How to know what makes a good publicity shot

I recently returned to the business after raising family and needed new headshots. Very pleased with the results and am receiving increased number of views on my website.

I learned some important lessons this time around - they may not sound much but here they are:

Leave behind any thoughts such as 'I hate having my pictures taken' - you are an actor and you may feel exposed because you are just being YOU but

try to approach your session with an open, confident attitude.

LISTEN to your photographer. If he/she is experienced then he/she will quickly assess which is the best angles, the best lighting to show you at your best.

If you are a woman then you DO need to wear makeup. Not full stage makeup but not street makeup either. For example you may like very pale lipstick - but choose something a little darker for your headshots.

Eye makeup - not too heavy, but not too light either. Go easy on highlighter on brow and cheekbones.

SMILING - teeth or no teeth? Don't be afraid, do both - you should be getting a variety of shots and, by the way, DON'T ask for facial moles to be photoshopped out! Teeth can be brightened but don't ask for gaps to be closed. Mature woman? Wrinkles are natural.

You need to look like YOU!

Your headshot needs to be close cropped - it is about your FACE and it is a very important professional tool.

When choosing from a selection of shots for 'Spotlight', agents etc. - take advice from your photographer, agent, director that yo are working with or whom yo may know (not your mum!)

DON'T change your hair colour immediately after going public with your photos - you never know how quickly you may get an audition! Best of luck.