Tag Archives: Actor Headshots

Teen Actor Headshots Los Angeles

Actor Headshots

Actor Headshots for Teen, Kids

Max Brandin Photography has a combine 28 years experience shooting teen & kid actor headshots.  Not only will be help you prep for the day with extensive and specific wardrobe consultation, but we’ll make sure to go over everything the morning of your shoot and help you with those final details which can be so important in making your pics stand out in the sea of competition out there.  Our headshots get actors in the door.

If your teenager is graduating from High School and already auditioning, you can combine your headshot session with a Senior Portrait session and get Double the bang for your buck….in one day, we’ll shoot BOTH senior portraits and actor headshots 🙂

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Kids Headshots Los Angeles

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Headshots for Kids

A couple weeks ago, we posted a blog on kids headshots featuring our favorites from Natalie’s shoot….but, NOW her Agency Choices have come in & these are the finished product after removing a few stray hairs & cropping for Internet Casting.  Natalie came to us from a pretty big & well known commercial agency, so we knew they’d appreciate some variety.  Fortunately, Natalie has a great look for camera, since she can sort of morph into so many character types within an instant.  With that long vibrant red hair & piercing blue eyes, we knew we could create several options for her reps.  Below are some tricks that we used to change up the images as we shot – they’re simple concepts that you see used all over film & television….and there’s no reason you can’t use them too!

Long Hair Tricks for Kids Headshots

When you have long hair to work with, remember that you have SO many options at your disposal.  Notice above, the pics with straight hair tucked behind the ears….immediate “Good Kid / Teachers Pet”  So simple!  Then take a look at the green top images – the surfer girl waves give her that “All-American Kid” look that’s so so popular.  For the blue crushed velvet top, we started with fresh curls & pulled them forward on one side to show off all of her thick amazing hair – these felt very “Period Piece” to me & obviously Natalie would be amazing cast in one of those “Sense & Sensibility” type roles 🙂  For the shots in the turquoise tee we loosened up the curls to give her a totally girly “Disney” look.  For the black tank top, we brushed our fingers through the curls to make a more relaxed casual look & get a perfect serious “Theatrical” shot.  These tricks work not only for kids headshots, but also for grown ups 🙂

If you have any QUESTIONS please feel free to contact us through our contact form & we’ll be happy to help.  For more examples of KIDS HEADSHOTS IN LOS ANGELES visit our portfolio and our FACEBOOK page.

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Kids Headshots LA

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Briana’s Agent Choices are IN!

We just finished up some final touches on Briana S.’s agent favorites.  So, these will be the images she uploads to sites like Actors Access, LA Casting & the kid on the block, Casting Frontier.

Acting Classes for Kids

Briana is in a really interesting age for casting – she’s still in her early teens, which means the other actors in her age range are starting to to develop some serious technique & on-camera skills.  For kids 10 years & under, casting is often more concerned with the child’s look, their raw talent & their ability to take direction.  Most young kids haven’t had a ton of acting coaching or experience, so everyone’s on pretty equal footing.  HOWEVER, when kids start to hit the 13 & 14 year age range, if they’re serious about acting, they really should start taking a weekly class or at least get a couple on-camera sessions with a coach a couple times a month.  Since they’ll be going up against kids who HAVE had some training, getting them to know the basics, such as “eye lines” for camera, how to hit a mark, & how to properly highlight & deconstruct their sides is pretty important.  Most parents don’t have the time (or money) to spend on a ton of coaching & classes – but, making sure your child has at least the basics gives them a fighting chance – and helps ensure they won’t lose a role over something silly like basic audition etiquette.  Another pitfall to watch out for, however, is not knowing what kind of class you’re putting them in. Is it more along the lines of a theatre/drama type class than one that specifically prepares them for on-camera acting technique?   If your child is very shy & could use some help opening up in social situations, or if your child is more interested in community theatre, then the theatre/drama class is PERFECT.  However, these classes aren’t going to help much if what your kid needs is some basic film/tv skills to nail an audition & get the role.

We’ll be posting on our favorite acting teachers in upcoming blogs, and we’d love to hear your ideas & comments on your favorite acting classes & coaches!

View more examples of our kids headshots

View more examples of our adult actor headshots

“Like” us on facebook to get weekly photo updates featuring our 2013 HS Senior Pictures & of course plenty of LA Actor Headshots…..

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Headshots or Senior Pictures: Shoot “Sexy” the Right Way

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Shooting for “Sexy” Headshots & Senior Portraits

With over 20 years combined experience as photographers, we’ve shot a LOT of “Sexy” shots…..some that turned out amazing….and some that just didn’t seem right.  To be honest, we hesitate to even use the term “Sexy” when referring to pictures for Senior Girls.  The trend toward high-end fashion editorial type Senior Photography has resulted in a few photographers going WAY out of bounds on what is appropriate for this age.  However, these girls are very close to womanhood & it’s understandable that they may bring at least a couple outfits that would be considered by most people to be on the sexy side.  As female photographers we’re very cognizant of the line that crosses into TOO sexy & we are extremely conscious of going nowhere near it.  Below are some guidelines to pay attention to – not “rules” – just some observations we’ve made that you should be aware of before going for a “Sexy” pic.

For many of our Actors, “Sexy” is a very important shot….obviously.  But, there’s a line that probably shouldn’t be crossed there, as well.  The kinds of over-the-top sexy images you see on some shows & in some movies are NOT representative of what the industry standard is for “Sexy” headshots.  Below are some things to consider to make sure no casting director cringes when looking at your “Sexy” pic 🙂

1.  COLOR OF DRESS OR TOP

For Actors

Color is a big big biggie on the “sexy” shot.  Sexy will naturally include a bump up in hair & makeup, and adding in a bright or loud color might grab the casting director’s attention – but, probably not in a good way.  Smokey Eyes, Big Sexy Waves in the Hair AND a vivid magenta dress start to feel a lot like trying TOO hard.  Black is an obvious choice that is classic & always will be.  Black is slimming.  Black is mysterious.  Black is sexy.  However, there are a few other colors that we’ve noticed over the years totally worked:

Navy / Dark Sapphire
Dark Gray
Deep Emerald
Dark Plum
Chocolate Brown

Not that we’re saying these are the ONLY colors that work for “Sexy” – we’re just saying these are probably better choices than hot pink, gold, silver, bright red, magenta or anything sparkly.  And, for prints, we just advise to stay away from them.  For a sexy shot, you’ll often be using a 3 quarter (to the waist or hips) shot, so a print is an unneeded distraction ….that takes attention away from you.

For Senior Girls

Color is still an important consideration for Senior Pics, but you have a LOT more latitude.  Honestly, if a color looks great on you, it’ll probably be great for the pictures.  There are some things to watch out for though:

Looking TOO sexy

You’re 17.  Let’s preserve this moment in time by capturing “Sexy” in an appropriate way.  We’re just not comfortable taking pictures of a minor in a skin tight hot pink spandex dress.  Enough said….

Choosing a color that isn’t flattering
Keep in mind that at least a third of your pictures are going to be 3-quarter or full length.  If you choose a really bright color, or a wild print, sometimes it will sort of “take over” the picture in a full length shot.  Keep these full length shots in mind when choosing color & prints.

 

2.  CUT OF WARDROBE

For Actors

Stay away from tops & dresses that are billowy & loose fitting.  They look so cute in person….but they’re just terrible in a headshot.  They’re fine for looks where you’ll be cropping into a tight headshot.  But, for “sexy” you generally go for a little more body in the frame, down to the bust or even to the hip-bone (like Nikki’s pic above).  Many people think “Well, I’ll just chip clip the back to bring it in on the sides.  That’s fine – but you should test it before your shoot since very often, clipping tighter in the back creates a ton of wrinkles, gaps & general weirdness in the front.

Neckline is another biggie.  A sleek black mock turtleneck long-sleeve dress might look absolutely fabulous on you – but, in a picture it’s gonna look like you’re being constricted.   Really anything that covers your decollete is just a bad idea.  Shoulders, neck, collarbone – these are the sexiest parts….why cover them up.  Also, a nice neckline makes your neck look longer & makes you look more sleek.

Senior Girls

Senior Pics can definitely get away with more flowy, billowy tops.  For images where we can see your entire body, it actually photographs really cute.  The issue gets problematic though in images shot to the waist.  The bottom of the picture is a big blob of fabric…..not super cute.  So, keep this in mind when considering a loose fitting top or dress.  They’re not all bad for camera – and if you bring plenty of choices in wardrobe, we’ll be able to figure out before we shoot what’s gonna work & what won’t 🙂

 

3.  HAIR & MAKEUP

For Actors & Senior Girls

Everyone loves getting a “smokey eye” done by a professional makeup artist….but for headshots & senior pictures, it’s often best to keep it a soft smokey eye.  For actors, wearing too much black eyeliner & eyeshadow, too much blush, overly drawn lips, starts to look like a makeup ad, not a headshot.  For Senior Girls AND Actors, too much makeup just looks like you’re trying way way too hard to be sexy – – – and it covers up your natural beauty, which is something we really want to capture.  Our makeup artists are the absolute BEST at creating a sexy makeup & hair look that still feels fresh.

 

4.  POSING

For Actors

The entire point of a headshot is for the casting director to see what you look like.  When you’re acting, you’re rarely posing.  You’re generally standing, sitting, leaning, or walking.  So, in your headshot, you should keep it simple & stick to these basics when posing for the picture.  For “Sexy” you should also remember that the CD needs to see what your body looks like.  So, turning to the side, or contorting yourself into a funky pose keeps them from seeing your silhouette.  A funky or artsy pose might look super cool in a clothing ad, but if casting can’t see your shape, it kinda goes against the entire reason for doing a sexy body shot.  If you’d like to see some examples of “Sexy” shots that worked, view our portfolio:  http://www.maxbrandinphotography.com/portfolio/actor-headshots/

 

ACTORS HEADSHOTS : EXAMPLES

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For Senior Girls

Natural poses that feel organic are almost always best.  During your shoot we’ll guide you through some ideas that you can incorporate with what comes naturally to you.  Awkward poses & contortions just don’t photograph well (unless you’re a super model w/ years of posing experience).  The biggest consideration we’ll always be on the lookout for are poses that are just too sexy for Senior Pics.  Overly arching the back, etc. can take us into Maxim-land….so we’ll work with you on finding a nice happy medium that looks gorgeous & natural.

 

SENIOR PORTRAITS : EXAMPLES

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Los Angeles Actor Headshots

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Headshots LA

Get 2 looks in 1

One of the biggest issues since online casting truly took over is the demand agents put on their actors to get several looks.  Actor Headshots used to be simple….remember?  One serious.  One smiling.  Black & White.  Super Basic.  NOW, because you don’t need to get 8×10’s printed up of everything, your agent wants you to get a ton  of looks….”Professional Commercial”  “Professional Theatrical” “Girl Next Door” “Bad Ass” “Sexy” “Cute Sitcom”, “Midwestern / Country Girl”, “Quirky” ……the list goes on!   If that wasn’t enough on  your plate, now pretty much every photographer you talk to lets you know that these are all charged as separate looks….Yikes.  And you can’t blame them for needing to charge extra for what is, in essence” 2 full photoshoots.  From our perspective, a headshot session is 3 to 4 looks max.  That’s what it’s been for years.  So, when you have 8 looks, that’s double our usual work day.  ….not to mention the hours and hours afterward to process your digital negatives….phew!  It’s a fun job, but it’s still a job.  ….So, what are you supposed to do?  Spend a billion dollars every year on headshots?!  No.  There are lots of great ways to get the most out of your shoot & do so without depleting your energy by the 5th look & without depleting all the money from your bank account.

Above is an example of how we got Nikki’s Professional Theatrical AND Pro Commercial in one look.  And we did it without compromising the quality & end result of the picture.

1. Lighting is NOT the same for commercial & theatrical.  Make sure your photographer understands this & knows how to tweak light as you go to give you different vibes throughout a single look.  Above, you’ll see we switched from purely natural light to a strobe when we went from theatrical to commercial.  The strobes were set up….just not turned on….for the theatrical.  This gives us a MOODY dramatic feel.  Once the strobes were turned on, BAM!  There’s an immediate commercial, high energy feel to the image.  And not only was the light on Nikki’s face a strobe – we also had a mini strobe set up to flash on the background behind her to give a crisp white, where there had been a soft caramel faded background.

2. Wardrobe can speak volumes, even when very simple.

Theatrical Nikki is already a gorgeous & pretty sexy individual.  SO, we didn’t go over the top on her Theatrical Professional when it came to wardrdobe.  Of course, she looks like she stepped right off the set of Boston Legal where, no doubt, they’d have her in a totally hot cami with jacket over the top.  That’s great for the show – but there’s something a little “icky” about dressing TOO sexy for your headshots.  It feels like “trying too hard.”  The blue shirt is serious – but we did allow for an extra button to come undone to show off her neck & a little collarbone.

Commercial Because Nikki chose a color that would work with both theatrical AND commercial – such as a medium blue, sage green, plum, etc. – we were able to just remove the jacket, exposing MORE of the vibrant color & giving the pick a more relaxed, casual, friendly feel – which is key to a commercial “Professional” headshot.

3.  Hair is super important, of course.  By keeping the hair in the theatrical around Nikki’s face, we get a character that’s a little more “shadowy” – someone who has a secret.  Then, when we switched to commercial, we let the hair come off the face a bit – opening her up as someone who’s more fun & friendly.  It’s such a small change – but you can see what a difference it makes.

 

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