Top Ten Things To Know Before Taking Your Headshot

By: Tory  |  Published: April 1st, 2013   |  Category: Tory Shulman News






1) Obviously if you want a smiling shot, make sure it is a REAL smile. If you lips are shut too tight, you look like a murderer holding in a secret. If your mouth is open too wide, you end up looking like psych patient trying to hold in all the pain.

***Helpful hint: Have your photographer say dirty words right before he shoots. Some of my favorites are: boobies, scrotum and taint. These always get a good smile.

2) Get your hair and makeup done PROFESSIONALLY. Unless you are a stylist for a living, pay the 100 dollars and get someone to have you looking your best. When your hair is frizzy and your eyeliner looks like Amy Winehouse–the casting directors will laugh at you as they throw away your pic.

***Helpful hint: Tell your stylist to go natural. You want to look like yourself in the shot, not like a desperate street walker

  1. 3)  Don’t wear a busy print. It’s hard for the eye to concentrate. Wear bright colors and make sure that your clothes are comfortable and fit well.
  2. 4)  It’s all in the eyes. I have a weird tendency to squint my right eye when I smile– making me look similar to a pirate or a winking creep. Make sure you practice your smile while keeping your eyes nice and open. Remember Tyra: SMIZE!

***Helpful Hint: Visine Drops right before your pics can make your eyes feel relaxed and hydrated.

  1. 5)  Put music on. It’s much easier to feel comfortable and pose when you’re grooving out to Beyonce as opposed to dead, museum silence. Just bring a mix cd or have a playlist and ask the photographer to turn it up.
  2. 6)  Bring a friend. Unless you are a swinger (no judgement if you are) it is not easy to feel sexy and cool in front of a total stranger. Bring a buddy and have them moon you behind the photographer for real laughs.
  3. 7)  Have your brand come through. The headshot that I use was a mistake shot but it ended up being perfect. The second a casting director sees it, she knows I am going for quirky, improv heavy, comedic roles NOT Chekov.
  4. 8)  Bring your entire wardrobe to the shoot. The photographer knows what is going to look best in photos, so if you show up only bringing your tie-dyed crop shirt from 1987

you are going to end up unhappy. Bring sparkly shirts, bring dark shirts, bring light shirts and bring sweaters. Bring lots of layers as well and lay them out to discuss with your photographer so that you get the right “look” for your headshot.

9) Eat well before the shoot. Yes, I happen to indulge in too many In N Out double double animal style burgers. But before a headshot session, I’m at least adding an arugula salad to the mix. Seriously though, drink tons of water and eat light, non- bloaty foods 24-48 hours before your shoot.

10) Take a shot of Jameson before you start. It will loosen you up and allow you to take yourself less seriously. Of course, a healthier, less alcoholic version of this would be to stretch or hula hoop or lip synch to Britney before your shoot. Anything to get your mind in a fun and relaxed state. If you’re not a Brit fan–pump up the Aguilera or Madonna. I’m an equal opportunist.