Help Me Choose a Headshot!

I’m not sure I mentioned it yet, but this summer I will move my Dutch cheese and tulips self to Los Angeles. If all goes well of course. Fingers crossed. If my last trips to Tinseltown taught me anything, it’s that just getting a response from an agent takes at least a month. And since, for now, I can only stay there a limited time I want to do as much work as possible in advance. So I

soon need to go and send out fresh, new headshots to agents by e-mail. Not really the way it’s done, but from Holland it’s kind of the only thing I can do, and I got responses the last time I did it.

So a couple of weeks ago my darling friend and talented portait photographer Nadi took some shots of me that I could use as headshots. But then the trouble started: I had to make a selection. And I am so indecisive, I even get seriously conflicted deciding what to take at MacDonalds. I mean, back in the day I would have just picked the headshots where my eyebrows looked best and my nose smallest and my lips fullest.

But remember the last time I got a meeting with a Hollywood agent? While I thought I got that through my far reaching connections, when I met the lady she said was unaware of that and chose me solely on the basis of one photo. This one…This photo is one of a bunch that I took from myself (yup) with a prehistoric digital camera and I only sent this one along because my friends liked it. I didn’t so much. But this photo is why got a meeting with an agent. Conclusion: I can not trust my own judgement when it comes to headshots. Solution: I need to ask others which headshots they like best.

So now I ask you, my dear blog readers/random surfers, to pretty please with a chocolate covered strawberry on top indicate which one you like best and why. And then I will send that one to the Hollywood agents, along with the two that I already chose. No kidding. My face fate is in your hands! ;)

25 thoughts on “Help Me Choose a Headshot!

  1. Dude!!! Die headshots van jou van vroeger zijn echt prachtig!!
    Wie heeft die gemaakt en kun je die niet stiekem gewoon gebruiken? ;)
    Liefs, Nadi

  2. Hi!

    I voted on my favorite photo, but I have a question to ask, so I thought I’d post it here! My name is Olivia, and I want to pursue acting too. I am still in High School, so I wanna wait till I finish to move to LA, if I decide to do so (I still have a couple of years to go). I know you are planning on studying in the states, and by that being alowed to live there.

    I want to do the same thing, but I was wondering how long you are allowed to stay if you do so? What happens when you graduate one day? Will you still be allowed to live in the states?

    Good luck with everything, I am so eager to hear more about your move to LA, and I wish you the best of luck!

    • Hi Olivia, it all depends! Usually a student visa is not a work visa, but for some colleges (like acting schools Stella Adler and Lee Strassberg) you get a half year work visa after graduating. Also, if you have lived in the States for 5 years you’re entitled to American citizenship and a Greencard I believe. And since most studies last 4-6 years, that’s an option too.

      The best option really is the O1 visa for extraordinarily talented people though, this will allow you to move to and work in the US. The thing is that you need some pretty strong credits and experience, and recommendation letters from professionals. Good luck and hope you keep reading!

      • You are only entitled to a green card after a couple of years, if you are married to a citizen.
        So it’s best to participate in the Diversity Lottery (october/november each year). Some people win this green card after 1 pursuit, others not even after 10 or more years…

        @Olivia: if you want to study in the US, don’t forget that, to obtain a student visa, you need to prove that you already are having the monney that you need to pay for these studies, as you can not work (only a limited hours on campus for a minimum wage, or often for credits to pay for your books).

      • A small addition to roots’ useful comments: If you don’t have rich parents that can pay for your education in the US (usually between $20.000 and $40.000 a year) you can apply for extensive scholarships at the Fullbright Center. You have to have decent grades at school for that though, so work hard! :)

  3. hey,
    Ik heb nummer 5 gestemd.
    Ik vind nummer 4 en 5 het mooiste, maar
    met de 2 foto’s die je al had zeg ik nummer 5.
    Ik vind het heel leuk om je blog te lezen.
    Ik hoop toegelaten te worden bij drama opleiding deltion.
    Veel succes L.A.!

  4. nummer 2 want daar kijk je heel zachaardig en open

    MAar ik vind nummer 2 ook een goede goto daar kijk je niet zo heel streng met je gezicht
    succes met kiezen en je verhuizng

  5. Hello Olivia!

    First, thanks for following me on twitter! :D
    Next, I think I know why the agent liked that first photo: There’s a secret behind your eyes. It looks like you’re thinking of something, and we want to know what it is. Also the hair frames your face very nicely.

    Here’s my critique of the new shots, for what it’s worth! Just to say, any commentary is only what the photo shows, nothing to do with what you really might be like personally! :)

    mypick 1 – I like the full-on look. There’s a lot of power in your eyes. You look strong and confident in that one, but also slightly vulnerable.

    mypick 2 – Very similar to mp1 in power, but also has a hint of ‘mona lisa’ smile. I’m not sure where the smile is coming from, which is nice. Feels even more confident than my1. Unfortunately, though, the hairline being at the very top of the shot (or slightly above) is a little disconcerting, makes your forehead look too tall (optical illusion). If you could crop it somehow to be like the original (hs1c2.jpg) it might work nicely. Just noticed that the looks between those two are very similar indeed!

    number 1 – Looks a little unsure of yourself. Also the eyes look a little fuzzy, not as powerful as they are when full focused.

    number 2 – Again, eyes not as powerful as they could be. also a little unsure.

    number 3 – Looks very young, inexperienced perhaps. The open mouth gives more suggestion of thought, but the eyes again lack power.

    number 4 – Again young, and your right eye (our left, your right) looks slightly out of focus compared to the other one). Also your face looks pinker than your neck, perhaps revealing lack of confidence? (I’m saying that in terms of what an agent might perceive.)

    number 5 – Rather looks like a beginners’ headshot. Sweet, might work in a Disney casting session. Face is a bit fuzzy, which doesn’t work unless it’s more of a closeup. Causes the power to leave the face.

    number 6 – Very sweet and real. Not much hidden, though. No secrets there.

    All in all, I’m favoring both the ‘my pick’s. They both give off a confidence as well as a professional look. I will suggest, though, having more than one if you can. At least in Hollywood, it’s good to have at least a couple, with different feelings to them, and send the appropriate one, based on the role you’d like to try for. Thinking, is it a role of an innocent? Or a role of a hardened street-savvy young lady? Or an intellectual? Or a Princess? :D The acting you know already can direct what you will convey in the shot, and how it can be used towards getting a role.

    I do ramble sometimes! Love talking about such things.
    Hope that helps!
    Lin

    • Linna thanks so much! This is really very useful. How kind of you to take the time to type all that! So, are you an actress yourself? If so, tell me more! Is there any place I can view your headshots and maybe which ones you use for which purposes?

      Thanks again!

      • You’re most welcome! Yes, I am an actress, here in California, but currently in Northern California. I plan on getting to LA in the next year or so. I’ve been acting stage/film (short indies) for about 10 years. I have some photos on my website, if you’d like to have a look. But I need to update my professional shots later this year. (Am also currently updating the site itself.)

        http://LinShukla.com

        There’s also a demo reel there, if you’d like to see me act! And my youtube is:
        http://www.youtube.com/user/linshukla

        I watched the TV clip you posted, and what I saw looked very good! I wish I could understand what was being said. :) I kind of got the idea of what was happening, though. Do you have any other clips on-line that I could watch? Maybe some classwork? I’d love to see more.

        cheers!
        Lin

  6. Hey girl,

    Just saw your tweet and thought I’d put in my two cents here. I’m an actor as well, and headshots have been my nemesis for many years! Took me a few goes to get them right, and the unfortunate thing is that we have to update them every single year!

    If there’s one thing I can recommend when it comes to choosing your shots, it’s to go for variety. That’s the best thing you can do, because casting directors are going to want to see some range and some depth in you. There’s no point choosing shots that are all the same, or similar, because it only shows them one thing that you can bring to a character, when we of course want to show them all the layers we have and hopefully some individuality too.

    I recently had some new shots done, (four of which you can take a look at here http://www.bmcreativeartists.co.nz/bm/actor/Becky_Kuek). From the bunch that the photographer gave me these aren’t necessarily the most versatile and varied, but my agent chose these because they were in line with what they want their clients to represent to the industry, which is “I take myself seriously as an actor”, so nothing too smiley and over the top, but nothing too intense and brooding either.

    Hope this helps! :)

  7. Hi, you are beautiful on all the photos, i’ve cjosen # 3 because it’s better for the purpose to be sent to the agent (less your own emotions are expressed there). i’ve also noticed that you are leaning your head to the right side a bit.
    Concerning the visa, there is lottery: http://www.usagreencardlottery.org/. it costs some money, which i’am still collecting) but i believe that they do not pick up by chance but by your age and completed higher education. What i want to say that young and educated always have a chance). Even being from Ukraine, where getting visa to anywhere is almost impossible i still hope for it)

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