What is a Headshot?
A headshot is the most important marketing tool for an actor or model, and it's very easy to go wrong with this simple tool. At KidsCasting, we would advise you to take your child's headshot seriously - after all, it's going to be the first thing the casting directors will look at. And as they say - first impressions are everything. With your kid's headshot, you want to make a casting director to notice your child, instead of tossing the resume in the rejection pile.
There are ways you can improve your headshots. In this section of resources we answer the most common questions and give you advice on how to achieve the headshot standards set for this industry.
When should we get new headshots?
Because kids change and grow, we highly advise to get new headshots every 6 months. Headshots also need to be updated if you child has a drastic new haircut. Casting directors don't want any surprises when you and your child arrive at the audition. Your headshots need to be up to date with how your child looks in real life. Keep in mind that baby headshots need to be updated more often as they change more rapidly.
Once you have gained some experience we advise you to invest in a professional headshot photographer. They are up to date with headshot standards. Kids photographers will also know how to make your child's personality shine through in the photos.
Advice on taking and choosing your headshots.
1. Keep it simple
When taking headshots, we advise to choose neutral clothing, in the color that will compliment your child's eyes. Steer clear of bright patterns, brand logos or unconventional clothing. Your child's outfit should compliment them, not outshine them. As for the background - make sure it's blurred (this will happen when using high quality camera with a high-depth of field), as all the attention should go to your child, not the background.
2. Natural light over studio
It's better to use natural light for kids headshots as they more closely portray film lighting. Natural light will also showcase your child's features more realistically. It won't create false shadows and highlights. A good camera and the right settings will manage to catch natural light well.
3. Make their features stand out
As with on-camera acting, it's all about the eyes. As they say, eyes are the windows to the soul, so the photographer must make sure that your child's eyes are in focus, and that they don't look glazed over. A good headshot photographer will know how to bring out your child's personality and capture his or hers best features best!
4. Stick to standard framing for headshots
As the name implies, the headshot is normally a photo of your head, or head and shoulders. It shouldn't be an extreme frontal photo, nor one where your kid's face is not visible. However, based on the role, casting directors or agents may ask you to submit a specific headshot. It's a good idea to make multiple headshots with different expressions, angles and poses, so that you have options when they're required.