Acting headshot experience: Is it your first time having your photos taken?

If you’re like most actors, having your acting headshot taken is not something you do every day. So, when it comes time to have your picture taken, whether it’s for a new production or Spotlight profile, you may be wondering how to prepare.

Having your acting headshot doesn’t need to feel like going to the dentist. Here are a few tips to help make sure you get the best photo possible.

open smile on a beautiful woman

What happens during an acting headshot experience?

Are you about to have your first acting headshot experience? This guide explores everything you can expect during your first acting headshot.

1 month – search the internet for a photographer whose work showcases a consistent, polished style. Look for someone who has a strong portfolio and positive reviews from past clients.

2 weeks – secure your date with a deposit, explain your vision for the photos and read your style guide.

1 week – share a series of outfit photos with a professional fashion photographer. Visit a luxurious spa and enjoy being pampered with a massage, manicure, and pedicure.

2 days – For the next two days, be sure to pack your bag with clothes that are freshly laundered and ironed. This way, you’ll look your best no matter how nervous you are.

On the day – On the day of your photoshoot, arrive ten minutes early. The photographer will greet you with a warm smile and a handshake.

You’ll start by discussing your outfits and planning the style of photographs you desire. I begin photographing people in the outfit they arrived in. After a few initial photographs, we look at the back of the camera and consider refining the pictures.

You don’t need to worry about how you’re standing or what your facial expression should be. I’ll guide and direct you through the entire process so that you know exactly what to do.

Time flies quickly after the first half hour. It’s like going on a road trip with your best friend. Seeing your new acting headshot is a surprising delight. You know each other so well, but there are always new things to discover.

Afterwards – We finish in a breathless flurry of excitement. I explain how to view your proofing gallery and when to expect your acting headshot to arrive in the mail.

Related: 3 fears you have to give up

Spotlight portrait female spotty top

What to know when getting ready for my acting headshot?

How to get the best acting headshot, even if it’s your first time.

Here are a few tips:

  • First, read your style guide and follow the golden rules.
  • Second, pack early and carry as much as you can carry.
  • Third, avoid fake tans, new hairstyles, and creased outfits.
  • Finally, consider colours that flatter your skin tone and eye colour. If you are nervous, take a deep breath and relax.

If you are nervous about being photographed, ask for extra advice and support. This can be done by talking to your headshot photographer on the phone, or by looking up inspiration on the photographer’s website. By getting extra help, you can ease your anxiety and improve your confidence during the day.

Share your dreams for the session, photographers will move mountains to create the photographs you want. Below is an example of what a client sent to me.

Related: Theatre Headshot Myths Debunked 

I dream of a session where I am surrounded by nature and the photographer captures the beauty of the world around me. I want to feel like I am in a fairytale, with the sun shining down on me and the flowers in full bloom. I hope to look back on these photos and remember the happiness I felt in that moment.

dark dress green park

How to dress for acting headshots?

Anyone planning to have their acting headshot updated needs to read this first.

When it comes to getting an acting headshot, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First and foremost, your headshot is meant to sell you as an actor so it’s important that you look your best. That means dressing in clothes that flatter your figure and choosing a hairstyle that compliments your features.

You should also avoid wearing too much makeup or jewellery as these can be distracting. And while it’s important to look natural in your headshot, don’t be afraid to show some personality. After all, your headshot is meant to represent who you are as an actor so make sure it reflects your unique self.

When taking photos, it is best to wear solid colours in navy, ruby, mustard, grey or vibrant tones such as pink, maroon, gold, and baby blues. Long sleeves that are ironed look best. Form-fitting clothes help to create a silhouette.

One way to flatter your body shape is by wearing cardigans or layers. This will help to create a more defined waistline. Another way to flatter your body shape is by wearing jackets and tailored clothing. This will help to accentuate your natural curves.

Related: What to wear

musical theatre actor in summer dress

Capture genuine smiles and make photos feel truthful and authentic

Is your actor headshot no longer cutting it? The Headshot Days are made specifically for actors. The better way to expressive headshots.

If you have any questions please contact us on +44 (0)7719316609 or use the email below and we will be happy to answer any questions you have or even schedule a complimentary consultation before your women’s photo shoot.

Being Isle of Wight-based, I also conduct business portraits outdoors around Ryde and in my Seaview home studio. Get in touch now.


Please contact the Isle of Wight Studio on +44 (0)1983 617383

or Mandy on +44 (0)7719316609 email or use the contact form below


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