Debunking Theatre Headshot Myths

Let’s Admit It: Everyone Secretly Hates Theatre Headshots

I hope this post will fundamentally change the way you look at theatre headshots

As a theatre headshot photographer, I enjoy the buzz I get when I know my photos helped an actor land a new role.

My joy when one of my client’s advances in their career might seem self-serving but I assure you it is genuine. I enjoy knowing that, even in a small way, one of my theatre headshots has helped.

Having made the casting director notice them means my theatre headshot worked and I did my job well.

Freja, in this post here, is a theatre Producer @Weirdrabbit, a student theatre company based in Portsmouth, UK.

And even she admitted that most of her actor’s secretly hate having their theatre headshots taken.

Here’s what they believe …

fat lady laughing musical theater supporter musical theatre director in gone with the wind

Myth 1 – Theatre Headshots are expensive

Theatre Headshots on a Budget? It’s Not as Hard as You Think

When you are an actor, you know that you need a good headshot. However, you may think that headshots are too expensive. This is not always the case. You can get a great theatre headshot on a budget if you know where to look.

First of all, consider using an Isle of Wight photographer. Freja isn’t the first Theatre Producer that has traveled to the island to be photographed during my Headshot Days.

During these 3o minute sessions, you can get the same quality, service, and expression coaching as you would receive from a full branding session, but for a fraction of the price. I’m experienced in headshot photography and know how to capture your personality in a natural way. And because my sessions are quick, you won’t have to spend all day in a studio.

Another option is to do the shoot outdoors. This can be a beautiful and affordable option, especially if you live in a scenic area. I collect Freja from the ferry terminal and drive to a nearby wooded area. There are amazing photo opportunities right on our doorstep.

Finally, think about using clothes already in your wardrobe. If you have a good selection of neutral tops in solid colours and lighting setup, you can save money by using clothes you already own.

theatre producer in black jumper and jeans


Myth 2 – A good theatre headshot requires a lot of experience

Experience isn’t a necessary skill – but having fun is

When it comes to getting a good theatre headshot, many people think that you need a lot of experience. However, this is not the case.

You can get a great theatre headshot by simply having fun and being yourself. I like to help actors like yourself move beyond first-time nerves and make sure you are comfortable in front of the camera.

I like to make things fun and my easy-going approach is another reason why Freja travels over from Portsmouth to work with me.

I have several techniques tucked up my sleeve to help actors overcome their self-doubt.

Since I shoot theatre headshots, I see a lot of the same issues cropping up all of the time, so I develop proven methods for helping actors move past them.

My process involves improvisation, direction, scenarios, and even favourite monologues and characters. During Freja’s session, we used her love of musical theatre to build a narrative around each outfit change. We played with Pirates of Penzance and West Side Story to generate soft, gentle yet wistful personas.

Related: How acting headshots help you become more successful

beautiful portrait of larger actress

Myth 3 – Theatres headshot must be serious and formal

Student actors: You might want to rethink this

During my sessions, I explain how to take headshots for theatre students. I cover how to pose, what to wear, and how to capture the right expression.

Serious and formal is only one type of headshot to showcase in your Spotlight portfolio.

I guide my clients in creating better theatre headshots. I explain the dos and don’ts of headshot photography and offer advice for student actors on how to get the most out of their headshots.

By the end of the session, my clients understand better how to take the perfect theatre headshot. Including tips on how to look joyful, earnest, and mysterious for your audition.

musical theatre actor in summer dress

theatre producer looks happy

Creating better theatre headshots with Mandy

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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