Here's Why for Young Actors
Hello, young actors and parents! My name is Eldeen Annette. I am a child headshots photographer in Erie, Colorado, and absolutely love helping child and kid actors get their start (and keep getting work) with an excellent first impression: a stand-out acting headshot.
My daughter, Summer, decided at the age of 7 that she wanted to become an actor. We hooked up with an incredible coach who had come from Los Angeles as a film casting director. The insight she has provided to us during our exciting journey has been invaluable. Through her expertise and coaching (and a lot of hard work on Summer's part!), Summer has received auditions and been cast in opportunities like the Disney Channel, commercials in Denver, print work, and has received lead roles in several plays in the Denver area, such as Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock), A Mid-Summer Night's Dream (Nick Bottom), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mary Poppins, and more! Now, I don't say this to just brag about my kid (though I am just so proud, amazed, and excited for her!). I say this because every single audition, from getting into an agency to landing lead roles, started with a stand-out headshot.
Headshots for Child Actors can't easily be taken by a photographer with no knowledge of the business or requirements for an incredible, stand-out image. Casting directors have specific tastes when it comes to headshots. A child, kid, or young adult's headshot requires a specific outfit, backdrop, lighting, expression, editing, and styling. All of these factors play a part in whether or not your child actor will be considered for an audition. I have been fortunate to learn exactly what will impress and stand out to film and theater casting directors. With thousands of applicants, actors who don't have a GREAT headshot will often immediately be thrown out. A great headshot communicates professionalism, that an actor has experience, exactly what the young actor looks like (in the very best way), ability to show expression, accurate eye and hair color, personality, and that this young actor means business!
Learning about photography is a passion of mine. Contant growth and innovation bring me energy and remind me why I love this job so much! I've had the joy of dedicating hours of research and taking classes learning modern, Hollywood-inspired lighting techniques. Professional lighting gear alone isn't enough to create that stand-out actor headshot. How to place the lights, distance to the actor and to the backdrop, amount of and placement of reflectors, and light temperature all make a huge difference when it comes to making a young actor's eyes really pop. Lighting the exact right away also enhances youthfulness, expression, warmth in personality, beautiful and accurate hair and eye color, and professionalism in a kid actor headshot. Learning professional photograhpy studio lighting techniques has been a very difficult, but enormously rewarding pursuit! Casting directors constantly comment on how crisp and full of life my young actor's eyes are in their headshots! What a joy to receive such feedback!
Child actors are some of the most fun clients I've ever had. Young actors are excellent at taking direction. They are so creative! These kids are natural expressionists and know how to respond to a camera. Kids can take my ideas and push them to the next level, giving us a truly incredible creative collaboration. I've studied poses that have the biggest impact, and small details about posing make a huge difference in the final headshot image.
The background of a child's acting headshot should match their personality, outfit, and look, and should always maintain a youthful feeling. Backdrops create more effective headshots when they are out of focus, giving the young actor the full spotlight of the image. Against-the-brick-wall type shots are out-dated and feel amature and overdone. I tend to choose backgrounds that are inspired by celebrity headshots and catalog looks. These backdrops vary with every shoot according to the needs of each young actor!
I prepare my child actors fully with how to prepare hair, make-up (if any), and outfits. Every actor receives a How To Prepare guide after booking so that our start is strong and the potential for stand-out headshots is guaranteed!
Photo editing is very particular for headshots. It requires someone with a lot of epxerience to be able to provide an edit that is completely natural, and completely perfect. Directors and agencies want your headshots to be as natural-looking as possible, but the light, skin, and even fine lines need to be perfected in Photoshop. With 12 years of Photoshop experience, I have had the benefit of learning the correct techniques for a picture-perfect headshot edit.
Photographing young actors is one of my favorite things to do with my day. Thank you for taking a moment to read about the WHY. Why I might be the perfect choice for your child actor! I am proud of the accomplishments I've made as a stay-at-home mom over the past many years – thank you for sharing in this journey with me! I would love to talk more about your young actor and see how we can work together to create a set of headshots for your child that will help them get more auditions and impress casting directors and agencies.