By Madison Mahrlig, PYT Intern, Autumn 2019
Why Are Headshots Used?
Headshots are often required for theatre, film, television, modelling and singing auditions in order to show the casting agent/director an idea of the person’s possible appearances. It also serves as a reminder of putting a face to the audition. For this reason, the headshot has to accurately portray the subject and be very neutral and clearly show facial features.
Headshots are intended to show the actor as they currently appear, so especially with kids, they should be taken more frequently than adults since they are growing at a faster rate. In the Industry, if you dye your hair or get a big haircut change, it is also important to get a new headshot to show these changes. Scars or facial blemishes are typically shown in headshots and not removed, however pimples can be digitally removed since they are temporary.
Do I Really Need a Headshot for My Child?
If your kid is serious about acting, then a headshot is a must. It shows the director that you are dedicated and put in the work to get the job. A school photo, or family photo will not get you the call back on your audition.
What Does A Headshot Look Like?
Headshots are typically either just the head or a ¾ shot, which shows more of the body. For acting, headshots are typically just of the head unless the actor has a certain body type that they are trying to sell for the role (bodybuilder, etc). ¾ and full body shots are more often used for modelling.
Headshots although used to be shot in black and white and now a days shot in full colour. If you show up with a photo that is in black and white it will look outdated and separate you from the crowd, but not in a good way.
What to do to Prepare for you Headshot?
Think in advance: If you’re thinking about getting a huge haircut in the near future, you should get it done before the headshot so it accurately reflects your new appearance. If you want to have a beard in your photo, take into account how long it’s going to take you to grow in the beard.
Three days Before: Make sure to hydrate, stay out of the sun to prevent burning and moisturize if you have dry skin.
The Night Before: Get plenty of rest to prevent the appearance of being tired or dark circles under the eyes
What to Wear on The Day?
The headshot is another extension of the resume for the theatre world, so you should wear what you are expected to wear to an interview. Bring your best clothes but make sure they express your personality and are comfortable. Don’t wear new clothes for the first time on the day of your Headshot. Solid colors and simple patterns are best as they do not pull attention away from the face. If you have a favorite outfit, then that is the perfect thing to wear. Make sure your clothes are clean and pressed. Wrinkles and stains will show up on the camera. Natural makeup is best, as you want to look like you’re not wearing any. For kids and teenagers, no make up at all is best. For PYT photos, avoid wearing black tops, as you will blend into the backdrop.
Poses for Headshots
For theatre, headshots are generally straight on so that they can see all of your face. For Film however, headshots are typically slightly angled away to get the side of your face. This is because an actor usually doesn’t spend as much time looking directly into the camera as from the side in a movie.
If you want to look at a more in depth blog about poses, head to backstage.com to find out how not to pose for headshots here.
Prague Youth Theatre offers discounted headshots annually for all students.
Prague Youth Theatre
Prague’s only English speaking youth theatre. Empowering students aged 3-17 to connect with one another, develop confidence, and create impactful stories. www.pyt.cz