I emailed my agents one day about headshots, and much to my dismay, they said something that I was clueless about.
I don't want you to make this same mistake with your headshots, so I have to ask--how often are you rotating your headshot edits?
This isn't the same thing as getting new headshots taken.
Let's breakdown the difference.
HEADSHOT EDITS TIMELINE
Between new headshot shoots, we should be uploading new headshots to our casting sites for our agents to use.
Here's the big fat news I didn't know--my agent asked me to upload new photos every six months at a minimum.
Ideally, these new uploads will be two at a time, one theatrical and one commercial.
You may throw in slightly more specific looks from time-to-time. For example, wearing a blazer that reads professional, or pulling back your hair and wearing a polo for a sporty vibe.
However, we shouldn't get too specific in our headshot looks.
Word on the street from a source I trust is, "You'll piss off a director because they'll think you assume they're too stupid to imagine what you look like in scrubs."
So make sure you have enough edits that you can rotate every six months for up to 18 months, namely, six edits: three theatrical and three commercial.
Only give a "vibe" in your headshots while saving the super specific looks for a comp card.
NEW HEADSHOT TIMELINE
This doesn't mean you need to get new photos every six months.
Based on the feedback I've received, you only need brand new headshots every 18 months, sooner if your look drastically changes.
Headshots cost MONEY, so we only need to take brand new headshots as often as needed.
If you're asked to change your look for a project, remember to also schedule new headshots during that project shoot so the look is fresh.
You'll most likely have great new hair if production just paid for it.
Make sure to negotiate the cost of those new headshots into your pay.
Here are my suggested estimates to have negotiated:
The easiest way to stay on your headshot rotation A-game is to schedule this into your calendar.
I promise you'll otherwise forget.
I just had mine done this month, so I scheduled a reminder in my calendar to alert me every six months for the next year-and-a-half.
This will also help you budget for upcoming edits, uploads, or headshot sessions.
Be sure to also ask your agent what type of looks they need from you.
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HEY ACTOR BOSS,
I'm a screen actor and certified goals coach focused on helping other screen actors that are not yet a household name achieve their most urgent goal.