How to Pose for Acting Headshots

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Acting headshots are an essential part of an actor’s portfolio. Many hire topnotch photographers to do the job, but oftentimes, the best photographers come at a high cost. So if you happen to be a rookie actor on a budget, you can always go for an amateur photographer. But do know that things may go lopsided when working with someone unfamiliar with how headshots working in the first. So in your part, the best thing you can do is to make the most of your session by learning the tricks of the trade. That said, here are some helpful tips on how to pose for acting headshots.

5 Posing Tips for Acting Headshots

1. Create angles

acting headshots, create angles

This is probably the most basic tip when creating a good photo. Looking at the camera head on is appropriate for business shots, but you need to create angles for acting headshots as this can instantly bring more personality to your portraits. Posing head-on may also make you look bigger than your normal size, so slightly tilt your body to the side to create an illusion of a slimmer silhouette.

2. Bring the attention to your eyes

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The first thing that attracts casting director are your eyes, so make sure that they remain entirely on focus and not looking dead all over. Think of it like acting on camera, the director would ask you to redo the scene if your eyes aren’t conveying the same emotion that your voice is. So a good tip here is to work on smiling with your eyes. Relax, create a genuine smile, and slightly squint your eyes to create the appearance of “smizing.”

3. Style your hair right

acting headshots, poses

The hair is usually the last thing on people’s mind when it comes to taking acting headshots, but casting directors tend to be turned off at the sight of bad hair. Let’s assume that you have long hair and can’t afford to see a professional stylist at the moment, the best thing you can do  is to make sure that your locks aren’t falling directly onto your shoulder. Try placing your hair behind or in front of the shoulders to create more movement. You can also opt to tie your hair up or clip it on one side.

4. Pull the chin forward

Posing techniques

Photographers may refer to this pose as turtling, since it resembles a turtle coming out of their shell. You can do this when taking your acting headshots by bringing the chin forward without having it point directly toward the camera. It may seem a little awkward or uncomfortable at first, but the results make it worth it.

5.  Lift the arm

arm poses

Standing flat with your arms on both sides makes your acting headshots look awkward. It also makes your arms look bigger than they actually are. To solve this, you can always lift your arm and place your hand on your hip so it does not end up being pressed against your body.

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