A headshot is a photographic technique where the focus of the photograph is a person's face. Headshot is essentially the same as portrait. However, headshot is an image that portrays people as they are and is more of a 'mug shot', however simple or stylised it might be. Whereas, a portrait will often 'portray' the person with elements of their life, such as their work, interest, etc. (please refer to portrait page for more information)
Actors headshots are normally printed in an 8×10" format. Other promotional images e.g. press shots and lobby prints, may be in many different aspect ratios. Also becoming popular in the industry are comp cards and Z-Cards a single print consisting of several different images.
Acting headshots are usually 8×10" prints . Acting headshots are often not photographic prints but will be printed via a lithographic process or the laser process.
The main purpose of an actor's head shot is identification. Therefore the most important feature of an actor's headshot is that it looks like the subject. Actors head shots should be clear, Theatrical headshots are usually very neutral looking shots of the actor clearly showing their facial features..
Three basic types of Headshots:
Headshots are intended show a person as they are (age, look, style, etc.) and reflect their best qualities. Therefore, for example, if an actor's hair is cut or coloured, he or she would then need a new headshot.
Modelling headshots are more like a beauty shots designed purely to be either artistic or flattering and are often used on comp cards for marketing purposes.
The 9×12" model prints will be photographic "wet" prints (meaning they are from a chemical process) or ink jet prints and the model will put these into their portfolio. The portfolio will not be just headshots but headshots are very important. Better models will have several identical portfolios.
Comp cards are one of the cornerstones of a model’s “Marketing Materials”. They will be about 5½×8” and printed on both sides. Almost all of the comp cards are in color but may have black and white images. A model may have 4 to 5 images on the comp card and at least one of these images will be a headshot.
Many business professionals and business' use headshots for: