Headshot Tips from a Casting Director

Earlier this year I had the opportunity to sit down with one of Austin’s top commercial casting directors – Donise Hardy from A Casting Place. She gave me some great tips for actors getting new headshots.

If you’re not getting work, it could be you have a bad headshot.

In Austin, casting directors want to see a smiley photo showing teeth. The photo should be a clean, full-frontal view of your face and shoulders.
smiling actor commercial headshot

Do:
– Pastels and jewel tones are great color choices.
– Choose photos where the camera is at normal eye level (normal viewing perspective).
– Eyes should be right down the barrel of the camera with a fun, warm and happy expression.

Don’t
– No makeup if subject is under 16 years old.
– No big jewelry. The picture is about your face, not your awesome necklace.
– No patterns, logos or glitter on clothing.
– Avoid all black or red
– No 3/4 shots

Headshot Prints:
– Your name should be located in the lower right hand corner of the picture. Casting directors will put headshots in a binder and will look for the name in the right bottom corner when flipping through the book.
– Have your headshot set up with a white border. Casting directors or producers will often write notes in the white margins of the headshot.
– If you have agency representation, the agency logo should be on the left side of your headshot prints, opposite the name.

One last tip regarding auditions:
– For TV commercial auditions, dress the part. Be “IT” when you walk in the door.

2 thoughts on “Headshot Tips from a Casting Director

  1. Headshots NYC

    You didn’t mention the fact that it is important to be sure your prints are exactly 8×10 size. A lot of people come to me confused about the size of the print versus the crop of the image. Remember:
    Headshots can be 4×6 cropped, but must be on 8x10in paper, with a resume cut and stapled to the back.
    So important!!!

Comments are closed.