Okay you now have your headshots taken, now what? Who else has been completely overwhelmed by the decision process of choosing which headshot is best for you? How important is it to print professionally versus your average Walgreens print (not hating on Walgreens by any means!) Let's find out more in our final installment from our favorite photographer, Jonathan!
In terms of printing,
JM: You can ask your printer if they calibrate their printers and software for accurate colors. You're doing a disservice to yourself to just go to a commercial consumer print shop and print it on the kiosk, which more than likely, has never been calibrated before. Printing is an art form in itself. You might have super contrasting photos with a green tint and you print out looking like an ogre. When your photographer and editor take the time to produce accurate skin tones, you're doing them, and yourself, a disservice by printing them on non-calibrated equipment.
Is it important what you print your headshot on?
JM: It mostly comes down to personal preference As long as it's a high quality print, you can print it on matte cardstock or semi-gloss cardstock. I have seen many actors in New York and Dallas print headshots on photo paper and staple their resume on the back. That is fine, but I will suggest getting prints on photo paper be done at a professional photo lab. The biggest thing I would suggest not skimping out on is printing. Make sure it's 8X10. You can print your resume on the back but there is no problem with stapling on the back instead.
Photo Labs Jonathan Recommends
Professional Headshot Print Shops: Colorworks located in NYC and Reproductions in NYC and LA are the top two that come to mind. I've seen the work that Joe Barna churns out at Colorworks and send my clients to him every chance I get.
Consumer Photo Labs: If you must get them done at a consumer based store, these are the only ones I recommend.
Victoria's favorite: Actor's Photo Lab. Do not be fooled by the website. You can customize your headshot anyway you want and they calibrate their colors and are way cheaper.
Now choosing the look.
JM: There are two different questions you can ask yourself when deciding which headshots you’re going to use. 1) Which headshot showcases my personality the best, and 2) Which headshot best fits the roles I’d like to go for?
When I help my clients with their headshot selection, personality is the most important factor I focus on. I’ll tell them, “If a picture is worth a thousand words, your headshot is a monologue that speaks of who you are.” You will bring a little bit of yourself and your uniqueness to every role you play, so why wouldn’t you show that in your headshot!
My personal main headshot (found at the end of this article) fits 90% of the roles I go for, however, I’ll switch up which shot I bring in to an audition for certain roles. If I’m going for a dramatic role, such as Quasimodo in Hunchback, I’d bring in a headshot that showcases the nitty-gritty part of my personality. If I find myself going for a fun/crazy role, like Dewey Finn in School of Rock, I’ll totally use a headshot that shows the more wacky side of my personality. I still want to show something true to who I am, but I’ll decide which side of myself I want to show for the role I’m going for.
Here’s a suggestion to discover which headshot’s the best to have ready for use. Post 5-10 of your favorite headshots from your session of Facebook and ask your friends to like their favorites. You’ll find one or two shots get far more attention than the others most of the time. Nine times out of ten, those are the ones you’ll want to use.