As a former actor who studied acting all over Europe and then came from Switzerland to New York to study under the late Bill Esper, I have always struggled with getting the right headshots to secure representation and get auditions. I understand how intimidating and daunting this profession can be. At the time, all I wanted was to be seen by industry professionals and book work as an actor. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t seem to get a headshot that could get me in the door. I knew there needed to be a different way for actors to actually enjoy the process of having their headshots taken that help them get auditions and be seen by industry professionals. But at the time, I didn't know what that solution could be.
What I Want For You
My love for storytelling and photography, and the need to help actors start loving the headshot taking process instead of fearing it (because I can more than relate to the daunting process) is what drew me to being a headshot photographer.
It’s my mission to make actors feel the most comfortable, prepared, confident, and excited for their headshot session as they would for a day on set, because I believe that people shine their best light and do their best work when having fun and doing what they love. This will reflect in their headshots and shine back to the industry professional looking at them.
What Casting Directors
Are Looking For
Being in the film industry, I understand that Casting Directors are looking for three main things in a headshot. First, the actor needs to reflect the role they are looking to fill, and it must be visible through the headshot that the actor is able to portray the part authentically and truthfully. Secondly, the actor must look like their headshot. And third, the actor needs to stand out as unique from the rest of the submissions. And that uniqueness comes from being as 'them' as possible.
A film director now, I understand that Casting Directors are looking for three main things in a headshot. First, the actor needs to reflect the role they are looking to fill, and it must be visible through the headshot that the actor is able to portray the part authentically and truthfully. Secondly, the actor must look like their headshot. And third, the actor needs to stand out as unique from the rest of the submissions. And that uniqueness comes from being as 'them' as possible.
Who I Am
I live in Astoria with my actor husband (whom I met at my former acting studio) and my little senior rescue doggie Cooper who has become an acting pro by now having enjoyed being in front of my lens on more than a few occasions.
I have therefore developed my specific headshot-based character development process in order to solve the headshot process mystery and take away the fear most actors have when approaching a headshot session.
Since implementing this character development process before the session and the actor-director approach during the headshot shoot, my clients have not only mentioned multiple times how our session has been the most fun and relaxed shoot they’ve ever had, but also how they have secured representation and booked roles on major networks through their character-specific and vivid headshots.
What I Do Differently
Reflecting back on my past headshot woes, I realized the key to a successful headshot was to change the process from one that is centered on themselves, which inevitably brings the actors' insecurities, doubts, and expectations to the table, to one where they can focus on ‘actively doing’ and communicating to a partner (the lens). Instead of trying to look good or interesting, actors should prepare for their headshot session like they would when prepping for a role on set, not a glamorous model photo, where it's all about the 'look' and less about the spirit behind it. To help them towards that aim, I needed not to be their photographer, but their director and coach, which is a process I understand very well.