Updated: Jul 7

This video is about what we can learn from young actors and child actors when it comes to having our headshots taken.

When discussing the work I do photographing child actors many reply along the lines of “that must be hard work!”. But that’s where the general conception is wrong, kids are a delight to work with and its usually only a small minority that need a little extra direction or assistance to get shots that will work for them and their casting. So I think there is lots that we can learn as adults from young actors when it comes to having our headshots taken.

Don’t Care Too Much: It’s easy to say don’t worry about your headshots. Your only having your photo taken, what is there to be concerned about? One of the advantages children have over adults when they sit for their headshots is that they haven’t yet learnt to consider consequences so in that moment there is nothing to lose or worry about. They can be brave, brash and bold and are blissfully unaware that they are just being themselves.

Understandably headshots are an expensive necessity and you want to get them right, but likewise flipping that on it’s head you want to make the most of the session you’ve paid for.

Preparation: My young clients, sometimes 4 years old, haven’t ironed their t-shirts the night before or selected colours to match their eyes and skin tone or made sure they had their hair cut a few days before the shoot so that it isn’t too short or fresh. This has all been done for them and they don’t have to think about any of that during their session and as adults we can certainly learn from this. If you endeavour to be as ready for your headshot sessions as though a caring Mum or Dad has prepared you for it, you know you can turn up and enjoy your session being in the moment. Clothes, check. Hair, check. Make up, check. Travel arrangements, check. Let’s do this.

Connect with your Photographer: Kids are interested, easily intrigued and not afraid to ask questions. What does that bit round thing do? (whilst pointing at parts of the equipment).

Maintaining an outward focus during the session, asking questions and being open to keep up communication with the photographer will naturally lead to more engaging images that are alive and interesting.

Play: Kids love to play and explore and similarly to the last point, the more active you can be when in the headshot hotseat, the more likely you are going to appear active in your photos and love the way you look in them. Don’t be afraid to commit to each shot, make a fool of yourself and ‘bring it’. Theres only me and you in the session and it’s much better for me, the photographer, to work with, and direct, and dial back the energy if needed, than to work hard using precious session time trying to find the real you.

So I hope this has helped in some way towards any anxiety’s or concerns you may have about having your headshot taken, and remember to find your inner kid at you next session.

Until next time, thanks for watching.

I also want to throw a shoutout to the top photographers I have assisted in the past few years working all over the country with thousands of kids, I have really learnt a huge amount in that time and so to you guys, you know who you are, thanks very much.

Until next time, thanks for watching.

Thanks to Robin Savage, Nicholas Dawkes, Gareth Bailey, Adam Hills & John Clarke.

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