What is a Portfolio Ready Headshot

A good headshot will help a model get a job he or she wants.  Almost everyone hiring new models require a headshot

Here are some do’s & don’t for head shots.  These suggestions are mainly for the local/regional market. For people wanting to build a portfolio for NY city models and actors, the requirements are very different.  You should 

DO’s & Don’ts

1. Models – Should always smile in the head shot. If you don’t like your smile, tough bungies. You probably won’t get hired without one.

2. Models – Should wear clothing that is casual and average/everyday. No flashy gowns or coats. Also, it doesn’t need to show cleavage. KISS – Keep It Simple.

3. Models – Keep your hair down/out. Don’t pin it back. Also you shouldn’t wear a wig. The client wants to see YOU as you are. Just a nice comfortable style.

4. Models – The pose is normal. No funky things with your hands on your head or chest. No crazy head tilt or shooting with your eyes closed.

5. Models – Jewelry – you shouldn’t wear fancy necklaces, ear rings or a hat. Again – KISS. Remove nose piercings.

6. Models – You need to use a MUA. No eye shadow or false eye lashes. Keep it light and tasteful.

6. Photographers – The head shot is from the upper chest up. Not so close you can’t get an idea of their face & neck and not so far that it’s a ¾ body shot.

7. Photographers – Lighting should be relatively flat & well lit. Say no more and a 1:2 ratio. You’re not selling your lighting skills. You’re selling the product/model. Also it’s not a low key image or high key either. But rather a mid key.

8. Photographers – Use Minimal Photoshop. Essentially, you wouldjust color correct the image to make sure the white balance is correct.

Here’s a shot provided as an example.

Other things to keep in mind

  • You CAN’T get good head shots from a cell phone.
  • Headshots are like smiling mugshots.
  • You can’t get modeling jobs without a good CURRENT headshot.