A Question Regarding Headhshots & Different Clients

Discussion in 'The Professional Gallery' started by guitarmy, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    I'm posting this mostly out of frustration. Looking forward to your input.

    In the launching of Tenfold Photography, my biz, I'm targeting a variety of markets. I get business from the indie music scene here because I'm a musician. That's one avenue. One of the other avenues I'm looking into is the 'theatre scene'.

    So I asked a friend of mine, who is active in the theatre scene, where some good places might be to drop off a portfolio or hand out cards. Theatres, theatre companies, etc. The conversation turned to headshots, at which point she said "You should actually DO some headshots though". To which I replied, "I have done headshots. Look at these ones".

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    These are just a few examples (not perfect, I know, but just for the sake of this discussion).

    When she saw these, she said "Those pictures are nice, but they're not HEADSHOTS." Apparently, headshots in the theatre community mean something different??

    I'm confused/mad, but wanted some other input. Are these headshots? Are these suitable for actors (I'm talking lighting & comp)?
     
  2. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    They look like headshots to me. I'm not sure what the problem is. :)
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Convert them to black and white and print them on 8x10 glossy paper...then your theater friend will think they are head shots. :scratch:
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

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    Heh, maybe.

    I dunno, they look like headshots to me. I did a few actor headshots in the past, and there were a mix of this type, and also some more 3/4 length. I did them outdoors to provide some compositional background elements. For actors, set up a scene and let them act.

    Check out this guy for inspiration: http://www.studiomark.com/headshots.html
     
  5. NJMAN

    NJMAN TPF Noob!

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    Im guessing she is looking for something with a little more flair or pizazz. But without asking her specifically, you may never know for sure. Im not an expert with showbiz or theater headshots, but Im sure that theater actors who want to use a headshot to break into the biz or find more work expect something spectacular, and probably to the point of looking surreal.

    Just a suggestion. Look at this picture of the star from the Mamma Mia show in Las Vegas. Someone obviously did some PS work on this. Notice all the work done on her eyes and skin, and the contrast between shadow and highlight. Not everyone likes or wants this type of style, but I would be willing to bet a majority of theater people do like it. It makes them look beautiful.

    [​IMG] (maybe I should just include a link here rather than show the image)

    In regards to your photos, there is nothing wrong with them. They are actually really good. But the first one looks more like a junior high headshot for a yearbook, and photogs usually try to avoid doing the head on frontal shot like that. #3 is a better style IMO, because it has a stylish black background, and its more dramatic.

    You might want to play with facial angles and head tilts to see what looks more dramatic.
     
  6. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Okay, I'm glad I'm not going crazy. This person has a history of talking out of her ____ to appear smart; I'm thinking this is another case of that.

    Thanks a lot for the link, Matt. Good stuff. Definitely all about knowing who the person is and capturing that in the shot.
     
  7. wildmaven

    wildmaven TPF Noob!

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    "An 8x10 black and white headshot is a must have for all those who are actors or hope to become actors. A headshot is a photograph taken from the top of the shoulders up and has truly captured your look. One of the biggest pet peeves of casting directors is when an actor has a headshot that has been gussied up and looks nothing like the actor in person or on camera. Why black and white? It’s simple, it’s basic, and it looks professional. All actors should include a resume with their headshot, some even do it on the very backside, listing their statistics of eye color, hair color, weight, height, etc. along with their listed acting experience.
    Smile. It doesn’t have to be cheesy, it doesn’t have to be angry, it just has to be you. A nice glimpse of your teeth also show the casting director what you’ve got in there. If you’ve got braces, crooked teeth, a big gap in the middle, smile anyway. Don’t hide anything. The directors want to see a straight head shot, they don’t want to see you being cute or knock dead gorgeous, they want to see you. Never use soft focus or special lighting techniques. The basic key, fill and back lights of the studio should be all you need. Be sure you are using a simple, non-distracting backdrop. White or black are not recommended"

    Those are tips from a NY agency. :)
     
  8. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Thanks NJMAN. Good points. The first two shots I posted are pretty straightforward/junior highish (the band is all 17 year olds). I will experiment a bit more.

    That's a great shot you posted. Like I posted above, I think the best bet is to have a few examples of what I can do kicking around, talking to the subject, and figuring out what THEY want. Not what the 'theatre scene' deems to be a headshot. Whatever that means.
     
  9. guitarmy

    guitarmy TPF Noob!

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    Man! I keep posting while other people are posting!

    Awesome info. Thanks! Do you have a link for that?
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Also, don't be afraid to crop it closer. When I think head shot, the background is usually very little of the image. I'm sure you will see plenty of examples where the top of the head/hair is cropped off...in order to get closer to the face.
     
  11. elsaspet

    elsaspet TPF Noob!

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    These ARE headshots. And no, they don't have to be in BW anymore. The current trend is color.

    But like Maven said, keep the look real. It doesn't have to be out of camera real, but you don't want to liquify them or dollface them to hell and back either.

    Films I have personally been on:(but not in) I was part of the crew end of them
    Ace Ventura-When Nature Calls
    The Mask of Zorro
    Two Mothers for Zackery
    Cross Country
    Selena
    Vertical Limit
    Blank Check

    among others.
    I've seen a ton of headshots. :)
     
  12. morydd

    morydd TPF Noob!

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    I've worked in theater my entire adult life. I've seen people bring in expensive headshots that the casting people staple a bad poloroid to because the headshot didn't look enough like the person who showed up for the audition. What you're looking for is the actor looking exactly like they do at their personal best. One tecnique I've heard for getting good headshots for actors is pose them and have them recite their audition monologue and shoot away.
     

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