Top 3 Reasons Your Headshot Didn’t Get You the Audition

Who here isn’t serious about their career?

You’ve invested time, money, blood, sweat and tears. You’ve attended every acting class you can, you’ve done cold reads, been diligent, positive and supportive of the Vancouver actor’s community. You’ve even denied yourself your favorite foods while spending hours every day in the gym preparing for the ultimate headshot photography session.

You are more prepared than you have ever been.  You look great!  You are confident and ready to take on the world!  Your talent agent sings your praises and sends out your photo in anticipation that you will get the call…. but the phone never rings!

What’s going wrong?

Could it be that your acting headshot, the single most important tool for getting you through the door is selling you short?

Three major reasons why your headshot doesn’t get you invited to auditions:

#1 – You Look Like You’re Acting in Your Headshot

Ironic, but true.  Jack Nicholson once said, “acting is a great profession to be in, but you never want to be caught doing it”.  The best actor headshots represent the actor in a genuine and authentic light without looking made up, fake, or manufactured.  A great actor headshot is all about truth and credibility. Over the years and thousands of photo sessions, we at Buck A Shot have noticed 3 common factors that make the difference between successful headshot sessions and those that fall short.

1) Look Comfortable in Your Skin

During your headshot session, talk to the camera as you would an old friend. Maybe this is a great time to rehearse a few lines from your favorite show.  And be sure to “engage the camera” by looking at it!  Make a connection.  This is no time to be shy.  So let the world know it’s your turn now and you won’t let anything stop you!

Best Headshot Photographer Vancouver - Photographer - Trevan Wong Buckashot Head Shot Photo Studio
Best Headshot Photographer New Westminster - Photographer - Trevan Wong Buckashot Head Shot Photo Studio

2) Have Happy Feet

Don’t be afraid to move around a bit. Shift your weight, shuffle your feet, move your hips left and then right, rotate your body or turn your shoulder towards the camera. Not only does this add a bit of variety to your shots, and loosens you up and makes you look incredibly comfortable in front of the camera.  Loosen up from head to toe and let your inner you flow!

3) Make Lots of Noise

Great headshots have often been described like taking an actor and “turning them inside out”, all while making it look like nothing happened.  To achieve this, the actor must get to a place of not being self conscious.  It’s a neat trick if you can do it!

One easy way to get to a place where you are a lot less self conscious is to make lots of noise.  Do this for a minute or two as a warm up just before shooting.  So all you Vancouver Actors, let yourself loose!  Snort, grunt, growl, squeal!  Get relaxed and ready for taking great shots!  At a Buck A Shot Studio in Vancouver, you can afford to go a little nuts 😉

Best Headshots Abbotsford - Photographer - Trevan Wong Buckashot Head Shot Photo Studio

#2 – You’ve submitted a black & white headshot

Are you still using Black and White headshots?


Nothing says you’re out of touch with the community and casting directors more than sending a Black and White headshot photo.   As beautiful or handsome as you may be, black and white photos are out of date.

The Vancouver acting and film industry has pretty much completely gone color since 2006. And this means if you’re sending Black and White shots, you’re accidentally hinting that your photos are almost 10 years old and are not true representations of what you really look like.

#3 – Your headshot is all Glam and not you

Who doesn’t want to look their best?

There’s a HUGE difference between Actor Headshots and Modeling Photography. You can read all the details in “The Hidden Truth About Remarkable Headshots” (available on Amazon).

What it really comes down to is showing the real you. Anyone with a make-up team can look AMAZING on camera. But, sometimes vanity gets the best of us.

Actors and casting directors want to see the real, genuine, 100% down-to-earth you. Nothing gets their blood boiling more than expecting an image you can’t live up to.

Casting directors rely on actor headshots to be accurate portrayals of the actor who will be applying for a part. Their reputations depend on it! Submitting an actor headshot that doesn’t really look like you wastes everyone’s time and gets you remembered for all the wrong reasons.

And make-up? A light dusting is just fine. Anything that brings out the natural, genuine you is perfectly acceptable. But resist the urge to Photoshop those natural signs of aging away. Besides, what will get you the part is your wonderful inner presence and confidence.

The Biggest Secret?

Keep it real!  Oh, and don’t forget to answer the phone ’cause Hollywood’s calling.

About the Author

This article was written by Trevan Wong aka “Bucky” and friends of Buck A Shot Photography Studio in Vancouver, BC Canada. Supplemental information provided by Alphonse Leong.

Trevan is regarded among the best actor headshot photographers in Vancouver.

His body of commercial work consists of over 20,000 headshot sessions, fashion shoots, and advertising and product shoots since 1980.

trevan_wong headshot photographer vancouver

When not shooting commercially, Trevan works on photographic art and songwriting.

His art is collected worldwide and his worked has displayed at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson Square Media Centre, and The Nikkei National Museum & Cultural Centre.

As a songwriter, Trevan’s songs have made it on several indie artist’s CDs, on Itunes, in documentaries, and full length feature films.

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Vancouver, BC V5K 1Z8

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