Method Acting Headshots

Method Acting Headshots

The secret to moving the passions in others is to be moved oneself


Aristotle would also add that “moving oneself is made possible by bringing the fore visions of experience from life”.

I wonder why would any actor not bring the fore vision of his or her experiences to an audition? But most don’t by providing a “vacant smiley” or “Vroom” headshot to the audition. Rather than bringing an emotionally transparent portrait that inspires the casting directors to understand the source of the individual which inspires others to work with you?

In 1987 when I was 17 one of guy first customers brought his headshot to the agent who had marvelled by the presence of his portrait. She invited me to chat about the session and then concluded that it was just a lucky picture and asked him to be photographed by the best photographer in Toronto. Later, I was invited to see the difference. One portrait had soul, while the other was full of bling, bling – needless to say the portrait photographed by me expressed something beyond ink in a paper. She asked me how I did it and I replied that ” I don’t know”. She laughed and told me that anyone can get lucky behind the camera.

Method Actor Headshot Session

Too late to respond today – 30 years later, but I do know the answer and it can be called a method actor headshot session.

Zee Salesiaan actor headshot

Most photographers are trained to make the individual comfortable and then snap and snap some more…

I am not interested in making my actor’s comfortable and do the opposite often resulting in the actor’s loving the session, but what I am interested in doing is helping them be discovered. To help them be discovered we have to find his or her portrait through a process of discovery and revealing all of life challenges, struggles and difficulties to reveal it in a portrait. We also search for all the lesson’s learned, successes and happiness to reveal it. Some actors will find success with a portrait portraying misery, while others will portray happiness, anger or success. But what each actor headshot has in common is the genuine truthfulness.

Acting is not about being someone different.  It’s finding the similarity in what is apparently different, then finding yourself

Merrill Streep

To me, bringing out someone’s individuality, chore and soul is the way to go! The secret for photographing a portrait that lands a career is to love and listen intuitively while photographing the client in front of my camera. Actor’s headshot is not to for the person’s vanity but to land a role, to be discovered and have a prosperous career – looking good is just not good enough.

Headshots to avoid

Now that I am but at the end of my career as a professional portrait photographer, I’ve decided to criticize about 90% of all headshots. I’ve dubbed them “Vacant Smiley” or “Vroom”, because it is the casualty of the digital revolution.

We have lost great photographers to emerging technology, while technology has created machine handlers who click buttons for a living and call themselves headshot photographers. Often we meet customers with horror stories regarding their experience with these button pushers who are more interested in the gadgets than the individual in front of them.

Please read the following blog about to learn more about headshot for audition and vacant smiley or Vroom.

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