Choosing The Right Headshot for the Part

Leanne just landed a role in a new play and so she needed some new headshots for the lobby gallery at the theater.

Lobby gallery headshots aren’t “character” images such as those that might be used in promotion of the show, they are personality images that reflect the tone of the play. A comedic part in a play might call for a different headshot than a melodramatic/dark part. We still want to prepare the audience with a headshot that reflects a tone of the production they are about to see.

A big “cheesy grin” headshot for the actor who is portraying Javert in Les Misérables is a contradiction and will totally confuse the audience as they wait to enter the theater for an epic, depressing production.

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Now back to Leanne, as you can see, she has tons of personality in her headshots. And with just a small change in her hairstyle and a bit of tilt of her head she has a completely different look. Both are welcoming, feminine and friendly … it’s a comedy! Nailed it!

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What a pleasure it was for me to work with Leanne to create some great images for her latest production.

And when she gets the call for Les Misérables, we’ll rock some darker looks. I accept the challenge!

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Everything In It’s Own Time, Even Fame

Every day we get up and do what it is that we do. Work, play, eat, pray, travel … we do “stuff”. And then after years of doing “stuff” some of us, actually most of us try something new to try something that we’ve never done before, but at that moment it sounded exciting and we were ready for the challenge.   When you’re offered sushi and you say to your self ‘today’s the day”!

And it was that day for John. It was the day that he would audition for a gig as an extra on a movie.  But John had no headshot, heck, he’s never had professional pictures made. Was it really worth it to get professional headshots for an extra role?

YES, absolutely. There are millions of people out there, maybe a thousand will show up for the casting call, hundreds will make the first cut, a hundred will make the next cut, 30 will make the next cut … and so it goes.

A great headshot is expected, it’s not special, it’s normal, not required of course, but you want one just so that you’re at least competitive in what you present to the casting director when you show up.

Then after everyone who showed up (remember the cast of thousands I mentioned?) has left, when they’re looking (very very quickly) through the hundreds of professional quality headshots they’ve received that day, you want your headshot to be put on the pile of a hundred … to be considered for the 30 that they actually pass back and forth with a “what do you think of this one?”

So, back to John. This was the day for his first headshot. And from the first few shots I took, I could see a spark in his eyes. It was a natural and authentic spark. Nothing cheesy here, he barely had to pose.

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After a few more images I asked him to smile and his face just lit up!

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He was the real deal. Now can he act?

Let’s get through the first hurdle first. Get him chosen as an extra, the rest will happen.

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Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional Portrait, Live Performance and Event photographer with studios located in the historic Hogie Bear Building – East Walpole MA 02032      By the Artist, for the Artist. 781-352-4863 http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

 

Regular Guys and Girls Need A Great Headshot – Your Big Break is Waiting

Think about it, every person that you see in every scene of every TV show or movie is an extra. Yep, a paid extra that someone chose to be in that scene, dressed the way that they are, looking exactly the way that they do.

They didn’t choose them because they looked like a fashion model or a beauty queen. They choose them because they looked the part.

You may look the part too, exactly the body build, hair color and smile that they’ve been looking for.

Spike, is a self-professed “regular guy”. So when a casting call recently went out for “regular guys” for an upcoming movie, Spike knew that he needed a headshot. Not a “new headshot” … his first headshot.
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I am so happy that he trusted me with helping him create that first headshot to present to the casting directors.
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Hey Spike, I’ll be seeing ya in the movies!

 

Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional Portrait, Live Performance and Event photographer with studios located in the historic Hogie Bear Building – East Walpole MA 02032 By the Artist, for the Artist. 781-352-4863 http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

When they ask ” Do You Have Anything Else?” You need to be prepared with ” Why yes, yes I do!”

“Great Headshot! Do you have anything else?”

If the answer is “No, I just have this one epic, incredible headshot … isn’t it enough?” No, it’s not.

Now while this question is more likely to be asked in the theatrical and modeling worlds, executives also need multiple headshots for the various ways their image might be used.

These various uses include: formal (annual report, national magazine interview, industry conference marking materials), less formal (internal company email image, industry-specific blog posting) and casual (internal company whiffle ball team picture, or charity event, hobby magazine article, golf tournament you are playing).

In all these cases, your picture must speak for you and introduce you to those you have never (but may) meet you.
The same picture cannot meet all your needs.

In the case of Mr. D., we photographed a number of looks and he chose a formal and a relaxed look.

One spoke well for his position as CEO, industry authority, subject matter expert. And the other image being more relaxed, spoke well for an event where he would be meeting with his peers or speaking at a local charity his company supported.

So, “do you have anything else?”

Sometimes, You’re Just a Can of Peas on the Shelf

Of course your years of industry experience is your strongest asset. So word of mouth referrals from your best customers are still the best way to get new – quality clients.

But If your perfect potential client hasn’t spoken with  your best customers and they’re surfing the web looking for a vendor then we are a bit like cans of peas on the supermarket shelf. If your product or service requires direct face to face interaction (such as attorney , real estate agent, doctor or financial consultant) the shopper may just choose the peas they buy based on how they look on the can.

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And you can’t misrepresent yourself with a picture from the 1980s. Even though you did look epic in those disco boots.  Clients will typically be unhappy when they meet you and find  that they are meeting with your older self. (sorry).

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We live in a very visual world and your headshot is a part of your brand. Clients actually get a picture of who you are in their mind and see you as a bit of a star when they meet you after seeing a great photo of you on your website and business card.

Your headshot must speak for you and draw the potential client to feel a connection and call you.

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I help business professionals create compelling headshots and portraits that will attract their target market.

Dan Busler is a full service Boston-based professional Portrait, Live Performance and Event photographer with studios located in the historic Hogie Bear Building – Walpole MA 02081    By the Artist, for the Artist.   781-352-4863   http://www.danbuslerphotography.com

Boston Theatrical Headshot Photography by Walpole Headshot Photographer, Dan Busler {The perfect headshot}

What type of headshot do you need ? 

The answer is “the perfect one” to get you the gig. 

OK, so we get together and we have a fabulous session and you have that perfect headshot. 


And you show up for the acting or modeling call … you hand it in, they look intently at your headshot … look up at you and then they ask the dreaded question “Do you have anything else ?” ( Meaning another pose, or expression or outfit or background) 

Terror!  Ah … that’s my “perfect headshot” it’s … freaking perfect! 

If you don’t have a variety of other shots to offer they will whip out their “point and shoot” or phone and take a shot of you … with your hair and makeup … “not perfect”. That picture gets stapled to your headshot and resume and … “Next !”  

You can’t know what they are looking for – but you can come prepared. So in addition to your perfect headshot you can have images of you smiling, serious, formal, casual, “waist up” and “full length”,  fierce, sweet, urban chic and “flannel”.  





The comp card can also be the answer – it’s a quick look at all your looks. 

Remember – the purpose of your headshot is so that they will remember you.  Versatile, epic, handsome / beautiful / stunning / approachable / awesome  you.