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Headshot Photography: 5 Tips for Headshots to Help You Land Auditions and Interviews

Learn how to create authentic, versatile looks that stand out!

headshot of male acor with beard wearing a blavk and white stripped shirt and black velvet jacket. A blurred out cityscape is behind him.
Actor Headshot Photogrpahy

When talented actor, Alejandro Cárdenas contacted me recently to update his actor headshots, he had a few must-have requests in mind for his session. His number one priority: he wanted simple, natural, un-retouched headshots that accurately portrayed his looks. He also wanted multiple distinct looks to reflect different character roles he could add to his portfolio.

I loved Alejandro's succinct, organic approach for his headshots so much that I decided it was worthwhile passing on what I learned from our Headshot Session.

Read on for 5 tips for headshots that Alejandro utilized that may help you land the auditions and interviews you seek.

5 Tips for Headshots to Help You Land Auditions & Interviews

1. Stay true to yourself.

The best practice is to always present the best version of your authentic self, not a ‘photoshoped’ or AI version of who you’d like to be. While it's totally acceptable (and perhaps expected) to retouch some things such as stray hairs, temporary blemishes, yellow teeth, etc., shaving off a few pounds or refining facial features is not. Talent Agents, Casting Directors and HR Recruiters expect you to look pretty close to the photo you’ve submitted.

If you plan to make any major changes to your appearance, you'll want to do so before scheduling a headshot session. Nothing is as uncool as wasted time because the photo that landed you that audition or interview looks one way but the reality fell short of expectations.

2. Choose looks that reflect the roles/positions you're after.

Incorporate outfits that reflect the character, role or position you are going after. International spy, nerdy Dad, tech geek dude, romantic lead or corporate professional? Your outfit choices should show you in that light. Headshots are not a one size fits all medium, they need to be specific to give you the best chance of landing the audition or position you’re after.

3. Have more than one look in your portfolio.

Having options is always a good thing. It's important to have the right photo for the right job at your fingertips.

For actor headshots, having at least 5 looks usually works well to round out a portfolio.

For a business profile, curriculum vitae or resume, 1 or 2 looks is sufficient; one formal business/corporate headshot and a semi-formal or more casual look for your business/social profile.

4. Don’t be afraid to add some color.

In addition to tried-and-true monochromatic themed clothing, think about adding some vibrant color options to your headshot wardrobe options. Choosing colors that complement rather than overwhelm you can help you stand out. Keep in mind that your face should be the first thing that catches a casting agent’s or HR recruiter's eye, not the glaring color or pattern of your clothing.

5. Stay relevant by keeping current.

Update your headshots every year or more often if there are any major changes to your appearance. Your old photos may look fabulous but if they reflect a much younger you or look different than you do in real life, then you may be overdue for new headshots.

The Take Away.

It really is true that your headshot is your calling card. It needs to pack the most and best impact at representing you for the gig you are going after.


1.     Your headshots should accurately represent you, your best you.

2.     Opt for looks that reflect the types of characters or positions you seek.

3.     Have more than one look in your portfolio.

4.     Wear colors that enhance your looks without overpowering them.

5.     Always stay up to date with current headshots.

It's easy to see how Alejandro's well-planned headshots will take him far. Take a look at how Alejandro incorporated different looks in his Headshot Session ...

About Alejandro Cárdenas

You may have recently seen Alejandro in McDonald’s TV adverts, however, Alejandro is perhaps best known for his numerous TV appearances including hit shows such as Mayans, the Gilmore Girls, The Closer, The Mentalist, Teachers, NCIS LA among many others. In addition to acting, his body of work includes directing and voice over work.


Multi-talented, Alejandro also runs a successful canine behaviorist business having helped train hundreds of dog owners in creating a more calm and connected relationship with their fur babies.


Alejandro’s multidisciplinary talents in The Arts extends from the screen to the canvas as he has produced and sold many beautiful fine works of abstract art.


I hope you found these 5 tips useful when it comes to your own headshot session.

As a Southern California Headshot photographer serving Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, I’m here to help you achieve your goals for your next headshot photos, whatever they may be. I’d love the opportunity to help you plan your session and answer any questions you might have so please feel free to contact me.


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COMING UP in the next post: Family Maternity Photography Session in Ojai

About the Author

Laurie 'LoLo' Spencer is a passionate photographer who loves to capture the beauty of life and the moments that matter most. With over 8 years of experience, she specializes in family, maternity, and newborn photography, creating timeless and treasured memories for her clients.


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