Actor Headshots: When To Break the Rules

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I’ll probably catch some flack for this post, but when it comes to actor headshots, there are times to break all of the rules.  But before you break the rules, you have to know them cold.

This “headshot” shoot with actor Kurt Kanazuwa is a good case in point.  Kurt has been fairly successful as an actor with some good solid roles, such as in Grey’s Anatomy, under his belt.  But he lost a shot at an audition and the part because the casting director didn’t think from his headshots and measurements that he would have the physique required, or the ability to play the character.

Kurt called me and said his agent told him to get some “bad boy” headshots where he showed off his muscle definition as well.

The shots we took are full body, not cropped at the head and shoulders.  They are also shirtless and in torn jeans.  They are not the kind of headshots you would send out to agencies looking to get signed, and probably not the ones that an agent would send out for most casting calls.  But they are the type of photos Kurt’s agent needed to get him considered for a specific type of role Kurt is quite good at.

There has been so much written about “industry standard actor headshots” that it can leave your feeling like you can never depart from the standard.  And you do need that type of headshot.  But there are times you need more and it pays to have shots on hand that show you with an attitude fitting the different types of characters you hope to play.

Be sure to see our post on the Difference Between a Headshot and a Portrait as well.  Contact me with any questions you have regarding getting a professional actor/actress headshot.

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