How old are they?
While some of us may have the gift of agelessness, there is a golden rule in the industry of when it’s time to retire your calling cards. What is this silent rule? Every 1-2 years. You may be thinking, “I look the same as I did a year ago,” and you may be right. That is why it is recommended to get new headshots with that time but not required. You will not have the Actors Access Headshot Patrol citing you for your two-year-old headshot. 1) Because they dont exist, and 2) It’s on a case-by-case basis. If your headshots are a decade old, it may be time to call a photographer. If they are right at the mark and you’re not sure if you need a change, keep reading what else to factor in.
Do they currently look like you?
We are not simply talking about visible aging. If you gave yourself quarantine bangs or decided to go for strawberry blonde, you’ll have to update your headshots. The last thing you want to happen is that you are called in for an audition as a brunette and show up as a fiery redhead. If you have changed your look in any noticeable way, it’s time to get new headshots.
Do they represent the types of roles that you want?
This is a question we dont often consider as performers. When working with a headshot photographer, you will more than likely be asked this question before your session. Think about what shows you can see yourself on. If they are no longer on air and you based your entire set of looks on Pretty Little Liars and Blue Bloods, it’s time for an update. We always recommend choosing shows as inspiration with durability because the goal is always to book the room and the gig.
Is what you’re wearing still in fashion?
These days it’s hard to keep up with what is in fashion. We can all at least be hopeful that the early 2000s will never come back in style. That being said, there are specific fashion trends that are here today and gone tomorrow. Whether it’s the hairstyle you choose or the accessories worn, if it is outdated and not in fashion, it’s time for new snaps.
Did your rep ask for new ones?
This is not a golden rule or silent rule; it is a standard. If your agent or manager asks for you to get new photos, they ask for a reason. It may be that they see your current pictures do not represent you. Or your rep might feel that you have more range. That’s why when seeking representation, you should consider the possibility that whoever your sign with may not like the pictures you provide. This is a typical request and one of the significant reasons to save your major investment in headshots for when you have a rep. If you are seeking an agent or manager, focus on getting one to two looks that will attract a potential representative. Once you’re signed, your team will guide you through getting different looks. This will save you both time and money on what we have shared is an every two-years routine.