Life experiences have enriched the actor giving them a depth in their character which, in turn, make them centered and give them the willingness to try fresh approaches in their photo shoot. These life experiences add a vibrancy and different dimension to the session, creating a strong image. Subjects that exude confidence are easily transmitted to the camera. This is the unique personality we want to see in head shots.

Now let’s focus on the concerns during these shoots:

• Before a photo shoot, one should decide what you want in a photograph and know your essence and how you are marketing yourself. Be realistic with your type considering your age range and play to that. 

• Access specific thoughts and feelings during your shoot. Put people in the camera who bring out different dimensions of your personality. Don't rely on just your clothes. Spend some time preparing for the shoot by knowing who and what will make you trul smile. We will see the genuineness of this in the eyes.

• If one decides to do their own hair/make-up, one should come camera ready and bring accessories to switch it up. Natural looks are the trend nowadays so keep the make-up to a minimum and hair should be natural. It should be you on a good day. Not you looking your very very best. Remember you want to come to the audition looking like your photo so it should be easily repeatable.

• Bring an array of clothes that are appropriate to create the “look” one is aiming for. Focusing on the top half of your body. A good idea is to spend time looking at magazines, and TV  and see what people in your category are wearing and use that as your guide.

• Generally, men don’t need to have their make-up and hair done. I find that nothing strips the masculinity out of a good shot than poorly applied make-up. With that said, it is better to go without. All they need to bring is a light, translucent powder to cover up hot spots. Also, keep a razor handy to trim beards.

• Headshot format cropping is generally referred to as a “1 or 2 button shot” from the collar down. Remember that nothing is missed in this” tight shot” and any “bad” make-up/hair will be captured on this high resolution file.

On my next blog, I will share some of my more theatrical  “edgy, dangerous, James Bond-ish” studio lighting styles.

Dan Chapman


Daniel Chapman has been a successful photographer in Hollywood for over 20 years. He brings with him a wide array of shooting styles utilizing studio and natural light. Celebrities like Tasha Smith (For Better For Worse), Eva Langoria (Desperate Housewives), Dominic Monaghan (Lord Of The Rings/Lost), Hollie Robinson Peete (Actress/Singer), Elmarie Wendel (Third Rock From The Sun/George Lopez Show), Natalie Dressell-Reid (Eve), to name a few, have tapped his expertise in having their pictures taken.