1) Do not take photos behind a brick wall or in a forest. You are not posing for catalogs and you are not fairies. You are actors. Be in a studio with a color backdrop.
2) Lighting is very important. If the casting directors or producers cannot see your face, you probably will not be selected for an audition.
3) Think about what characters you play and dress accordingly; e.g. for parts such as lawyers or students. Look the part.
4) Dress like you would for an audition. Avoid black, whites, reds and patterns. Think about what color looks good on you and wear that. If you don’t know what color looks good on you take some sample photos with different wardrobes at home. Pastel colours are best.
5) It’s a head shot. It’s not a full body or far shot. If we cannot connect with your eyes, why would they call you in for an audition? CLOSE UP.
6) Go to reputable photographers, or get a recommendation. Not everyone with an SLR camera can take proper photos. I recommend Sarah Reid, Ron Sullivan, Gord Weber, and Jennifer Stanhope in Ottawa. I really like Sam Gatz and Tim Leyes in Toronto and Nick Kuiper for out west. Sarah Reid also does Toronto as well. There are many more that I could add to this list. The bottom line if you are uncertain, ask your agent for a recommendation.
7) If your agent tells you, you need a new head shot or if they do not like them, they are telling the TRUTH. They see what head shots work and what ones do not. It is really important to listen to your agent and ask advice before you go take the head shots. If you do not do that and you get no offer for an audition, it is likely because you did not follow direction to change the head shot.
“Follow the yellow brick road and you’ll find the Wizard”. Follow these steps and you will get more auditions.