I have been using this term "IMPACT" a great deal lately describing Headshots, more specifically the Headshots I photograph. People often ask me why do I use that term and what does it mean, so I figured I would explain why I use that term and what it means to me.
The definition of IMPACT is defined as: v. to have an impact or effect on; influence; alter. How do I relate this to Headshots? It is simple: I want your Headshot to leave an impact on Casting Directors, Agents and Managers. I want them to go home at night thinking about your Headshot, so much so that they MUST call you in for an audition, even if you are not right for the role.
Statistically you have about a second and a half from the time your Headshot goes across a casting directors desk till the time it goes in the garbage. It is in that second and a half that we need your Headshot to blow them away. We need to capture their attention and hold on to it. We want their eyes to get lost in your eyes in a way that no other actor that they look at even matters. So you maybe asking yourself, "How do we do that?" The answer is very simple... "We need to photograph YOU?"
In a later blog I will talk about why I hate the term "Character Actor", but for now just understand that I hate the term. My job as a photographer is to photograph you and only you. Not you as the Hippie or you as the Lawyer... It is to photograph you, THE REAL YOU. I want to figure out and explore who you are and what drives you. That is what casting directors want to see... They want to see you. We need to show them the real you... we need them to see your story through your eyes... The eyes are truly the window to the soul...
Through a number of different techniques we work within you to find the Real You. working with words, secrets, emotional recall, anything that can get to who you are. Finding that confident, passionate, dedicated actor who needs to be doing this with his or her life. I know that there are photographers out there who like to use character work and monologues to get emotions out of you and to me that really never works because you are trying to play a character and hide the real you. Headshots are not about "Hiding" it is about Being in the Moment.
Your Headshot is the only thing you have to show the industry who you are. When you go to an open call and other actors have their Headshots out take a peek at them. Do their Headshot look like everyone else's? Does yours look like theirs? Odds are from what I see in the industry every day they probably do... I generally see either Headshots a friend toke of them, the same white, black, grey etc... background, Yet nothing really stands out. Now I am not bashing the white background style Headshots.... In my opinion Peter Hurley still separates himself from the pact. I can spot a Peter Hurley Headshot a mile away because of the eyes and how they just show the person. There are many photographers trying to shoot like him and it is just bad in my opinion... It all comes down to separating yourself from the competition. Separating yourself from other actors and making that IMPACT!
I know what I do is working and leaving that impact because I can turn on my television and see actors I photograph on major network shows like Gotham, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and major motion pictures. I get text messages all the time from actors telling me that because of their Headshot they went from going on 4 auditions a month to 8 auditions in a week. That right there is making an IMPACT! That is what I want for all my actors.
I know this blog may ruffle a few feathers, but I am just being honest... My job is to help make an IMPACT with you... Nothing more and nothing less.
Let me know what you think and I will answer any questions you may have.