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Headshots 101

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For actors in Toronto, an important aspect of your career is headshot photography. Your headshot is your main marketing tool, and the wrong photo could cost you a job. You may already have a shot, but it could be time for an update. Does your photo look like you? Try looking in a mirror and holding the photo up to the reflection. Do you look older or younger than the image in the headshot? Does the person in the photo have on too much makeup or a wildly different hairstyle than you have now? Most important, does the headshot “say something?” Does it show your personality and express who you are? Toronto photography professionals agree that the most important aspect of headshot photography is in the eyes. Are your eyes well lit and expressive? Can you see something going on in your face or do you look tense and frozen?  

Maybe you’ve decided you need a new headshot. Choosing the right Toronto photographer is the next step. Don’t make a hasty decision. Examine several photography portfolios and decide whose work you like the best. Meet with the photographer before you book your appointment, and make sure they put you at ease. This will ensure you have a photo that truly captures your personality.  

Before heading into you photo session, do some prep work. Though you may shudder when you think of type casting, the fact is, you are more likely to be cast in some roles than others. If you tend to play the girl-next-door, you don’t want overly glamorous shots. If you are primarily a character actor, you will want some more whimsical pictures. You should also determine the market or markets for which you are primarily aiming because they require different looks; smiling, inviting pictures are best for Toronto commercial headshots, while theatrical photography (including film and TV) needs to be more serious, focusing on the eyes and the dramatic potential of the subject. Many photographers will provide different shots if you are working in different markets, but it is best to go in prepared and know what you want.  

Choosing the right clothes and makeup is an important part of the preparation. Discuss wardrobe with your photographer prior to your appointment and bring several outfits to the photo session. Color is your friend; choose colors that complement your skin tone and express your personality. Avoid black and white and busy patterns and instead choose simple, solid color clothes in non-reflective, wrinkle-free fabric. Makeup is a key component of your Toronto photography session, especially for women. Ideally, your headshot session will include time with a hair and makeup stylist who will make you look your best. Make sure, however, that you still look like yourself! The makeup artist may make you look fantastic, but only you know what you look like when you go in for an audition. Make sure the person in the photo looks like the same person who walks into a casting call.  

Headshots are one of the most important investments you can make as an actor. Make sure you find the right Toronto photography professionals so you will end up with a shot you are proud to carry into an audition and that reflects your personality, talent, and potential.  

Livingface Photography provides professional, artistic Toronto photography. Livingface founder and Toronto photographer Bard Azima has photographed all kinds of events, situations, and people during the last 18 years. Since founding Livingface Photography in 2001, Bard has photographed everything from casual to corporate and is a sought-after Toronto wedding photographer. To schedule a personal appointment with Bard, call 416-732-1904 or visit

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