Actor Headshots – Matching A Look With Shahjehan Khan

Jul 3, 2023 | Actor Headshots, Branding

-Headshots Are So Important For Actors-

Actor headshots serve as an indispensable tool for navigating the entertainment industry. By utilizing their headshots effectively, actors can elevate their careers and increase their chances of securing auditions and gaining exposure. Headshots can make a lasting impression on casting directors and industry insiders because they can open new doors and propel their careers to new heights.

Getting That Specific Look For Specific Roles

I have worked with Shahjehan Khan a few times previously to create some basic headshots for his acting and modeling career. He is an incredibly talented person with experience in film, television, and commercial acting, but also an accomplished musician and podcast producer.

This time Shahj had approached me about matching a certain look for his actor headshot portfolio. The look was very natural looking, but lots of shadows framing the face. Immediately, I jumped at the chance to get him into the studio. This particular look was something I knew I could produce but also wanted to try it two different ways. One using the beautiful window light in our studio at Mill No. 5 and the other using traditional studio strobes.

Actor Headshot Challenge Accepted

Of course when Shahjehan sent me the sample photo I knew how I was going to utilize the windows to achieve this specific look. Given the time of year, it needed to be mid-morning and I was hoping for a relatively sunny day. Honestly, this set up was going to be easy. The challenge, however, was how I was going to do it with the strobes.

In order to recreate the big windows I would need big lights, or more precisely big strip boxes. I don’t own these, however I improvised by using two 6′ V-Flats with 1.5 stop diffusion fabric over them. By placing them in the same relative position as the windows in the previous set up I was recreating similar light. It worked better than I expected, and comparing side by side it’s hard to tell which actor headshots are window light or strobe.

Branding and Casting Types

Headshots serve as a visual representation of an actor’s brand. By aligning their headshots with the characters they want to play, actors can effectively communicate their unique qualities and strengths. Type driven actor headshots create a compelling image that showcases the actor’s potential and increases their chances of being considered for casting.

The entertainment industry is dynamic, and experiences trends and preferences in casting. By staying informed about current industry trends and the types of characters in demand, actors can adapt their headshots accordingly. This may involve exploring different looks, styles, or expressions that are currently popular or sought after by casting directors. By tracking industry trends, actors can maintain relevant headshots, increasing chances for high-demand roles.

“Below are 4 very similar images from Shahjehan’s actor headshot session. Two are window light and two are strobe. Can you tell which is which?”