Actor Headshots | Preparing for your shoot!

Getting great headshots is one of the key tools for an actor to promote yourself. Casting directors, agents and other industry professionals will normally encounter you for the first time through your headshot. Its no wonder that many actors are nervous about getting the right images for their profiles on Spotlight, Mandy, etc.  We aim to make every session fun with no pressure at all. The sessions are fast moving without being rushed and we tend just to have a chat with some photography in there somewhere!

To help you prepare for your headshot session, we have put together a guide that will hopefully answer your questions. If there is something else you would like to know, call us on 07810 004451 or use the live chat on here. Below is our top tips for getting ready for your headshot shoot. You can download the guide through the link at the bottom too!

Actor Headshots What to wear

What to Wear

Clothing reflects you, your brand and personality so it’s worth spending some time choosing the right outfits(s) for your shoot. For the majority of headshots, it’s only your top half you need to worry about.

For most headshots, we would recommend avoiding too many distracting patterns, graphics, branded logos or super vibrant colours.  Please bring plenty of tops with you so we can decide on the best ones for you.

Wear what you feel represents you. Bring a few changes of clothing including different colours. Classic t-shirts are always a good starting point. Layering looks with jackets, etc also works well.

We have an iron and hanging rail in the studio to make sure your clothes look their best.

Actor Headshots How to prepare

Hair & Makeup

Make Up: Typically, makeup for headshots should be natural and light. A headshot should be a true representation of who you are and what you will look like when you walk into an audition. If you have freckles or scars don’t hide them. They could be what gets you the part.

Hair and Facial Hair – Throughout a shoot, feel free to change your hair. Bring any accessories you like. If you have long hair, start with it down and then put it up throughout the shoot.

For men, if you want a look with and without stubble / beard, bring a shaving kit with you.

Check your eyebrows, nasal hair, etc. to make sure you are happy.

Skin: Photoshop is a wonderful thing but spending a bit of time on your skin the day before a shoot will work wonders! Try to avoid alcohol the night before as well as salty and fried foods. Boring as it may seem, water really helps your skin to look great!  Don’t stress about a last-minute breakout – we can remove any unwanted blemishes in the retouching process.

How to prepare for an actor headshot session

The Headshot Shoot

Give yourself plenty of time to travel to the studio. If you have to rush you will arrive stressed and that certainly won’t help you look your best. When you arrive we will have a chat about the images you would like, the characters you get cast for and look through the clothes you have brought.

Sessions are very relaxed. We will laugh a lot, chat a lot and take some pictures. I often play your favourite music to help you feel at ease.  I also show you images as they are photographed to help you see how great you look and give you chance to alter anything.

Children’s Headshot Sessions

The most important thing about our headshot sessions with children is that they feel relaxed, unpressurised and confident. To help this happen it is essential that parents:

  • Don’t add pressure either before or during the shoot. We want it to be a fun experience for everyone and putting pressure on before will have the wrong effect. All that happens is that the children and parents get stressed which makes it harder to capture natural expressions.
  • Do not bribe your child with sweets / snacks. By all means reward afterwards if you want but it should not be held as something that will be taken away if they don’t ‘perform’.
  • Leave Sean to interact with your child. He will play games, be generally silly (depending on their age) and talk about what interests them. This is to encourage them to forget they are being photographed and reduce any fixed camera smiles / nervous expressions.


After your session we will put all of the best images into a private gallery.  This is normally the same or next day. From this gallery you can choose your favourites. Once you have finished selecting let us know and we will retouch them for you. The finished images will be put into a separate gallery within approx. 7 days for you to download or share with your agent.

If you would like to download this article, click Lumosia Session Guide

Please follow us on Instagram
  • Zanna @zanna_cornelis_ is in the middle of a international tour with Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake and popped while in London for new #headshots
  • She feels like part of the famil after having three #headshot shoots with Georgia @georgiaross_ over the summer. Love her final selections!
  • Another University of Northampton #drama student. Lovely to meet Emma @emma_moules and her fellow students
  • We have been shooting #headshots at #dramaschool over the last few weeks. It was great to meet Keon @_truekeon at Northampton
  • There is definitely a story behind the eyes in Faye’s @faye.alexandra.smith recent #headshot love it when an #actor can bring that little extra to their expression and draw the viewer in!
  • Such a nice guy! We had a great time getting new #headshots for Christian!
  • Lovely to meet Taylor @taylorimaynard and her mum for her new #headshots recently.
  • Not posted for ages as have been crazy busy. Here is a single headshot from Holly’s shoot in London recently.

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on pinterest
Share on Pinterest

Leave a comment