You know what a slate shot is, don’t you? A SlateShot is a 7-second video you can upload to Actors Access that shows casting directors how you look and sound! That’s genius! It’s great for casting directors and it’s great for you, too.
If you’re already booked for a actor’s headshot shot, we can add on a professionally produced slate shot for just $25. That’s an online proofing gallery, three retouched images, and a slate shot for just $275. Think of how you’ll be seen! You’ll have everything you need to get the auditions you want. Oh, you need to bring your own talent. But you knew that already…
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:
Mirela needed new headshots. The ones she had, she said, made her look like a villain. And she doesn’t feel like a villain. So even though we aren’t taking portraits, she wanted to show her softer side, the way she feels inside. And she hopes that will show agents and casting directors her true nature.
In all fairness, it wasn’t quite that she looked like a villain. The headshots just didn’t look like her.
The fabulous Edward Jimenez was the makeup and hair stylist on this shoot and he nailed it.
Mirela was very happy with her headshots. One message I got from her: “Thank you very much.. I am going to print my great great great headshotssss nowwww!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am very very happy!!!”
She is so sweet. Not a villain at all.
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.
One of the actors I like and admire most, Aaron Lustig, has posted “The Evolution of the Headshot… Mine, That is” on his blog and it’s very amusing. As a working actor for many years, he has a collection of headshots dating back to 1974. Sometimes he has hair on his face, sometimes he has hair on his head but you can see the progression of changes over the years. It’s worth your time to read it. As soon as you see him, you’ll recognize him from the films and television shows he’s been cast in.
But that brings up another point… headshot styles change. As you’ll see from Aaron’s blog, most of his are in black and white. If you’re old enough to remember, headshots were once done strictly in B&W and were shot in film. So the photographer would shoot, I don’t know, maybe three 36-exposure rolls of film (if you were lucky) which meant you had 108 choices — and who knows how many were actually usable since you couldn’t see anything until they were developed.
Now, with digital, everything is in color and you know immediately during your session what’s working and what isn’t. You can fine tune your expressions and, for that matter, your clothing choices or your hair and makeup. You can become the best you can be in your headshot. It’s brilliant, really, that digital. What I do is bring along my little 13-inch MacBook Pro so that we can look at the images together. It’s hard to fully see yourself on the back of the camera but once it comes up on screen on the laptop, you get a really good idea of how your session is going. So that way we know when we’ve nailed a look. You’ll have a lot to choose from but you know there is at least one look that just sings out loud.
And speaking of trends in headshots, Aaron’s blog gives you quite a taste of how things have changed. You’ll see that the current style is much more relaxed and casual. I also love horizontal headshots and his blog includes examples of those.
Although I urge you to go take a look at Aaron’s evolution, I’ll give you a little taste of his headshots.
By the way, Aaron teaches at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in Los Angeles. I’ve taken headshots of many of his students and they love him!
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…