"The label you give yourself cannot impact external forces that are not motivated by your own psychology or influenced by a third party's pre-existing consciousness of you. We are all presented with reasons to struggle which come from completely external forces; to pretend that one is not struggling is either arrogance or an admission of defeat. To admit that one is struggling is a sign and a source of strength." - Evan A. Baker

Friday, November 30, 2012

Headshot Critique

Julian writes:

Hi Lira!

Hope all is well.  Been reading and rereading some of your blog posts,
and must say I learn something new each time.

I was wondering if you could take a look at my headshots and let me
know what you think.  The main two that I use for submitting on actors
access are here:


More looks on my site:


Thank you so much, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Hey Julian! Thanks so much for reading! I'm glad you're finding my blog helpful. :)

Let's talk about the photos on your website first.

Now, because you're Asian, your age range is a much, much bigger than mine. I like to say I'm 24-29 and I think 29 might be of a stretch. Do you see that? My five year age range? LAME. At auditions calling for early 30s, I look like a child compared to the other women there.

Your age range, (are you ready?) is 18-35. Now, it might lesson once I see you in person, but based on your photos, 18-35 is what you can play. Why? (and forgive me for sounding racist) Because Asians are damn lucky. Ya'll are practically ageless. My friend Tanya, who is 1/2 Vietnamese and 1/2 French went out for a 35 year old doctor role when she was only 25 and she was PISSED because she thought there was no way she could ever pass for 35. But 35 year old Asian women could pass for 25. (See this cartoon!)  View your enormous age range as a gift! Harry Shum Jr. is playing a 17 year old high school student. He is 30 years old.

On your website, you have five photos. Number 2 and 3 are my favorite. Number 2 with the big laughing smile makes you look 18. Number 3 with the layered look makes you look 22-35.

I would like to commend you on your choice of headshot photographer because technically, the shots are good, however none of them look like they were Photoshopped. It looks like there needs to be a little bit of color correction, and your skin could use a little smoothing out. Photoshopping your photos is ALWAYS a good investment! At $25-35/pop they can get pricey, but it's only going to help you.

Now let's talk about your AA account.

Actually, let's talk about cropping.

The most flattering headshot photos show a little of your neck and chest, otherwise, you look short and squat - like a little kid trying to jump into the frame. You need to call Actors Access and let them know you need to recrop your photos. (Or actually, you're just using your two freebies, right? Just take them down and reload them back up) Take a look at my profile picture on my right sidebar. I've cropped the top of my head off so you can see my neck and a little of my chest. You need to do the same for yours.

When I go to your website and look at the thumbnails, they're cropped way better than the ones on your AA account. Use your website thumbnails as your guide.

Also, if you're only going to use two photos on AA, which is FINE, pretty please make sure you're wearing a different outfit between your theatrical and comedic shot. It seems silly, but it gives you more range.

Bottom line - you've got good headshots. Recrop the ones on your AA profile, or, better yet, get them retouched first, then put those up, cropped so that we can see your neck more. I honestly think you'll get more auditions if you follow my advice.

Lira :)

1 comment:

  1. The finished website shows range... the SAG site you show only one look, that is, no range, you always have same expression... An actor aught mix it up if he shows multiple images...


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