Q: “When should I get professional headshots? What should I expect? How much does it cost? Who do you recommend?”


Hold off on paying for professional headshots until after you’ve signed with an agent. When you’re looking for a talent agent, just use a recent 4”x6” colour photograph that looks like you on a good day. In both cases, make sure that your full head and shoulders is visible in the shot, no weird angles, no hats, minimal makeup, no weird hairstyles, no big jewelry, a smile is probably best but you be the judge. You need to be able to walk in the door looking like the picture you send so the agent or casting director knows who to expect. Young actors should be especially careful to pick shots that make you look your age, not too much younger, and especially not any older.

When you’re ready to get professional headshots, go to the best photographer you can afford, and expect to pay $300-600. Keep your wardrobe simple and wear the outfits you have that you look best in. Newer clothes generally look crisper and have a better shape, and it’s a good idea to wear something close fitting so agents and other industry folk can get an idea of your body type. Your headshot should look like you on a really good day. The photographer will give you a CD of digital images or an envelope of small 4”x6” prints from the photo shoot. You’ll have to choose one of these to be printed into 8”x10” photos. Expect to pay about $100 for your first 50 photos.

Ask your agent to recommend a photographer, or check the gallery at www.rocketrepro.com and look for someone who’s style suits the look you want. Rocket Repro is where many actors have their headshots printed so it’s a good site to see a range of work by local photographers.