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Musician Headshots

What Are Headshot Photos?

So, what exactly is a headshot photo? It can mean very different things to a lot of different people. And, what is the difference between a headshot and a portrait? Generally speaking, a headshot is a close-up of someone’s face, usually from around the shoulders up. And, also generally speaking, the difference between a headshot and portrait is that a headshot is commonly used for marketing purposes. Are there other differences that should be known? Yes.

Actor Headshots

Actors need headshots for their careers. Headshots are essentially the core of their resume. Sure, they need to list relevant experience on their resume like everyone else but, their look is essential. A good headshot for an actor is everything.

Typically, most actors will need at least a commercial headshot and a theatrical headshot. The difference between these two shots should be clear. The commercial headshot is commonly well and evenly lit with a bright cheery background. A theatrical headshot goes for dramatic looks. Often, part of the face is in shadow and the background might also be darker. The two photos are used for submitting to casting directors for two very different roles.

commercial vs theatrical headshot

The Difference Between a Commercial Headshot and Theatrical Headshot Are Ideally Used by Actors to Be Cast for Different Types of Roles

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Why Update Your Headshot?

You might be thinking that a new headshot is a once-a-decade thing to get. Well, if it’s for a driver’s license, perhaps so. But, remember that the point of a headshot is to market yourself. Therefore, it must represent who you are and how you’re marketing yourself. So, depending on your career goals, this might mean new headshots as often as each six months to around each couple of years. So, why update your headshot that often?

Corporate Headshots

If you’re in the market for corporate headshots in Los Angeles, you might get away with not needing new headshots until a couple of years or so. But this isn’t always the case. If you change your look, you might need it sooner.

What look changes might call for a new headshot? Did you change your hair style? This could be new facial hair or removal of facial hair. It could mean a new hair color too, not just shortening or growing out hair. Did you change your personal style – the type of clothes you wear, etc? Have you gotten prescription glasses? Have you lost or gained noticeable weight? Do you have a new scar or get rid of one?

It could also be just that your existing headshot is growing stale – is it the same one people have come across for too many years. Outside of the changes above, in some professions you can get away with not having a new headshot for 2-3 years. But some other professions might be better off having new headshots more often, particularly in those that are very people-facing.

real estate agent headshots Los Angeles

A Good Corporate Headshot Can Be the Inviting Difference to Attracting New Customers

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Can Headshots Be Black and White?

This is a question that comes up on some occasions – can headshots be black and white? Some might argue it depends on what it’s for. For example, some might say actor headshots can be black and white but corporate headshots should not be. Some might also argue that model headshots can be black and white. The quick answer is, of course headshots can be black and white but, not as the primary ones you use – and that’s regardless of what they are for.

Your main headshots should be in color. This is for many obvious reasons I’ll go ahead and state anyway. Whether you’re an actor, business executive, model, etc., the purpose of a headshot is to show an accurate representation of you. The last time I checked, the world operates in full color. So, a black and white headshot is not an accurate representation of you.

Black and White Actor Headshot

A Black and White Headshot is a Classic and Looks Good, Like this One. But, It’s an Outdated Process and Inaccurate Representation of You.

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