Colour Headshots

  • User Deleted

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    Hello!

    I am about to get my latest headshots reproduced in colour and black and white. These were taken in LA in colour as this is how it's all done over there now. I was just wondering if there are any UK casting directors reading this what your opinion is on colour headshots? How would you react if you got sent one? Would you dismiss it in favour of the black and white ones or are you open to recieving colour?

    Interested to hear your opinions,

    Many thanks,

    Clare

    • 26th Jan 2011
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  • Andrew Wright

    Actor

    Black and white is the standard for actors headshots. Colour photos are becoming more and more common I think , so having a few of each could not hurt you as long as the photos are professional and representative that's just my thoughts I may be wrong .

    • 10th Jan 2011
    • 1
  • User Deleted

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    B&W was always British standard, Colour is LA standard - until the relationship between UK&USA got tighter a few years ago and then colour was also integrated over here.

    Having worked with a lot of casting directors, I think it's best to have a range. Get colour done (in my opinion it's better) and have some of them turned B&W for a TV look and a THEATRE look. The range of different looks are essential in showing your diversity as an actor. If you want to focus more on theatre, go for the B&W standard, for Film/TV go for colour.

    Hope that helps.

    • 11th Jan 2011
    • 2
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    I wouldn't disagree with any of that per se, but, of course, screen casting is, I suspect, far less bothered about the condition of the headshot, anyway, as what they are most interested in seeing for specific purposes these days is showreel material or uploads, except perhaps when it comes to commercials casting. It is interesting to compare UK and US standards in photography - and, while it has to be said that a lot of the basic physical characteristics are revealed a lot more accurately in colour than in black and white (for instance, hair and eye colour), there is certainly a tendency for US style to glamourise, because that is the standard to which the US marketplace aspires - I have honestly never seen a US shot in which the actor did not look as beautiful or handsome as it was possible to make them look (yes, even the old, fat, wrinkled character actors look stern or charming or apple-cheeked or grandfatherly, according to taste) - and while the quality of the lighting and reproduction seems to me second to none, I suspect the UK system still distusts this aesthetic, because, deep down, it is a not a marketplace that is geared towards glamourising things (though it has become ever more US like in recent years). For all that, though, I would certainly not think that a colour headshot would be considered inappropriate by any modern thinking casting director! I'm just not sure it would prove any more effective than a black and white shot when the market is still geared so traditionally towards seeing black and white as standard.

    • 11th Jan 2011
    • 3
  • Nathan Head

    Actor

    I think it all comes down to who the casting person is.

    I've known people to get cast for leading roles in TV dramas purely from a webcam pic they took themselves for facebook!

    I nearly fell off my chair when I found out, but I like my headshots- I wouldn't change them (until I changed)

    It's always good to have a mix of various ones, it always has, but now we can upload colour ones too- upload a few colour shots just to add variety so they can pick and choose.

    • 11th Jan 2011
    • 4
  • Matt Jamie

    Actor

    I am a member of a co-op acting agency and i often see casting breakdowns where they want to see colour pics. Also having seen casting submissions where there are 20 photos and a few of them are in colour, you can guess which ones immediately grab your attention.

    I also work as a headshot photographer (www.mattjamie.co.uk/portraits) and I always now take all pics in colour and then convert any to Black and White if required, which I didn't do even a couple of years ago - I say go with the changes and get shots done in colour - the most important thing of course is that they look like you. Get the most honest shot - not the most glamourous or flattering!

    Matt

    • 12th Jan 2011
    • 5
  • User Deleted

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    Thanks everyone, some good opinions and answers there. I think I will get a few of them reproduced in colour first and try them out and if I get a negative response I can always get them redone in black and white as well for UK castings.

    They are very different industries, your right. LA love glam and England love gritty and grounded looks but I feel my headshots are a very honest portrayal of me and my casting type so hopefully they are suitable for both markets. Fingers crossed! I suppose if you don't try something new and take some risks you don't learn so here goes more of my cash again!

    Best of luck in all of your careers to everyone who left feedback.

    Clare :0)

    • 13th Jan 2011
    • 6
  • User Deleted

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    It's interesting - actors are told, over and over, that their headshot NEEDS to be an accurate representation of themselves, theres no point sending in a fabulous shot which looks nothing like you...and then we insist the shots are all in monochrome LOL! Hair, eyes, skin...they all come in a million different hues....and we discard all of this information when converting to B/W - it's somewhat contradictory, don't you think?

    I personally LOVE a good black and white image, I think it does something that colour just cannot do...but I don't understand quite the industry still uses B/W.

    As a photographer, I am increasingly asked for images in colour - FAR more than I did 10 years ago, so I think there is more tolerance these days...either way, I doubt you'd get dropped from the short list simply because you submitted a colour shot instead of a mono.

    • 26th Jan 2011
    • 7
  • User Deleted

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    Black & White is sooooo is so much more evocative.

    Crucially, you have to remember that it's all two-dimensional. In life we see people & stuff in 'unenhanced colour'.

    • 26th Jan 2011
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