In practically every industry a headshot is useful. At the very least, it’s a must to have one on your LinkedIn profile. In some careers, like acting, a headshot is critical, and a common question is whether you should have your name on them?
First, it’s important to stress that a headshot should always be made by a professional photographer. Outside of acting, most people with profiles online still make the mistake of using non-professional photos for their profile. So, getting a professional headshot made is a good way to stand apart from those profiles. There are many reasons this is important. Those serious about their acting career already know the importance of getting professional headshots.
Acting Headshot Prints
For acting headshots, having your name on the photos isn’t important for online profiles. After all, your photo is already under your own account / profile. So, not being able to relate a name to a face or making the mistake of relating your photo with an incorrect name is unlikely. But what about when you need to submit printed headshots?
There are still scenarios where you might need to provide printed headshots. In prints, it is helpful to have your name on the photos. You might even consider a phone number or email address. If you use an email address, make it as short and memorable as possible.
For example, try not to use an email such as firstname.lastname@example.org. This distracts from your photo and increases the likelihood of a typing error. It’s unlikely email@example.com would be available but, perhaps something like firstname.lastname@example.org is. An alternative is placing a short website URL. You can make a short URL with sites like Bitly.
To Print With or Without a Border
The reasons to have your name on the photo include in case your resume becomes detached from it. In such a case, your name and perhaps your contact information is readily available. After all, in acting your headshot is essentially your resume.
So, after wondering if a name should be included on a printed acting headshot, the next thought is often whether it should have a white border for your name to go on it? This is personal preference but, sometimes what you wear in your headshot will drive the answer to this.
If in your headshot you are wearing a top that allows for good contrast in text, you can get away with not using a border. For example, if you wear a white shirt, you can use black text or a black shirt with white text. Just be sure the text is in a place that doesn’t distract from your face. So, it’s common to pick a bottom left or right placement.
Using a white border to print your name also works. Just consider that, to make space for the border, using a border means your photo will be just a bit smaller. Some actors don’t want this while some think it’s barely noticeable. It’s a matter of personal preference.
Printed Corporate Headshots
Nowadays there are only rare cases for printing corporate headshots. But there might be situations where a business headshot needs to be printed with a name on it. For example, this might be for use in promoting a speaker at an event.
As with an online acting profile, using your headshot on an online business profile like LinkedIn has your photo attached to your profile. So, confusing your photo with someone else is unlikely as is not being able to attach a name to a face.
Printed Dancer Headshots
Another case where printing a name and contact information on a headshot might be useful is for dancers. Dancers sometimes need to provide printed headshots for auditions. So, it might be a good idea that they follow the same advice as for actors on printing your name on printed headshots.
Professional headshots are an investment in your career. Getting them done right is important and how you present them for your specific case is too. Thus, for actors, it’s a good idea to have your name on printed headshots. It might also be a good idea to have a phone number, short email address or short website URL to spare someone having to research you name on IMDB or elsewhere. Besides, making it easier to reach you is probably a good idea for your acting career.