The Actors Centre

5 Things to Prepare Before Your Headshot Session

21 July 2017

Make the most of your marketing tools!

Your headshot is typically the first thing a casting director sees and is a key ingredient to your marketing so it pays to be well prepared for your session. Here are headshot photographer, Aimee Spinks’ top 5 recommendations on things to prepare before your headshot session:

1. Look and feel fresh!

Coming to a headshot session the morning after a night out is not a good idea. Avoid puffy eyes and a tired face by making sure you get plenty of sleep the night before and are well hydrated! You won’t just be standing there whilst the photographer does all the work – it’s a collaborative process and you’ll need your head in the game for the best results!

2. Have the right outfits

Make sure you have researched what to wear. Generally speaking you want to keep it plain and simple so nothing distracts from you. That means no collars, patterns, logos or bright colours. Mottled textures can work well and black, white, grey, navy and burgundy often tend to be the best colours to wear. For an in-depth look at what colours and necklines might work best for you and your casting type, here's an article. Whatever you decide to wear, make sure it’s clean and crease-free!

3. Think about your casting type

It’s important to understand your strengths as an actor so make sure your headshot really captures your casting type. Before you get into the meat of the session, ensure you’ve spoken to your photographer at length about your casting type so they know what end result you are trying to achieve. If you are new to acting and haven’t yet discovered your casting type, it can be useful to think about previous roles you may have had that you were particularly well suited to, or roles you would like your headshots to attract so that your photographer can work with you in the appropriate way.

4. Do your research on photographers and headshots you like

Each headshot photographer has a different style and it’s important to find one whose style works for you. Don’t just go on the visual look of their work – speak to other actors about their experiences with their headshot photographer as a lot of the success of a photoshoot comes down to the chemistry you have with the photographer you’re working with. Read plenty of reviews to find out how relaxed other actors found the session, whether the photographer provides enough direction and advice, if they are easy to work with, if their prices are transparent and their finished work good.

5. Practice

You might feel a bit silly but practice makes perfect! Get a mirror or a mate with a camera and try out an array of different poses and expressions to see which look to work best for you. Things to try include figuring out if you have a preferred side, whether you look better with your weight on your front or back foot (usually it’s the front foot), practicing how to get a natural and genuine smile and how to give a strong focused look in the eyes. A good headshot photographer will provide direction and physicality coaching during your session but it’s always good to come prepared and well-practiced!


So there you have it – the top 5 things to prepare before your headshot session! You can find more do’s and don’ts for actor headshots as well as other useful resources on my blog page.

Aimee Spinks - Photographer