shot is used for more than just theatre purposes. This is your television drama, your serious feature. While you don’t want to go too niche with your look for this, it is 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, like “cop” or “intern.”

Cop/Procedural

Procedurals of all kinds can be an actor’s bread and butter. Figure out who you are in the recurring drama and cater to that look. This is your time to get a little more specific. Are you often cast as scientists or experts? Break out the glasses. Lawyer-type? A blazer is your best friend. Do you tend to get cast more working class? Perhaps a blue denim button-up with rolled-up sleeves. Avoid going full costume, but you can get a little more specific as you cater to this look.

Business/Young Professional

From intern to CEO, you can choose where best you fit. This is your smart, buttoned-up, white-collar workforce look. 

Mom/Dad

This is the family-friendly look. The cardigan, elementary school teacher, comfort look. Similar to your commercial look, but maybe a bit more mature and restrained.

Apocalypse/Gritty

This is getting very specific, but with the popularity of The Walking Dead and similar disaster genres, an edgier look might be good to include. Whether you skew urban or outdoorsy is up to you, but a good natural-face, bleak, gritty shot is a good contrast to other niche looks. 

Sultry

Don’t worry, no one expects you to have boudoir shots. But, 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. The top two are the most important and as long as they reflect your current look, you’ll be okay. Once you’re able to start including more looks, start with the types you get called in for the most.

 

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