I’ve gone through several rounds of headshots. A couple rounds in Chicago. Three previous rounds in LA. This was my fourth in Hollywood. Now that I have a couple shoots under my belt, I knew what I wanted to accomplish. Here’s how I set this round of headshots up for success.
Do you know what colors send focus to your face and your eyes – both in clothes and background? Watch Heidi Dean, Marketing4Actors, interview Jill Kirsh, Hollywood’s Guru of Hue. Blew my mind. Here’s the video:
I purchased Jill’s Swatch Book for Deep Brunettes. Based on your hair color, Jill’s color swatches offer the ideal colors for wardrobe choices to make your face pop in the headshot. The closer the wardrobe color matches the swatch color, the better.
Example – I ordered a burgundy sweater online. I loved the color. When I put Jill’s swatch against it though, it didn’t match. I wanted to know how closely they needed to match, so I sent Jill a direct message via Instagram. Jill asked me to give her a call, so I did.
Jill graciously chatted for 20 minutes (she normally charges a consulting fee). She said the closer the match, the better. She also reviewed my old headshots and offered some tips. She also told me my colors were royal blue, dark blue, forest green, purple, grey, etc. Her insight was invaluable.
I researched actors that look like me and all the aspirational characters I’d like to play to see what color schemes wardrobe selected for their characters. Here’s a sampling of what I found:
Like Jill said, purples and blues. Simple patterns at most.
Armed with potential looks and the correct color scheme, I went into stores like Nordtrom Rack, Target, Kohls, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, etc. and held up Jill’s swatches against each t-shirt, button down and sweater I considered for wardrobe. If it didn’t match, I didn’t buy it. Anything I bought online, I vetted using the swatches.
Rob Mainord took my headshots. My commercial agent recommended him. Before I went into the session, I also sent my agent the looks I planned to shoot. He offered feedback (in bold):
- dad/outdoorsy (pattern shirt over t-shirt, beard)
- blue collar (grey t-shirt, navy Dickies shirt without name tag, beard)
- business professional (suit, shirt, tie, clean shave) also do just shirt & tie shot, sleeves rolled-up
- teacher/coach/entrepreneur/IT guy (button up, sweater, glasses, clean shave) Short sleeve shirt.
- detective/bad dude (leather jacket, button down, beard) I don’t need this look, for theatrical
Because my agent requested the short sleeve shirt look, I split IT guy and added another look to the session – retail guy/coach in short sleeve polo.
Separately, I researched what type of polos Best Buy and Walmart employees wear and found the same material and purchased them from a corporate apparel provider. I wanted to really make it as easy as possible for the decision maker to see me in that role.
I created character playlists in Spotify and listened to them leading up to the headshot session. Regardless of Rob’s direction, the playlist and its songs were already a part of my characters.
I did more prep work for this headshot than I have for any previous shoot. As a result, I felt extremely prepared. Here are the final looks: