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Headshots for Voice Actors

By Alan Shires. Published Mar 21, 2024.
Filed Under: Business

Let us talk headshots for voice actors. Why do we need them? That is the number one question everyone asks and to understand that we need to go back to basics. Voice acting is acting that nobody sees but everyone hears. That means as an actor you are expected to have a headshot. Maybe that sounds silly, but the other element is the topic of connection. Everyone likes to work with someone they know like and trust. This means putting a face to a name, or in this case, a face to a voice - which in turn helps develop that relationship between the voice actor and the client. Before we look at what makes a good headshot, you should first read this article on your casting bracket to get a good foundation for what we are going to be discussing in this article.

A Good Headshot

A good headshot is not just about having a pretty picture. It is about conveying a message and speaking to your audience. Lighting can provoke an emotion; a dark light advertises a sinister character whilst a bright light invokes ease and comfort. Though only the top of our bodies is captured, clothing is important too. A shirt collar represents a professional, whereas a rip invokes perhaps poverty or a labor worker. These are things one must consider when getting their headshot done. But wait, why does this matter in the world of voice acting? Well, having a good headshot, and having a collection of headshots means you are keeping your options open should other acting work come your way.

A Voice Actors Objective

Not every voice actor dreams of being on Broadway or the next paramount movie. But many do so it is good to understand the nature of a strong headshot. Hair and makeup contribute to your message as well. Hair tied back, simple makeup, and glasses might reflect a secretary or a messy beard, and hair with clenched eyes and jaw may represent a thug. It is all about the message you want to convey. A good photographer will discuss beforehand what sort of headshot is going to work well for you. It is a two-way dialogue, they are being paid to capture the look that you want them to get.

A Strong Voice Actor Headshot

The worst thing performers do going into a headshot session is letting the photographer do whatever they want without offering direction. This is terrible! They need direction. Think about your time at the hair salon, you give the hairdresser directions before they start cutting. In the same way, you should give a photographer direction before they start snapping. But what if you do not want a variation of headshots and you want to be seen as a happy, friendly, approachable voice actor? Well, you can get those photographs with no problem. But it is still in your best interest to get multiple headshots done with the photographer, so you have plenty of options to look at. On your website, you might consider using 3-4 different headshots of you on different pages. If you have just one generic headshot you will not be able to do this. So, regardless of whether you plan to venture into other avenues of acting or not, having a good number of different headshots is going to serve you well.

Headshots for Voice Actors by Alan Shires

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