Modelmode :: my journey through fashion modeling

{March 9, 2008}   Getting good headshots for your portfolio

I found this article online that helps explain modeling headshots and the terminology for actors and models. I found it helpful and I hope you do also. The article lists whatblack and white headshots an actor or model should expect and also what the cost may be. Also, the article talks about style and making sure your headshot expresses your personal style and look.

A headshot is a 10 x 8 (inches) or similar sized portrait. It commonly has person’s head & shoulders, and focuses on the face. The headshots that include a person’s shoulders are called ‘three quarter’ shots.

A 10 x 8 headshot is a business card for actors or entertainers and is presented to casting directors who decide whether a person’s look is right for the particular role.

In the UK actors headshots are traditionally black and white, whereas in USA they are often in colour. Therefore it is important to make sure that your photographer knows what market the actor intends to present their headshots to.

The best headshot should show a person as they are (age, look, style, etc.) and reflect their best qualities. It should be natural and reflect person’s current look. Therefore, for example, if an actor/actress has cut and coloured their hair, he/she would then require a new headshot… that includes scars ageing.

It is also important that an actor/actress wears simple neutral coloured (usually black or white) clothing that does not contain prints. The focus and attention should be emphasised on the face and not the t-shirt with imprinted flowers or palm trees or logos!

kids-headshot.jpg Headshot should invite the viewer in and make them want to know a person better. It should also provide a glimpse into the person’s character or present their potential for the role a casting director is looking to fill. It is the only thing casting director is judging you by and there is no a second chance.

Commercial – typically (not always) has the person smiling and projects warmth and friendliness.

Theatrical – usually serious, focused and actors are NOT smiling.

How much does the headshot cost?

Actors’ headshots could cost anything between £50 and £250. Going for the cheapest or the most expensive options may not be the best choices sometimes. There could be possibilities of either not getting a good quality or simply overpaying for the services that could be obtained elsewhere.

Many photographers offer different service packages that may include make-model-headshot1.jpgup, hair styling, an option of costume changes, variations on hours and number of photographs taken. Some photographers also offer cheaper sessions because they shoot from home and do not have large overheads from hiring studios. It is up to an Actor to decide, which option is the most appropriate for them. Make sure that it is safe and professional.

Therefore, it could be advised:

Firstly a person planning to do their headshot needs to look at photographer’s portfolio (online or a hard copy) to determine if their style of headshots photography is right for them.

Second, enquires if services such as make-up and a costume change are available. Many photographers collaborate with professional make-up artists that could be hired for an extra fee.

[…] in modeling school to get a 50 dollar job routine. The article talks about what you need such as good headshots and portfolio and what you can live without in the modeling […]

Yana says:

Hi Anna,

Could you please credit Headshot London Photography as all the rights for this article belong to us?

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions

Best regards,

Headshot London Photography

Anna says:

looks like I originally linked it to susan sheridan photo, have no idea who that is other than that may have been where I found it.
the images are found there, and the page may have changed.

please give me the page the article is found on and I will change out the link to your page.

Yana says:

Hi Anna,

The article was originally published Article base ‘What is a Headshot?’ and also in Wikipedia

Have a good weekend and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding photography, acting or modelling as we have been in the industry for over 15 years.

Best regards,


Anna says:

Hi Yana,
Unfortunately when anyone publishes to Wikipedia or a free article archive, the article does kinda become “free” to use and quote. that is the exchange.. their users are allowed to use it with only a link to them, not you. And as usual, anyone can use it freely as long as they do not claim to have written it and link to the source, which may not even be the writer. The site I linked it to should be linking to you as a source, if not, maybe an email from you will help.


susan says:

Hi Anna,

As you are using photos from my site could you please give me a mention.


Susan sheridan.

susan says:

Also, the article was not written by me nor did it ever appear on my sit.

Anna says:

Look up, you were credited, then another site came in and said it was theirs. I believe the article was then changed.
There is a link directly to your site in the article at the beginning for “modeling headshots” that is the best praise one site can give another… a keyword link. Also, a few paragraphs down it says susan sheridan in the comment I left.

That link did originally link to the place I found for reference, it may have changed since then. What may have happened is that I saw that and it credited Susan Sheridan with the page, and I may have linked to the source they used.

At this point, I am confused with 1 too many owners and will most likely just rewrite it altogether. Give me a few days to make the changes

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