Ah, New York Headshots versus headshots in Los Angeles. Working as a headshot photographer for the past 6 years, I've learned there are big differences between what are considered acceptable actor headshots in NYC and what is considered acceptable in Los Angeles.
Acting headshots in New York tend to primarily focus on you. YOUR personality and how you come across in your headshot. Are you bubbly, silly, serious, handsome, sexy, etc. Wardrobe, while important, isn't a primary factor and should only be used to enhance what is unique about your personality. For instance, if you're a handsome, yet edgy type of guy, a plaid shirt and glasses may not help that come across to a casting director. Alternatively, if you're a sexy femme fatale, dressing like a young mom will make sure your headshot falls flat. For the most part, simple tops, pants, and wardrobe that doesn't distract from you is all that's really required. The important thing is for your headshot to look like you and everything else gets out of the way to help you achieve that goal.
New Yorkers making the move to LA will often experience having to get a new set of LA style headshots. In Los Angeles, casting directors are looking for specific looks that showcase your age range as well as the character types you'll be auditioning for. Not only does your headshot need to look like you, it also needs to closely resemble the description of the breakdown of the role you're being called for. For example, if the role is a young business professional with a sense of style, a suit or button down shirt would probably be best to wear in your headshot. In terms of acting, LA is a much more saturated and competitive market than New York. Therefore, more specific your headshots, the greater the chance of it getting you through the door.
So what type of headshots should you get?
Ideally, when you book a session with me, I would suggest you go for a 3-4 look session. That way we can do a minimum of 2 looks that capture you then one or two additional looks that capture you more like the character types you're going out for. This way you'll have a variety of headshots to choose from and ones that work in both markets. If you've already spent money on headshots in NYC, why spend money again getting your headshots done when you move to Los Angeles? Moving cross country is expensive enough, I'd rather you save the money so you can get situated in your new home and start nailing those auditions!
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