Headshot Tips for Child Actors

Headshot Tips for Child Actors

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This month, we welcomed our special guest speaker, Talia Perregaux — Director of Modeling Agency MMG New York and leader in the fashion industry. With over ten years of experience in modeling and talent management, Talia is well-known both nationally and internationally for her extensive work with top brands in the industry.

Bukky Sosa, a member of allcasting and working as a model, hosted the webinar. Talia shared useful tips for child actors regarding how to dress appropriately for headshots and how to take professional photos for auditions. This article will highlight the main points from the webinar.

  1. How to Prepare For a Child's Headshot?
  2. What Should A Child Wear For Headshots?
  3. The Best Child Make-Up for Headshots.
  4. Hair Styling for Child Headshots.
  5. Do You Need A Professional Photographer For Kids' Headshots?
  6. How Do You Take A Headshot At Home For Kids?
  7. How to Choose a Pose for Kids' Headshots?
  8. Commercial Headshots VS Kids Acting Headshots: What Is the Difference?
  9. What Makes A Good Kid's Headshot?

How to Prepare For a Child's Headshot?

One must consider the type of role they are auditioning for when preparing their child's headshot. For commercials, headshots should be full of personality with big smiles, bright eyes, and playful energy. For TV and film roles, a more serious tone may be required depending on the role. It is recommended to look at agency websites and images of actors for the child's age group to get a better idea of what types of headshots are needed.

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Talia recommends keeping your working papers in order for US-based child actors before applying to agencies. One should also be aware of child labor laws and performer permits required per state in the US, with California and New York having prominent mandates.

What Should A Child Wear For Headshots? 

When selecting clothing for a child's headshot, one should pick something that reflects the type of role they are auditioning for. For example, wearing a bright-colored shirt with fun patterns may work better for a commercial or print job, while a neutral tone and more formal attire may be appropriate for film and TV roles. Presence is key when it comes to styling — so make sure that the clothing complements their features and allows them to stand out.

Also Read: How to Get an Agent for Acting as a Kid?

The Best Child Make-Up for Headshots

Less is definitely more. Natural makeup is the way to showcase your child actor's true beauty. Keep it simple with a touch of blush and lip gloss or balm. And if you must define those lashes or eyes, do so with a light application of mascara or eyeliner. Less makeup will make your child's headshot stand out in all the right ways.

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Hair Styling for Child Headshots

Choosing the appropriate hairstyle for headshots depends on the age and gender of the child. Consider the following suggestions:

  • For little girls, pigtails or high ponies can be suitable options.
  • For teenagers, more mature styles like straight or curly hair with a side part may work better.
  • For African American models, it is best to embrace natural hair, as it is currently on-trend.
  • For children, opt for natural hairstyles that enhance their facial shape and age.

The Best Hairstyles for kids headshots

Regardless of your choice, ensure that the hair styling appears natural and doesn't distract from the photo or the child's features. 

Do You Need A Professional Photographer For Kids' Headshots? 

When it comes to getting top-notch headshots of your little one, a professional photographer is your best bet. They have the skills and expertise to bring out your child's unique personality and natural beauty in photographs. Not to mention, they can provide valuable guidance on lighting, poses, and wardrobe choices for the perfect shots. And don't fret if your DIY attempts fall short — expert editing can help perfect your child's headshots. With the help of a professional photographer, your child's headshots will truly stand out.

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How Do You Take A Headshot At Home For Kids? 

If hiring a professional photographer is not an option, here are some valuable tips from Talia to assist you in capturing great headshots at home:

  • Seek out a location with ample natural light streaming in from outside.
  • Ensure the camera is level and positioned at eye level for a flattering angle.
  • Consider shooting outdoors against an uncluttered backdrop instead of indoors with distracting elements.
  • For infants and toddlers, get down low to capture their adorable expressions better.
  • Incorporate fun props such as hats, sunglasses, or toys to add vibrancy to your shots.
  • Take multiple photographs in various poses to give yourself a range of options when selecting the final shots.

With these tips, you'll be well-equipped to take stunning headshots from the comfort of your own home.

How to Choose a Pose for Kids' Headshots? 

Child actors should practice posing in front of a mirror before taking headshots. The child should act out different emotions and practice posing with their hands and arms to get comfortable in front of the camera. Make sure your child is relaxed during the shoot and has fun! This will help them look more natural in photos and make them more confident for future auditions. 

Also Read: Best Audition Songs for Kids

Having serious and smiling headshots shows versatility and emphasizes the importance of knowing one's good side and practicing different angles. Talia also shared her top insider tip for achieving a slimming effect in three-quarter shots: slightly extend your chin forward to elongate your neck and accentuate your jawline. 

Commercial Headshots VS Kids Acting Headshots: What Is the Difference? 

Commercial headshots are ideal for print and product ads — think magazines, billboards, and online promotions. So, if your child is looking to break into the modeling industry and land a campaign or endorsement, these types of headshots should be bright, lively, and full of personality. On the other hand, if your child wants to get into television, film, or theatre, you'll need acting headshots. 

Unlike commercial headshots, acting headshots should appear genuine and natural, portraying your child's unique personality without looking too posed or forced. The goal is to showcase their ability to fit various roles rather than just looking good. 

What Makes A Good Kid's Headshot? 

A good headshot should accurately portray the child's age, features, and personality. Talia emphasizes that a photo should show both their spirit and charisma — a close-up of their face will often work best for this. Natural light is preferable for headshots as it can help bring out the child's eyes and complexion. Additionally, the lighting should be soft and not too bright or harsh. Finally, the background should be simple to avoid distraction from the child's features.

To sum up, the webinar provided valuable advice for parents and child actors who are looking to create professional headshots. It emphasizes the importance of knowing what type of role they are auditioning for, as this can impact their styling choices.

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