How to prepare your child for headshots

A stellar child acting headshot for film or theater all starts with how well prepared the young actor is for their big shoot.  This photo shoot is a major deal! We are establishing this young actor’s professionalism, personality, character possibilities, youthfulness, approachability, and of course, look.  Here are a few very important tips.

How to prepare your child for headshots.

Choosing outfits is the first critical step
You would be amazed how much effort goes into finding just the right outfit to help make your headshots stand out to casting directors. After interviewing several casting directors, agencies, and acting coaches, I have made a simple, and very important list of do’s and dont’s for choosing your child’s headshots outfits.
DO wear solid colors or light patterns. Pastels work great, as well as rich blues, turquoise, and purples.
DON’T wear bright green (pastel green is ok)
SOMETIMES wear black, gray, or white if they are layered with other colors.  Red can be ok if it’s for a serious look.  Red tends to age kiddos and is normally not recommended, but definitely has it’s place for a specific type of character or look.
DO wear at least one outfit with layers. While it’s certainly not required, layers add dimension and youthfulness to your photos.
DO wear denim with one of your outfits.  Denim is something casting directors love to see.
DON’T bring clothing with wrinkles! Hang each outfit on a hanger and take care to iron and keep your outfits lint and pet hair free. Wrinkles are nearly impossible to edit out and severely diminish the professionalism of the head shot.
SOMETIMES wear accessories.  Very simple accessories (like a small necklace or small bow in the hair) can spice up or add interest to a headshot.
DON’T wear large accessories.  Scarves will age and hide a young actor and make them feel closed off. A large bow or necklace will detract from the main star of the image.
DO bring variety.  For shoots with more than one look, make sure each outfit fits a different type of character. For shoots with one look, still bring a few choices. I am happy to help you look over and decide the best option.  
DO ask your agency, coach, or manager what their clothing preference is.  Everyone has different tastes, and their opinion matters above all.  We are happy to break a few rules over here to bring an image to your agency that they are excited to promote.
DON’T bring anything with logos or words.  At all.

Take care with personal grooming and hygiene
In a headshot session, EVERYTHING will show in your photos.  Because we don’t over-edit or over-process your acting headshots, we need a great starting point.  Of course, we will edit out pimples and small details that need a touch-up, but in general, the more we have to touch up, the more fake your photo will look.
DO wash your face, have clean hair, and clean clothing.
DO check for eye crusties, dry skin flakes, boogies, crumbs around the mouth, etc.  You’d be amazed how many people overlook this important detail.
DON’T come with chapped lips.  Moisturize skin and lips starting several days before your shoot.  Chapped lips are nearly impossible to effectively edit.

What about hair?
Casting directors need to see what your hair really looks like, as well as its potential.
DO have your hair natural, but at the same time, we don’t want it flat/boring in appearance. Even if your hair is straight, we need it to be shiny and captivating.
DO take advantage of the volume your hair can get.  Director’s want to see your natural hair, but that doesn’t mean roll-out-of-bed natural.
DO bring hair supplies to tame fly-aways, unruly sections, and static.
DO (girls who have booked a multi-look shoot) bring supplies so we can do one look with pigtails, a ponytail, or half back.  This helps us get variety in your looks.
DON’T schedule a shoot shortly after a hair-cut, or, if you are unhappy with your hair style.  Wait 4-5 days for the new cut to “settle in.”
DON’T add too much un-natural curling, hair spray, or unusual styling.

How else can we prepare?
Mental, physical, and emotional preparation is just as important as the practical stuff.
DO get a full-night’s rest. Sometimes these sessions last a while and we don’t want to peter-out on energy.
DO get geared up to have fun!  Practice smiling in the mirror, making character faces, posing, etc.
DON’T come hungry! A grumbling tummy will ruin an entire shoot, and we don’t really want snacking, because then we’ll need to brush teeth, check clothes for crumbs, etc.

Have more questions on how you can be best prepared for your headshot session?  Shoot me an email at info@eldeenannette.com – I am happy to answer any questions I can to make our shoot as successful as possible.  Remember to talk to your agency about their preferences and communicate those to me, so I can ALSO get prepared for a great shoot.

Youth Acting Headshot Photographer Colorado  |  Book a session and find headshot session options at: http://eldeeannette.com

PREV Child Actor Headshot Photographer in Colorado
NEXT Young Actor Headshot in Denver - Joey

Related Post


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *