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5 Types of Headshots For Actors (Five And Bonus Types)

Having different types of headshots for actors is essential if you want to crack all types of acting auditions. It helps you get the right auditions and also gets you the roles that suit your look and personality. 

But just having a close-up of your face does not work. You need to have the right type of headshot to crack the audition. 

The types of headshots for actors should include commercial, theatrical, dramatic, comedic, modeling, and composite headshots. 

I will explain each type of headshot and how they are different from each other. Also, I will tell you which kind of headshot you should send for different auditions. 

Types of Headshots For Actors

1. Commercial

commercial headshot

As the name suggests, it is a headshot perfect for commercials. If you are an actor, who likes doing commercials, be it TVC or web advertisements, you must get a commercial headshot. 

What do you need in a commercial headshot?

Just think about a few advertisements or commercials you might have seen on TV or the internet. In most advertisements, characters are happy, cheerful, and energetic because they are trying to sell a product.

The actors used in advertisements are hired, keeping in mind a certain type of demography. So you will have to have a headshot that matches the requirement of the target demography.  

The commercial headshot should also convey similar emotions. Try to have a few headshots of you smiling, full of energy, having fun, and being happy. Use them only for commercial auditions and not for other auditions. 

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2. Theatrical

theatrical headshot

People often confuse commercial headshots with theatrical headshots. But both are completely different. 

With commercials, you are trying to present a trustworthy face that can sell a product, but with a theatrical headshot, you are showing your emotional range as an actor. 

So theatrical headshots are basically used when you are looking to audition for a part in a TV, film, or web series project. 

These headshots show more emotions compared to other headshots. It has more emotional depth. 

Using theatre headshots, you are trying to sell a personality that matches the character for which you are auditioning. As an actor, you need to have different types of theatrical headshots with different emotions so that you can target multiple auditions.  

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3. Dramatic

dramatic headshot

You can say dramatic headshots are a subcategory of theatrical headshots. However, I categorized it separately so that you can understand it in a much better way.

If you are an actor who is more into the drama genre, then I definitely recommend you to have one dramatic headshot in your portfolio

With dramatic headshots, you need to have more intense emotions. Much more intense than you need for theatrical headshots. 

I also recommend this headshot type for stage actors, where you need more intense expressions compared to acting on camera. 

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4. Comedic

comedic headshot

If you are an actor who is more into comedy, headshots are more suitable for you. 

As the name suggests, you need to have more comic expressions which can be energetic, funny, crazy, and even quirky. 

You can try all kinds of funny emotions and expressions while creating comedy headshots.

You can also try out different characters or questions that you associate with comedy.

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5. Modeling 

modeling headshot

Some actors like to do modeling assignments with acting to get extra exposure. If you are one of those, you should definitely have a separate bunch of modeling headshots. 

Modeling headshots are completely different from the headshots you use for acting. Because it is more about how you look as a person than how closely you resemble the character in an audition. 

While making modeling headshots, the expressions are generally neutral and plain.

One thing I recommend when you are looking to build a modeling headshot portfolio is to have different headshots with different looks. Also, use different types of poses. 

Bonus: Composites

composite headshot

As the name suggests, it is a compilation of different photographs into one photo. This type of headshot is used when you want to show variety in your looks, skills, emotional expressions, etc. 

These types of headshots are generally used in both the acting and advertising world.

However, I won’t suggest you have a general composite headshot that you can use for each audition or requirement.

You should make one composite headshot only after you know the requirements of the audition or the gig. 

Final Thought

These are the five types of headshots for actors that are necessary if you want to make sure you get into all kinds of acting auditions. I would suggest at the beginning of your career or after you finish your acting course, spend some time and money on making these headshots. It is a great starting point for an actor.