How to Pose for an Acting Headshot

Every actor knows that a headshot is their passport to the industry, so it is important that you stock on up-to-date photos every now and then. Getting a good headshot with the help of a reliable photographer can be a stressful experience. For one thing, most photographers in the East and West Coast can be very expensive and you mostly likely will end up with photographs that are over edited, not to mention that additional payment you have to give to the style team.

An important factor to consider about headshots is that it is not about the price you pay photographers or stylists to make you look good, but how you manage to make yourself look good as well. So if you decide to go for a cheaper option and have someone trusted photograph you, you should be able to take charge of the session and make your photo shoot worth the gamble.

Here are some important posing rules when it comes to getting a headshot compiled for you by ExploreTalent:

1. Rehearse before the actual shoot


Acting headshots don’t need crazy theatrics, but they do require a variety of facial expressions that will make casting directors see your personality. Try big smiles, closed mouth smiles, and half smiles to be able to find which complements your face the most. You can also use an amateur camera to take some photos and to help decide which works best. As an actor, you should be able to spot which looks authentic as opposed to looking too forced.

2. Be relaxed as possible


So your smile and body language won’t look forced, it is important you teach your body to relax and loosen the tension. Practicing deep breath exercises or even stretching prior to the shoot can be helpful.

3. Convey emotion through your eyes

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Avoid the dead look at all costs! You can be smiling or have good body language but if your eyes are dull, then you won’t look lively on camera. Many casting directors go straight to the emotion you manage to convey through your eyes when deciding who to pick for an audition. Know that the more expressive you are, the better. One effective tip: so smiling with your eyes would be easier, try having a good laugh. So liven up the atmosphere and allow the emotion to show in your eyes naturally.

4. Practice good posture


Keep your back straight even when you are leaning forward during the photo shoot, but try not to look stiff in the process. Good posture is an effective way to look confident on camera, and it makes the subject looks elongated while complementing the right angles.

5. Try not to go overboard with your poses


Remember that you are merely posing and not performing! So again, leave the theatrics at home and settle in for something that is still fun and comfortable as well. Most of all, make sure you focus on creating a photo that says a lot about how you are marketing yourself as an actor. Poses should come in a variety, though, but they still need to look relaxed so focus giving different facial expressions instead of different body movements.

6. Position your hands appropriately


Balling your hands into a fist is a definite no for taking a good headshot. You need to be able to look friendly and approachable, so position them upward whether they can be seen on camera or not. If you are instructed to put your hands in your pocket, make sure your thumbs are out so the whole hand isn’t totally shoved in.

7. Create angles


The sole rule when it comes to avoiding a stiff or forceful photograph is to create angles and avoid looking straight into the camera. Shift your weight toward one foot to be able to do that without looking awkward. As much as possible, find an angle that complements your body as well.

Overall, posing for a headshot should be a relaxing and fun experience for every actor out there. Whether you hire a professional photographer to take the shots or opt for cheaper alternatives, make sure you are a hundred percent comfortable with working them as a photographer and actor’s working relationship is essential when it comes producing quality photos.