I've seen so many new headshots lately on social media websites and I keep thinking, "Another fake smile..." or "that photographer was just getting you in and out...and you didn't even realize it." Anyone will tell you, I don't think twice about saying out loud, "What is that?" So far, 9 times out of 10, they IMMEDIATELY realize that I'm calling their bluff (and in most cases, laugh to themselves because they KNOW they're faking...and then I get the REAL one. Without fail!)
In a headshot session, we chat about what you're looking to do, what your agent wants to see more of, how you're viewed by Casting Directors, etc...and then we toss it all out the window and jump off the cliff. It's not my job to make you look like Audra McDonald or Brian D'Arcy James or Nell Carter. It's my job to provide you with a calling card that's your own. THAT can never be recreated. And unless you'll only be playing robots, the last thing anyone wants to see is the "Actor Smile". In our pre-shoot chat, I get a feel for you and take mental notes of range to explore...and yes, it's obvious when you're actually smiling. Your face lights up, your eyes react a certain way...it's unique to YOU..and it has emotional life. Wait a minute?!?!? Emotional life? Truth? That's the thing about having an actor taking your headshots...I want the truth. Because unless you're completely void of life...there will be SOMEthing about you that sparks. Does it mean you're a great actor? No. Does it mean you're talented at ALL? No. But will you leave with a great shot? HELL YES. So be you...smiles, silly, sour, smize and all. Just don't "fake" it...because the real thing feels (and looks) so much better.