A HEAD SHOT is an 8" x 10" photograph taken as a close-up of your head and usually printed in black and white. In the beginning you may not need a Head Shot to get some work. For example, if casting is looking for someone to wear a costume which has a mask or hundreds of people. Also be aware that there are a lot of cons out there, so check with someone in the industry for a good recommendation as to who to work with.
Do I really need a head shot to start out working as an extra?
In the beginning you may not need a Head Shot to get some work.
Sometimes films need huge amounts of non-specific looking extras to fill a big crowd scene and they don't really need to see pictures of the 2000 extras needed. Or they are looking for someone to wear a costume which has a mask. You will probably be able to get work with out the expense of having pictures taken
But if you are really serious though about acting, you will need a photo that looks just like you do, on a great day. These 8 by 10 calling cards are called Headshots. Postcard size photos with your phone number on it are also very popular and are sent out as a in addition, as reminders to Casting Directors that you are available, looking for work and have previously submitted your Head Shot with Resume to them.
Since you are the product you are selling and the only way for people to know you is through your picture, it's best to go to a professional photographer for an actor's headshot, usually taken in Black and White film. Color is sometimes seen around town, but definitely not necessary and quite costly. A good photographer will make recommendations to you about hair, makeup, style, and clothes to wear and will shoot anywhere from one to three rolls of film. Once you have reviewed the shots on the proof sheet, you will select the photo you like the best and have it duplicated at a quantity reproduction house. Now that you have your required head shot, it's time to put together a resume for yourself.
What Does my Resume Need to Have?
A Resume will include your name, all current contact numbers, hair color, eye color, height, weight, age range you can (play (no more then 8 years, like Age range 22-30 years old), and any acting experience you may have. If you are chunky that's fine, just be truthful. There is work for overweight folks too. Be honest. Education and any acting / training are important to list, although not necessary. Special skills like skiing, football, tap dancing etc,etc are to be listed here as well. Staple securely your resume to the back of your Head Shot. 8 by 10. You can also get your resume printed directly on the back of your Hhead Sshot, but this can limit your ability to update your resume and make your Head Shots obsolete.
How Much Will All This Cost Me?
Expect to pay from $100 to $500 before you're done with having the pictures taken, proofs, printing and resumes. Sometimes you might get a beginning photographer or one who is looking to expand his portfolio to do your pictures for less or Free in exchange for them getting experience. But remember, a really good photographer who gives you a great Head Shot is well worth the money they charge. Your headshot is usually the first way someone who might hire you will see you.
If you are female, you might want to arrange to have a friend go with you to the shoot as a safety measure. This would hold true especially if you are having your headshots done for free in exchange for the photographer getting experience or adding photos to his/her portfolio.
What do I do with my Head Shot and Resume?
You will submit them when signing up with an extra casting company. You might send them to lists of casting agents or other "Industry People" to help you ultimately get work.