Thursday, June 25, 2009

Headshots 1A

With recent changes in the main stream job market, it's no wonder Hollywood is tightening their proverbial belt. due to the thinning number of movie investors and moreover lack of bank funding for movie productions. Tighter budgets lead to paying actors less and less for performances that would have landed them 3-4 times that amount in 2005. Additionally, judging by most economic barometers, the film and motion picture industry has no immediate relief any time soon.

This is where having a dynamic headshot is more crucial than ever. Casting directors need to be more frugal and picky when choosing an actor. One wrong cast could mean their reputation and career in the industry. You think finding an admin position at a fortune 500 company is tough? Try shopping your resume as an out of work casting director and count the number tumbleweeds that roll by. The trickle down effect here goes to the actors themselves. Notice how many familiar faces you'll see acting in promo and commercial work. "Hey, that was that guy from that show we loved".

So how do you get the parts? Networking with casting agencies is a great start. Updating your headshot is a great start as well. Providing a casting agent with an old, outdated or non-flattering headshot is the fast track to no call back.

I see more and more out of work actors marketing themselves during the industries down time than ever before. The amount of updated headshots, comp cards and zed cards have quadrupled over the last 9-months.

This is where finding a good headshot photographer is relevant. Apart from using a badly cropped wedding picture, your best foot has to be put forward. This includes Google searches and local searches on headshot photographers in your area. Most close
metro areas have a good selection to choose from.

But what to look for. There are several variables to add in your search criteria. The first being does the photographer have a good portfolio. Not a cool Myspace page but an actual link that is the photographers company or name. Then look at their work t
o determine if this photographer has
done headshots before and if they have a good amount of samples in their portfolio.

Once you've found 2-3 that meet your criteria, check for their prices. An average headshot photo session should cost between $150.00 and $350.00 including prints, CD and at least 25-pictures to make your selection from.

Your next step is to call and talk with the photographer. This is one of the most important steps since communication between you and the person who'll be taking your picture is paramount. Getting a good vibe and being engaged in the conversation is what should happen. If the photographer seems as if they're timing you or distracted, chances are that's how
they'll be in the studio.

There's no such thing as a stupid question. Only stupid answers and vague responses. If you feel either uncomfortable or the photographer has money on the mind and not your best interest, go to the next photographer. Be picky and be persistent with your questions.

A casting director or model agency's not going to look at the "quality" of the photograph or the photographers portfolio. They'll call you based on what they see in front of them.

Making a small investment in a headshot is highly recommended by casting directors, modeling agencies and industry professionals.