I have done a few posts on headshots, but they have been primarily for adults. Several parents have requested some guidance on shots for kids as well. So here it goes. Many of the points for the adults remain true for kids .
If you do NOT have an agent yet, I recommend either waiting until you have an agent to get new headshots done or having a single one look session where you get a dramatic and a commercial shot only.
Your first audition is your headshot. You want to get casting’s attention with your headshots.
For kids, it is even more important to take new headshots about once a year. The face and bone structure change dramatically. Kids move out of the rounder baby faces and begin to develop a more mature look. The headshot needs to reflect who they are right now.
- The magic number is between 4 to 5 different headshot looks.
- Shots should be mostly straight on. Craned necks and backwards shots are often awkward and not flattering.
- No hands. PLEASE!
- Keep clothing very simple. A headshot session is not the place to show off your favorite clothes. Please avoid plaid shirts for boys. The pattern is distracting.
- No bulky sweaters or heavy scarves. It is best for clothing to not denote a particular season.
- Avoid jewelry: no earrings.
- Hair and any make-up should look natural. If my attention is called to the make-up, then there is likely too much of it.
LOOK 1 — A+ Student/Commercial Look
A bright colored t-shirt or plain collared shirt that compliments your coloring.
SHOT a) A joyful, smiling shot.
SHOT b) An emotionally open and available shot. You are kind and will assist old ladies across the street. This should not be a big smiling shot.
LOOK 2 — Edgy/Dramatic Look
A darker t-shirt or collared shirt. It can still be a color, but it should not be a bright, primary color. You can pair it with a jacket—jean, leather, etc.
SHOT a) A trouble-maker shot. This is the kid who is not making good grades and may have even landed in detention. Be careful not to make this shot over-the-top. It needs to be a believable character.
SHOT b) Repeat of LOOK 1.b).
LOOK 3 — Alternative
There are a few different ways you can go with this shot. You can change your shirt again or add a sweater to LOOK 1. The big change here is a switch in your outward appearance. If you wear glasses, then get some shots with the glasses. DO NOT get a character pair of odd or ill-fitting classes to use for “comedy.” This generally backfires.
Another outer change is to shift your hair. For girls, do a pair of braids or pony tails. For boys, add some gel to change the style of your hair.
SHOT: Repeat LOOK 1 a) and b).
- The looks and shots listed above will give you a range of different shots to upload onto casting sites.
- These are merely suggestions of what you can do for headshots. I encourage you to now extrapolate and adjust these thoughts based on what your agent or your kiddo brings to the session.
At the end of the day, we want to showcase two things in your headshots: the range of characters that you can play and the best, natural and authentic you.
And, what I say today, may not be true tomorrow.
IMAGE CREDIT: Asil Ansari/Unsplash