Headshot Advice for Actors of Color

I decided I wanted to truly pursue acting in my last semester of college. I jumped online and Googled "How to start acting". I'm not exactly sure what website I went to be after some quick research I found out that I needed headshots aka an actor's business card. 

So, that can not be hard, right? You take nice photos with any professional photographer and you're in business. 

LOL. Not so easy!

You see, my first headshots were a complete mess. I naively trusted the wrong person with my appearance and I did not realize it until about a year after I had been marketing them around the industry. Now that I have been in the business of acting for about 4 years and have had my headshots taken by 4 different photographers I have learned a thing or two when it comes to creating the look you want.

My first headshot

My first headshot

  1. Check the photographer's portfolio
    I took my first headshot when I was 19 or 20. If you look at the photo you would think I'm much older. This photographer was the sweetest lady ever but after looking at her portfolio of black & white headshots (no one uses those anymore or even back then) I should have realized I wasn't her typical clientele. 
  2. Get a make up artist you can trust
    The photographer was an older white female who decided she wanted to "bring out my eyes" enhance the crazy looking eye shadow. Yup, the older white lady with the black & white headshots did my makeup (I know, I know I was so stupid to trust her).  I never really wore makeup back then so whatever someone did I instantly thought it was okay. As you can see it was NOT! Go to the makeup container in the mall and ask a real makeup artist to show you how to create the look you want or if your not comfortable with doing it yourself, hire a makeup artist to come with you to the shoot or have them apply the makeup for you before taking your photos. 
  3. Always go in with a clear vision/look in mind
    This tip is extremely important. Looking at my first headshot I don't know what role I could possibly  be going for. Definitely not commercials or roles in my age group. Think of the type of roles do you want to book. If you want commercials work with a clean white background. Dramatics? Don't smile to much. If you see

If your an actor what beginner mistakes have you made?  

I told you my headshots have got better over time with trail and error!