Secrets for Actors to Ensure Great Headshots: Part 4

May 01, 2017 by Motive Retouching Image for Secrets for Actors to Ensure Great Headshots: Part 4

Here at Motive Retouching, we know it’s our job to touch up your headshots, correcting the little mistakes and inconsistencies while maintaining your natural look, bringing out the best YOU.

But remember, retouching means we make the most of the source material. Whether aspiring talent or working professionals, actors who love their headshots know that everything leading up to the retouching must be done with care in order to ensure the best pictures possible. The better the original, the better the retouched version.

We want you to have the best headshots you can, so we've compiled a list of secrets, tricks, and tips to make sure you love your pictures (from the perspective of actors, clients, industry workers, and our retouchers). 

This is Part 4 of 4.


** Filter your photos. Keep only the best images that show off the "you" that you want others to see. Sure, you can have multiple looks, but don't keep a picture just for the sake of keeping it.  If possible, work with your photographer, agent, manager, or others "in the know" to filter your images (friends and family who say you look great in every photo are nice, but they're not helpful for this). You also may want to aim for a variety of looks, expressions, and feels. You may have one "money pose", but if you choose only photos where you're making that pose, you're losing out on all the facets of YOU.

** Imagine the possibilities. A photo may go from good to great with some tune-ups: a simple crop, more saturation, maybe going black and white.  Think about the services you want before submitting anything to your retoucher. You don't need a huge list -- but figure out what's important to you so that you can convey your wishes to your retoucher before they start. 

** Choose the right retoucher. It's unwise to let just any photographer or friends retouch your images. You worked hard to be the best you could for your headshots, so why waste that work (and your money) on unprofessional retouching?  And in many cases, photographers just charge you, then give your images to overpriced photo labs. You'd be wise to look for their Yelp reviews specifically about their retouching while also checking out samples. Do the people in the headshots look natural, or clearly retouched? Do they look real or fake? You can use us as a starting point and basis for comparison, if you want.

** Be clear with your retoucher. We can't emphasize this enough: if you have something that really matters to you, be sure you mention it to your retoucher. Retouchers are not psychics, and you can save everyone time and anxiety, and get a better final product, by relaying your concerns and points of interest to your retouchers when you submit your headshots. 

** Resize for online. Like so much else nowadays, casting has gone digital. So you need to be ready and able to use your headshots online.  If you're not digitally savvy, have your retoucher resize the images for you, and save them to your machine. The ease and convenience will easily outweigh a nominal charge for the service.  ALSO important - some sites have limits on the dimensions of your files (height and width).  Still others have odd cropping requirements. So be sure you have your images resized and ready to go for the web, allowing you to get the most out of your investment. 

** Border on professional. You still do submit some headshots physically. When you have those physical prints with your pretty face, ready to mail or hand over in person, having a border around the image with your name on it conveys professionalism.  And it simply makes you easier to identify and recognize -- because your name is right there. When casting directors get stacks of headshots, believe that having a name with a face makes them all the more likely to act. That's why we strongly encourage actors to complete their headshots the right way, and that's with a border and name.

If you follow the steps listed in all four parts of this series, you're sure to have an outstanding shoot and pictures you'll show off with pride. Once again, the better the original image, the better the retouched version. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our series, and if you’ve found it useful, please share it!


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