I posted a casting call on facebook recently for AreaFC, a TV series about to be made by my oga Emmanuel Uduma. It requested for a profile/resume and a headshot. While there was a lot of response particularly from young wanna-be actors, most didn’t understand what a headshot meant or even an actor resume. At first it was very funny, we saw all sorts from Instagram selfies to party photos. We made fun and laughed about them, we even insulted them until I realize, wait…the joke is on us. Why don’t we just show these young folks how it’s done once and for all. We keep telling them to “google it” as if na we put am for google. We might loose that good talent because we assumed he’s an idiot for not doing a good resume or headshot. So I decided this had to be my first post for actors. Vicky Akujobi (Anthill’s Senior Editor) and Akay Ilozobhie (Anthill’s content writer/producer) agreed for me to use them for this tutorial. So, Whats a Headshot? Wikipedia: A head shot or headshot is a specific type of portrait (usually a photograph) that realistically demonstrates a person’s appearance for branding or casting. Basically a headshot is almost like a passport photograph but shot with the intent to appeal to a casting director or producer. Meaning..you have to be fine but not too fine…pose a little…but not too much. Nobody wants to see you pout or look like mammywater. Here are some tips I know will give you good headshots.
- For females, minimal make up. If you look too hot and you Photoshop the photos and you now appear at the audition looking like chinko phone, that alone will annoy everyone and your performance won’t matter. A little make up is fine. No big eyelashes and juju mascara. The point is to look like you. But a fine you. For males…thank God all we need to do is comb our hair well. If your face is too oily, add small power and you are fine.
- Always do portrait. If you can’t afford a professional photographer (You should though except you really have no option or you are just too broke) You can use your phone…but biko, use a good phone…borrow your friend’s iphone or Samsung galaxy. Portraits look professional and you fill the frame. Also make sure you use a plain background as other stuff might be distracting. Plain colours like dark gray, deep blue or black are good choice because your skin will pop better on them. I couldn’t get a better background, but it still worked.
- If you are using a phone, my advice is to shoot outdoors with good light. Now most of your phone lenses are wide angle lenses. What this means is that if you move it too close to you, you will be slightly distorted and look ugly…which is why front camera selfies suck and we all look ugly skyping . In this example, Akay and Vicky were shot standing full frame and I cropped the photo to fit.
- For naija purposes, I’ll advice you Take two shots. A smiling one (for romance and comedy) and a serious but not frowny one (drama and juju…lol)
- Look at the camera always. Its like you are looking at the casting director. For females, a little cleavage won’t hurt…most males in the industry are ashawos…they will like it …lol.
- Do a little color correction if you can…most phones have good tools for this. Don’t overdo it and end up looking like a witch