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The Different Types of Headshots and How They Are Taken

A headshot is a kind of portrait defined as the direct and realistic representation of the actor or model. It is often used for casting especially in modeling and acting auditions. There are different types of headshots used for castings, and it is very important to know what the kinds of headshots are and on when they are applicable.

Although it is tempting to use the same kind of headshot for our résumés to save time, it is not the proper thing to do. When you submit a résumé, make sure that you are passing the one that is appropriate for the audition that you will be doing.

Here is a list of the different kinds of headshots and what each of them is all about:

Commercial Headshots

It is also known as the three-quarter shot. The reason for this is that commercial headshots typically either show either just the head or the head and the upper torso.  These headshots use simple background and lighting. It displays the whole face up and the hair. It is the most casual of all the types of headshots as it shows the natural side of the subject. This is where they are usually seen at their most natural look, meaning with not much makeup, relaxed, smiling, trusting, and casual. It highlights their personality and character.

Clothing for commercial headshots usually ranges from smart casual to business casual.  Bright and softer light colors are used for this type of headshot.  Retouching the photo is quite minimal with this type of headshot.

Theatrical Headshot

Theatrical headshots are dramatic in nature. It is also called a legit shot. This type of headshot is quite popular for actors especially those who want to pursue a career in dancing, singing, and writing. It requires very dramatic lighting as it aims to accentuate the applicant’s features. More often than not, theatrical headshots are usually similar to that of corporate headshots. The only difference between the two is that with theatrical headshots, there is more emotions and nuance. It is characterized by its deep, thoughtful, serious, and contemplative look that still conveys professionalism without being over the top.

Some of these photos are usually in “full costume.” Everything is dramatic in a theatrical headshot. From the pose to the hair and make, such headshots are often used in press kits for the presentation. Shades of black, gray, and other dark colors are usually typical in a theatrical headshot.

Glamorous Headshot

Glamorous headshots are usually quite similar to theatrical headshots, yet they give more emphasis on beauty and fashion. This type of headshot requires the help of professional makeup artists and hairdressers.  Special and elegant apparels and clothing are usually used for this type of headshot. The use of dramatic lighting is normal and retouching in photos like this is quite massive and is mostly used to make the subject younger than they usually are. Yes, the things we do to look good.

Executive Headshot

This headshot is widely used for business and corporate résumés. It is often used for calling cards or even professional résumés found on Web sites like LinkedIn. Clothing for this type of headshot is usually corporate or business attire. Such headshots convey professionalism, confidence, and are usually made in a professional studio with all the necessary and proper equipment, lighting, and makeup. It is formal in nature.

Keep in mind that when doing headshots always take into consideration what you will be auditioning for. It is advisable that your headshots should be updated even if you had just trimmed you hair. Headshots are real-time representations of you. It is important that how you look on your photo is also how you should look in person. Should you have any marks on your face, do not make a retouch or get rid of it. Slight or invasive changes in the headshots can bring some problems especially when you are already called for a role.

Your headshot is vital for your résumé. Keep it updated and be honest with the information that you have provided in it. It is also good to seek assistance from professional photographers about how you could improve your headshots. It pays not to do it alone.

As soon as your headshots have been attached to your résumés and ready to be sent out for your auditions, you might like to visit This website, with its more than 20,000 auditions and jobs every day, will help you find the casting call or acting job that might launch your career.


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