What Are Casting Directors Looking for in Actor Headshots?

Headshots are a vital aspect of an actor’s career. They serve as one key gateway into actually getting to act in front of a camera. So it’s important to get them right. Although your first instinct might be to just use that picture of you that your friend took last summer, that is not what casting directors want to see. It’s important to get actor headshots right in order for them to reach their full potential as vehicles to auditions. That is why you should keep in mind what casting directors look for in actor headshots. What is that? Let’s find out.


Casting directors are not likely to respond to people who have mirror selfies on their Backstage profile. It’s not a good look nor is it professional. After all, if you can’t take your headshot seriously, you probably shouldn’t expect someone else to. Even if you really put in an effort to take something decent-looking with your iPhone’s portrait mode, it’s fairly easy to tell when you didn’t go through the trouble of getting real headshots. It’s made even more evident when your smartphone headshot is put up against competing actors that had real headshots taken.

To those in casting, this demonstrates a lack of commitment to the craft. Everyone in the industry will tell you that investing in good actor headshots goes a long way. They are the first impression your potential employers will have of you. So the effort to get professional actor headshots done will be worth it.

actor headshots


The most common reason for immediate dismissal upon seeing a headshot is “they don’t look the part”. This, of course, can seem a little cruel. However, it makes a lot of sense from their perspective. After all, they get into casting mode with a specific look in mind, and while you may not control their standards for specific features they are after, you can be ready to capture the character they have in mind with your headshot.

In terms of headshots, an innocent young woman most likely looks very different than a bitter ex. A business man looks very different than a biker, and so on. So you have to be ready to cover a range of characters with different headshots and send them out accordingly. Thus, don’t be afraid to get very specific with the looks you want to portray in a headshot. In fact, it’s likely more beneficial than a generic looking headshot.

Camera Readiness

This one is a little harder to capture properly. You have to keep in mind that you are auditioning to be put in front of a camera. So from the get-go, actor headshots have to demonstrate that you are ready to look good on camera. Does your headshot pop out in a crowd? When it comes to this, it’s vital that you trust your instincts for posing naturally, while making sure you are in a comfortable environment – with your headshot photographer – that brings the best in you to the surface.

So, it can be a good idea to chat with or meet with your headshot photographer beforehand. You can make sure you are comfortable with them. It’s also an opportunity to come up with a game plan. For example, do you need specific theatrical or commercial headshots?

You can also use the opportunity to be sure they know what they’re doing for headshots. Being sure you’re getting the best actor headshots in Los Angeles will go a long way in building your confidence.But, don’t get too much in your own head about it. Trust yourself and, if you’ve done your homework to find a good headshot photographer, in the photographer’s skills too.

Professional Actor Headshots in Los Angeles

Actor headshots help get you opportunities. But not any actor headshots, only the best ones. At Headshots by The Light Committee, photographer Rafael is constantly putting in the necessary effort to make sure every picture taken highlights his client’s best attributes and properly communicates who they are and who they can be on screen.

By browsing through the studio’s portfolio you’ll be able to see the wide array of clients worked with and how well their character was captured, as well as how their personality comes across in their headshots. Set yourself up for success by contacting Rafael at your convenience. Or, call or text Rafael now at (818) 300-9434.

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