Jonathan's Headshot Blog!news, plugs and advice for actors and regular folk alike.

Hair & The Headshot

Hair, yes YOUR hair….. in headshots that is.

What should I do with my hair? I get asked this question, A LOT! I decided to write this to help you find an answer yourself because while this may seem like an obviously subjective topic there are some things you should consider.

B66A36BA-55A8-429D-A946D7A0BC0C9D48-219x300Let’s start with the general concept of change. As actors we need to explore and discover new looks while developing characters and stretching as artists. This basic concept should be embraced. Be a chameleon, change is good. However you also need to approach that change with your marketing in mind. Chopping your hair short? Fine. Going platinum blonde? Fine. Make those changes, just be sure your headshots and other marketing materials reflect them. It is incredibly frustrating for a casting director to open up your profile (after clicking on your newest photo with *major look change*) and see multiple other starkly contrasting looks. What does this actor look like NOW? If the other looks belie your current look you also might have just lost the “sale.” That “warm friendly young dad” headshot is not going to help your new “tough biker bad guy” look. You need a cohesive tangible crystal clear marketing package.

That said there are some things to consider when making your changes.

Commit: Know that whatever change you make you should commit to for enough time to be seen and heard. Total random number here but I’d say no less than three to six months depending on how severe a change your talking about. Making slight facial hair changes are not so huge but growing your hair long or dyeing it blonde require a bigger time commitment. If you’re doing your change for a project, how quickly it gets seen and what kind of impact it is making may all factor in.

crazy-Moustache-beard-style-2Uniqueness vs. Marketability: There aren’t a ton of male actors out there with really long hair, so if a role comes up that fits you’re going to be going up against a smaller crowd of competition. On the same hand there aren’t a lot of roles for guys with long hair. Ba dum bum. Something to consider with any truly unique look be it pink hair, a woman with a shaved head, neck beard, mohawk – you get the picture. 😉

Flexibility: Picking a hair length that is not too short and not too long is going to give you a lot more room with casting. For one it’s a bit easier to imagine different looks with something medium in length and secondly it gives them the flexibility to cut your hair shorter for the role or add extensions if needed.

Don’t Hide: We need to see your face and eyes and hair that cover either too much are going to work against you. Medium length hair (just below the shoulder or shorter) works very well for most women on film because of the way the camera frames you in a ‘medium close up’ to ‘close up’ shot. Just take a look at the hair of some of your favorite screen actors to get an idea.

I hope this helps some of you make future look changes and effectively market them. Please let me know your thoughts on this topic on our Facebook page.

Here’s to your success!


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