Hello and welcome to our spanking new site!
So, for my very first blog post, I thought I’d look at something that isn’t talked about very often in relation to professional headshots; nerves.
Are you a little camera shy or do you just experience full-blown terror when you hear ‘headshot’? Despite the obvious- ie actors are familiar with being looked at, most actors dislike getting their photo taken. While in comparison to non-actors, performers usually demonstrate more self-awareness and knowledge on front of the camera; a lot of actors think getting professional headshots done is just expensive torture.
Why? How I see it is that actors are 100% aware of how important it is to have brilliant professional headshots and so contract the ‘getting it right’ syndrome.
Now, while getting it right works well in maths, it doesn’t help much to further the creative process of photography. Your headshot exists as a demonstration of who you are and a nano-second insight into the roles you can play. To explore these elements or indeed to simply capture authenticity, the actor has to be at ease and confident in themselves.
Can’t you fake it? No. Because 10 times out of 10, we can tell when someone is pretending to be confident from when they just are.
So, what do I recommend? Firstly, before booking your session, set the shoot up as something meaningful to you. Think about a role you want to play and then imagine getting the perfect professional headshot that lands you the gig.
On the day of the shoot, buy/do/eat or wear something that makes you feel a million bucks. Seriously. Do something to remind yourself that you’re great.
Finally, when in your shoot, be honest. If you’re paying £200+, don’t sit in misery saying repeatedly “I’m fine” while your teeth chatter. Be really straight with your photographer. Say “I’m preoccupied with this spot on my forehead/I’m worried/ I’m only here cos my agent bribed me” Whatever! Say it. Once it’s out in the open, it can be addressed, acknowledged and then put to one side.
This leaves you free to do what you do best- be in the moment.
Featured image: Santapola, Spain, 2009 © Isaac Peral Photography