Headshots for Child Actors and Models
I’ve been shooting headshots in the Pittsburgh area for quite a long time now and I must say that photographing child models and actors is both fun and challenging. I’ve always enjoyed children. As a hobby, I’ve coached youth soccer for many years and by doing that, have learned the ins and outs of getting along with kids. When I combine that skill with my photography talent, I end up being able to talk some great headshots.
What’s the key to a good headshot for children?
In a word, variety! You never know what a client is looking for in a child model or actor, so it’s important to cover all the possible “looks” that a kid might have. There my be a part in a movie that requires a serious personality, or there might be a print add that needs a smiling, cheerful soul. If you’re the parent of the child model or actor, you’ll want to make sure you have your bases covered and then pull out the photo that best matches the current assignment need. You’ll want big smiles and serious, thoughtful, or even “high fashion” types of looks… Little girls especially like this kind of headshot.
Keep those headshots current!
There nothing that ticks off a client more than being deceived by a headshot. Headshots are used by Directors and Art Directors, to select the talent’s “look” for the project they are working on. If they select a model or actor based on ad old headshot and then they show up the day of the project looking nothing like the headshot, they’re going to very upset. So it’s important to keep a child’s headshot as current as possible. Once a year is about the right amount of time between updated photos, maybe a little longer once the child reaches their teens.
Keep the headshots “real”
Of course a parent will want their child to look as good as possible for their headshot, but don’t let the photographer get too carried away with the retouching. Again, the kid should look pretty darn close to the photo. If he or she doesn’t, then the client will feel misled and be less likely to hire that talent for the next project.
How to select a headshot photographer in your area
Since I try to be a good businessman and do marketing research when I can, I often ask new clients how they found me. Many say that they Googled me and when they do, I ask them what their search words were. This is what happened to me a little while back and it struck me that what this client said was probably the best possible way to select the commercial headshot photographer. The client I’m talking about was actually a magazine looking for a photographer in Pittsburgh for an upcoming shoot. The Art Director said that they googled “Pittsburgh Headshots” but instead of looking at the regular listings, he clicked on the “images” tab at the top of the page. That way, he got to look at a bunch of pictures and then just clicked on the ones he liked. When he did that, it took him to the photographer’s website. Searching with this method, the client was able to look at headshots right away and not have to sift through pages and pages, on many different sites. I thought it was a great idea.
So, just to go over what’s important about a child’s actor or model headshot… 1. Variety! Have lots of different looks. 2. Keep the photos current so that the client gets the talent they think they’re getting. 3. Don’t let the photographer retouch the kid so they look different then they actually look in real life. If you keep these three things in mind when you have your child’s next headshot taken, you’ll be well on your way to a successful child headshot photo shoot.