The objective of all marketing is to build your brand so that your customer doesn’t want to look anywhere else, but, as we all know that takes time and you need to start somewhere.
Today, before you receive that first email or phone call, most of your new acting or modelling jobs will have begun on the Internet via Google or an actor or modelling industry directory or portal such as StarNow, AT2 or model mayhem.
In StarNow, the Casting Director or Creative Director fills in details of the project, posts it and then you as an actor or model can repsond – the Director then receives your reply.
For example, in a call out we did for an urgent Fashion shoot we had over 75 replies in less than 24 hours.
Today very few Casting Directors have lots of free time to go through hundreds of portfolios in detail, so, for the first run through, the quickest way to shortlist is by main headshot first impression.
Tip 1. The Importance of a great Headshot
It’s a cliché but “first impressions count” – your head shot has to immediately connect with your viewer. If it doesn’t, you’ve lost the opportuity before you even know it.
The following tips aim to help you determine what shot to use as your main headshot and what to include in your portfolio to get the job.
Tip 1b. Choose the right photographer for your headshot
From a model or actors portfolio – decide what type of jobs you’re interested in and then find a photographer whose shots you like. If your look changes then update your headshot.
Remember it always helps to put yourself in your potential customers shoes – by having an idea of your customers needs and wants you can better tailor your product, service or price.
So for example, say you’re a photographer and offering a new, inexpensive (but high quality) professional headshot photography service for actors, models or business people in Sydney City, St George, Sutherland Shire and Eastern Suburbs?
What would be the Actors or Models wants and needs?
- Getting great quality, professional portrait headshots and shots that get results.
- Not paying a fortune for expensive studio space and overheads.
- Not having to wait weeks for the shots.
- Local area and easy to get to.
- Having flexible times
- Professional and always on time .
- Good industry and client connections.
Always ask yourself what is the customer looking for?
Tip 2. “If your not selling to the end customer you’re selling to someone who is”
Once you have your shots – it’s important to understand who is your actual viewer? Are they just viewers? influencers? or the potential buyer and decision maker?
For Actors and Models the person you’ll need to impress with your shots will be an Agency Casting Director or Marketing Director (who then will short list you) for the eventual decision marker.
But today you can build your brand online. Today Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social image bookmarking sites being used amongst Agencies and interest groups. Tens of millions of Internet users are creating pin-boards around every conceivable subject matter – which all link back to your profile.
Find and post your relevent best photos to these boards.
Tip 3. What Types of Shots do Casting Directors want to see?
Types of Shots – Actor or model head shots for Casting Directors are a little bit different than your standard portrait photography as they are deliberately kept very natural so the Director can easily see what you look like without photo manipulation. That’s not to say you don’t have retouched and creative shots in your book – just that your main profile headshot should be kept simple (but professional). Remember if you’ve changed your look then update your headshot. You need to walk into the interview looking like the person in the photo.
Again – the amateur, “I-phone selfies ” of you knocking down a few shots on Ibiza to show that you like to party – doesn’t work – get rid of them.
Tip 3. Sadly, black and whites are now considered a bit old old hat for the modern digital headshot. (Note to self – update my portrait shot!)
Tip 4. Smile (at least once). Actor or Models, your look-book should have a mixture of no smile, semi smile, big smile. Also simple close ups, 1/3 body, full body. You can add character shots,
Tip 5. Finally – Reputation is Everything.
Every customer wants painless transactions – that means quality, reliability and professionalism.
Your reputation is everything – positive customer word of mouth has and will always be the best form of advertising. It is human nature that your customers will return to people they trust and enjoy working with.
So, once you’ve received the call and have the audition booked – TURN UP on TIME. Being on time is the single biggest differentiator over most of your competition.
All the best
My StarNow Photo Profle