Go for it. Think about the words that apply to the headshots you’ve seen from your peers you loved--and were secretly jealous of. What are the words you come up with? Warm? Witty? Intelligent? Soulful?
Let’s think about getting you there. This is hard for many people including actors. This is something that I see great actors struggle with. The truly great ones are the ones that make me feel like I am peeking into their souls, sharing a moment with them. The ones that leave me with the feeling that I have seen their raw selves. Those are rare moments. I always leave those sessions thinking that I have been fortunate to have been able to capture that.
The first thing here is get over any shyness you have about going into that space while I photograph it. Get over it. Do you want those really great, juicy roles? You can not afford to be shy. You can not feel silly or shame. Take me to those places that you imagine in your mind when you are reading a story and acting out the role in that headspace.
Still having problems getting there? Let’s put you in the right place to get some great shots that are dramatic but different. You want to show your agent and potential casting directors your range, not the same expressionless or angry face you used for your last headshot. In fact, expressionless and angry are what we want to avoid.
How do we get you from expressionless to vibrant and energetic. For many of my clients who are good actors, the easiest way to get there is to role play. Start with your “types” and go from there.
Do you have favorite characters or story lines? Let’s think through that. Sometimes just thinking about the character is enough to start channeling the character. It maybe just what you need to get you out of your own head.
Need more for variety? In your mind, replay the favorite scenes featuring the character you're thinking of. Male? Put yourself in Daniel Craig’s shoes and start thinking like an international man of mystery.
OK, when you stop laughing (which I want to capture because the laughter is genuine at that point), we can get some really great stuff.
Female? Channel your inner Halle Barry. From Bond Girl to the X-Men's Storm to Oscar winner, there is a lot of material there. Transition from mysterious and confident to damaged. Then shift to warm, witty and smart. Like Emma Roberts as Nancy Drew. Or, defiant and headstrong like Julia Roberts as Erin Brockovich. There is so much opportunity here, find the characters that suit your type. Bring them to the surface as we shoot.
Don’t be shy. Let my camera look past the facade and into the character you've become. We’ll end up with the headshot that everyone else will be jealous of...and the one that casting directors are calling in….that is, after all, the ultimate goal.
Tracy Page is the photographer behind Babycake Studios. She is one of the Southeast’s leading headshot photographers and is based in the Atlanta area. She is also a Georgia film groupie and the admitted recovering stage mother of two teenage daughters.