The Right Way To Do A Headshot Rebrand

It’s been two, three, maybe four years since you’ve had your headshots done.

You are kinda sick of them, to be honest, bored. You’re not sure if they are getting you in the room but you certainly think the time has come.

You need some new headshots.

Here’s the exact steps you should follow to end up with a perfect headshot rebrand.

  1. Clarify Your Castability
  2. Score Your Old Headshots
  3. Write A Headshot Brief
  4. Choose The Perfect Photographer
  5. Score Your New Headshots
  6. Choose The Top Three

1. Clarify Your Castability

Before you dive into booking that sexy photographer you’ve had your eyes on since your make showed you their brand new set you need to make absolutely sure that you know your exact casting type.

You need to know your exact age range, perceived ethnic or cultural origin, occupations you are a strong match to play and some clear adjectives that describe how you as an actor uniquely portray characters within those main occupations.

If you’ve never done this before, now is the time to go and do a “Castability Survey”

2. Score Your Old Headshots

Once you’ve clarified your exact castability you should have a concise, detailed sentence that describes the area of the acting market where you as an artist are most competitive.

The next step is to score your old headshots against that castability to get a clear idea of how much room you have to improve on your last set of headshots.

To do this you break that castability statement down into three casting types that you are a strong match for, each with one of your three ages, occupations and an adjective to go along with each then matching each of those three casting types to the three main headshots you have been using.

There are three possible outcomes;

  1. You might find that one, or a number of your headshots scores high enough that you can keep it.
  2. You might find that one or a number of your headshots gets a mediocre score so could be improved.
  3. Or, you might find that one, or a number of your headshots are worse than you thought and need to be ditched immediately.  

3. Write A Headshot Brief

Once you have your old headshots scored you now have a clear idea of how many new ones you need, and exactly which areas of your casting type you need new ones to fill.

You can now write a headshot brief for yourself, which is like the creative project brief that you will be looking to match a photographer to.

Your brief should include the overall style that suits your castability, the specific looks you are aiming to achieve, the outfit options you think will match those looks and some descriptive adjectives to help you communicate to your chosen photographer the mood or style of each look you are aiming for.

4. Choose The Perfect Photographer

Armed with a headshot brief for yourself you now have all the information you need to go out and research the perfect photographer for you.

Choosing a photographer that makes their clients look sexy is useless to you (unless sexy is part if your castability) so what you need is to match the overall style you want to achieve in your brief to the style of the photographer as best you can.

Photographers are artists, and like any artist each has their own style. But you’re not looking for a work of art, you are looking for a marketing asset. So You need to find the artist who’s art accentuates what you need it to for your casting type.

Is that a bright, fun, warm sexy commercial style, or a gritty, moody, intense urban style?

Score each photographer on how close their style matches the one you need within what you can afford and their reputation and select the one that scores the highest, not just the one who shoots all the A-Listers.  

5. Score Your New Headshots

Armed with your headshot brief and your outfit options you can have an informed discussion with your chosen photographer about what it is you need to achieve then let them work their magic.

They will send you a contact sheet of a few hundred photographs and your job now is to narrow those down to the perfect 3 (or however many you need to replace)

Firstly select 20 that you love.

If you don’t love them first you won’t wanna use them.

Next, run each of those 20 through the exact same scoring process as before until you find the three that score the highest.

If you don’t get three that score high enough go back to the contact sheet and pull out another one that might score higher and repeat.

6. Choose The Top Three

By the end you should have a total of three headshots (whether old or new) that score really highly and represent you and your castability perfectly.

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February, 2023

Jean Valjean