On the surface, the process of taking headshots for child actors is the same for teen and adults. But there are factors that make photo sessions with young performers a little more challenging. For one thing, kids don’t exactly know how to stay still. And many other unexpected situations may arise during the photo session. Robin Lorraine, a Los Angeles–based photographer, watched as a client’s baby teeth fell out. Lucky for the boy, Lorraine is a seasoned professional, so she managed to handle the shoot very well.
Adults, the parents in particular, are responsible for making sure they manage to take the perfect headshots for child actors they are supporting. Luckily, this can be easily achieved through the right preparation and planning. Here are a few tips.
Secrets to Getting the Best Headshots for Child Actors
First off, you need to understand why you need to get a headshot and how often you should be updating them. Professional headshots are your child’s passport to an audition, it’s one of the first few things an aspiring child actor should have before he or she can even perform before a panel of casting directors. If the headshot is of poor quality, it tends to be easily overlooked. Think of it as an essential marketing tool, if you can’t get the judges to take interest in you at first glance, then you’ll never be able to deliver your pitch.
How often should headshots be taken?
Every parent knows how growth spurts work, so headshots for child actors need to be updated at least every six months. That may sound like a hefty investment, but it is important to know that most photographers offer lower rates for kids because of the need to update.
Tricks for Taking the Perfect Headshot
- Find the right photographer. Is your child auditioning for a commercial? Or is he or she auditioning to be a part of an upcoming series production? A professional photographer can help determine the appropriate poses when it comes headshots for child actors. They are also trained to be patient and understanding when it comes to photographing kids.
- Schedule it at the time of day when your child is most active. You’d want to schedule a photo shoot within the hours the subject is most alert, that way they come off as natural and energetic in front of the camera.
- Plans your meals before the actual shoot. Do not give your child sugary sweets or caffeine-laden drinks to amp up their energy. Being hyperactive will only make them distracted and harder to keep still.
- Clean cut looks and plain shirts are a must. Leave the Dora Explorer shirts at home, what casting directors want to focus on is your child’s natural features. Big poofy dresses are a no-no as well, as this isn’t an audition for Toddlers and Tiaras. Instead, settle for a plain shirt and jeans to create a casual and natural look.
- Make sure the child is comfortable. Children may have a lot of energy to burn, but like everyone else, they tire out over time. Know when to take breaks for water and snacks. A good photographer should be able to spot a stressed-out child as well.
When it comes to getting noticed, publicity headshots for child actors are just as important as it is for adults. With the tips provided above, your child is well on his way to booking more jobs in the acting industry.