The main difference when it comes to acting headshots versus corporate or commercial headshots is not styling, poses, or background.
With an acting headshot, you want to show a casting director that you have a versatile face, you fit well into multiple settings, and you can play whatever role they want to see you in.
A traditional headshot that you get for your business has a complete opposite job.
You already have a role in your position.
This headshot needs to make people feel confident in their choice to work with you.
Your personal branding images will solidify who you are, what your mission is, and make people feel comfortable. You’re not trying to fit into a mold or a character. You’re already where you need to be in your position so this photo will show people that.
Other things that separate an acting headshot from a traditional headshot are the more technical pieces.
With posing for a commercial headshot, your goal is to make your audience comfortable with you. They want to feel excited to work with you. Your photos are the first piece of someone deciding, “Yes, I can’t wait to work with them.”
A warm smile in combination with a slightly tilted shoulder feels personable. A shot of you at a coffee table, smiling or laughing over a mug gives off a friendly, chat with me vibe.
Your goal with an acting headshot isn’t always to make the onlooker comfortable with you. More often than not, a casting director or producer may want to see your face fairly close up to see every feature.
People looking at acting headshots are completely different from people looking at your headshot on your website.
When a photographer heads to a corporate space for an on-location shoot, they’re usually spending 1-2 minutes with each person.
The only goal in mind for corporate shots like these is to get unanimous-looking images for each person in the company or on the team. There’s no need for variety.
For acting headshots, they’ll want a full session, different outfit choices, possibly multiple locations, and different poses. The main point is to look like you could blend in and also stand out anywhere.
You’ll want the same thing for commercial headshots for just one client coming into the studio.
A lot of the poses in acting shots may be too dramatic for corporate headshots, but generally, you can pose quite similarly for both.
Another aspect of both types of headshots that remain similar is keeping a clean, professional look. In both uses, you want your photos to show your face clearly.
You may end up in an environmental setting in both types as well. What matters the most with headshots is the trust and confidence you have while taking them.
If your headshot photographer can capture you in a moody vibe and then minutes later bring out that charming soft smile, you’re in good hands.
Do your research as always beforehand – headshots aren’t something you want to walk into completely blind. But you want to make sure that if this is your first time or photos just make you anxious in general, be sure to find a photographer that can accommodate your needs.