My “studio,” if you will, is my back yard. I set up backdrops, lights, a light tent… all to get natural light mixed with a pop of light to make the color more intense. The posing stool is an apple crate. Not just an apple box that was once filled with apples but a crate made specifically for studios because they’ll take a lot of weight and you can use them for a million different things. Yesterday was a magnificent day in Los Angeles… sky so blue it hurts the eyes… warm, in the 70s… no real wind to speak of.
So I was joined by seven acting students for what was for most of them their first headshots. It was so much fun. We shot for about five hours and got in at least a couple of looks for everyone. It was a convivial atmosphere because they all know each other. And I got them out in time for the Super Bowl, if they were so inclined to see it.
Here’s a selection of the shoot:
My friend Aaron Lustig, who has been a hard working actor in Hollywood for years, also teaches at the venerable Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute where he coaches young actors at the beginning of their careers. I listened to one of his lectures to a new group of students… I actually shot that first lecture… and then we took the highlights of that class and filmed those as an interview at his house in a more casual setting. (What? You didn’t know I did video? Check out Curious Cat Productions)
Aaron’s video is one of our longer ones at just under four minutes but Aaron details everything aspiring actors need to set off at the beginning of their journeys. His first piece of advice — which is key — is you must have desire, will and passion. “If you don’t want to do this 125 percent, then you shouldn’t be doing it at all,” he says. “That’s true with everything in life. Don’t do it half-assed.”
Actors also need training, headshots, a demo reel, and they need to market themselves. He names Actors Access and L.A. Casting as two of the industry standard sites to which actors can upload their headshots.
Aaron’s advice is invaluable because he’s been in the trenches. He knows the ins and outs of the auditioning process, how to get an agent, and he knows what kind of attitude you need to make it in the business. Hint: A good one. A very good one. He has funny stories about how his own lack of preparation ended up having his role recast by a more prepared actor.
Just in case you need to be reminded of Aaron’s credits, check out his profile on IMDb. And if you need a private coach, he’s available.
And oh yeah, his headshot… I took that. Come get yours! Call me, 818.481.5214, or email me at diana @ dianalundin.com and check out my headshots at Diana Lundin Headshots.
I had such a great session yesterday with Sean Patrick, an actor and musician, at his home in Hollywood. He literally lives one block away from Hollywood Boulevard, a street that is so familiar to anyone who has ever turned on a television in the last 40 years. We took the first series of headshots at the front of the building he lives in. On the porch, actually. We moved around a bit and he changed clothing, shaved, wore his glasses, didn’t wear his glasses, just a variety.
Then we moved across the street for a more urban look. Sean put on a suit, no tie, and the series of shots we took there made him look like a detective on Hollywood’s mean streets. We had such a range by the time the session was over… dad, “hooligan” (who could definitely get a role on “Game of Thrones” if only he had an English accent), computer geek, middle-aged professional, and then police officer-lawyer-doctor.
Know your character types and have your headshots reflect it.
It’s important to get yourself out there, my actor friends, to be in front of the right people so you can get auditions and, subsequently, the parts (and recognition) you deserve. Well, you definitely need to get good headshots, that goes without saying. But you can put your headshots on business cards and postcards and make them available to the people who need to see you.
So one thing I do is use Moo cards, which are really, really cute and really, really inexpensive. I just bought some mailing labels and stickers for my photography and video business and I love them. I’ve been using them for years because one of the things that’s really fun is the MiniCard (which is about the size of a stick of gum) where you can put your headshot and all kinds of other information. They have regular size business cards as well and I also have those. Very good quality and a fast turnaround. What’s cool, too, is that you can put one headshot on it or many. Or you can have a different headshot on every card. They’re not picky.
Moo has put together a guide for actors to marketing yourself with their products, of course. Now you don’t have to buy Moo but it might be worth your while just to read the ideas and see if any of them can work for you.
If you want to order anything, please use this link. I may actually get $7.50 for it! But that’s not important to me as I really believe in Moo products.
Last night, I was just completely filled with gratitude that I get to do what I want to do… headshots and, now, video production through my latest venture… or more like adventure… Curious Cat Productions. I haven’t blogged for a while, had so many interesting things happen recently. But I wanted to show a new collection of headshots we’ve taken in the last few weeks. I think I will just put up a little slideshow of my recent headshot clients…