Get Started- Your First Actor Headshot

If you're new to the business, we want to make getting a great headshot easy.
Scroll down for more info and photo samples. Any questions- Please email.

It's a great compliment when a casting director tells my client- I like your headshot- AND it looks like you!

Kristen Bell actor headshot

Then and Now

Before we went digital- most headshots were black and white.

Your Location or Mine

I shoot mostly in NYC. I travel to Westchester, The Hudson Valley & The Catskills, NY- Bucks County & Philly, PA- Northern NJ & The Jersey Shore- Washington DC- and of course LA.

Studio vs Daylight

I use a mix of daylight and studio lights. Indoor sessions are always available and even preferred for certain shoots- like model portfolio shots, corporate headshots, family portraits, pet portraits, and shooting with small children and babies. Lighting is a choice. I am experienced in all types of lighting.

Legit vs Commercial Headshot

I shoot a variety of looks- Headshots (face shots & 3/4 body shots), Legit (for TV and movie auditions), and Commercial (for TV,  comedy and commercial auditions). Most headshots have a more serious- legit look. If you have a great smile- show it off! Here are some Legit vs Commercial actor headshots.

child actor headshot

actor headshot

actor headshot

actor headshot

teen actor headshot

The Week Before Your Shoot

Treat your headshot session just like you would an important audition or job. Please try to clear your schedule for one day! Don't try to squeeze your photoshoot into an already OVER-booked day. Remember to let your agent/ manager know you are shooting and need to book-out for that day. If you have an important audition or call-back, do not schedule your photo session on the same day. Weekend/evening shoots are available to make scheduling easier.

Get your hair trimmed- but not too much! And take care of eyebrows, teeth cleaning, and clothes shopping- whatever you need to get done.


Wear a hair style you can easily maintain. As an actor- your hair needs to stay consistent. Ask your agent/ manager before you think to change your look.

Do Not Over-Pluck Eyebrows! Your eyebrows should be kept as natural as possible. They define your face. Look at photos of the top working kids, and you will see that most have natural eyebrows.

Moist, un-chapped lips are a must! Please wear Carmex (or your favorite lip balm) starting 3 days before your session. A pimple or two...will not ruin your photo day! Skin can be retouched. Some teens can benefit from a teen facial, or should visit a dermatologist.

If you want to be a working actor- All of this grooming needs to be done ahead of time, and as an ongoing routine if you are to be ready for an audition or job.


Discuss clothing with your child's manager/agent. Every rep has specific requests- what they do and do not like. Certain hair-dos, preferred poses...Some may prefer a simple look, others may require you to have several looks. Always ask before you shoot.

Keep it simple. Avoid busy patterns. The clothes should not take away from the face. It is very important that the clothes fit well, especially around the neck area- try them on and look in the mirror! Make sure they are comfortable and they move well when you do! Make sure they are steamed/ ironed and in good condition. I will help you choose when I see the clothes you bring.

One great shirt is better than bringing your whole wardrobe. Shoes are not usually needed. Yes, some parents do bring suitcases full of pants and shoes! Pick age-appropriate clothes that compliment you. The clothes you choose will project a definite look. I suggest clothes that are not too specific to one type of role an actor might play. If you dress in a ballerina tutu, baseball uniform, or party dress- that's the part the casting director will see when they look at your headshot.

Wardrobe styling is available- a NYC Stylist/ Personal Shopper for sessions like corporate headshots and model portfolios. If you are doing modeling shots, you will need several full outfits, and those shoes.

Shoot Day

I'm always glad to do light make-up and hair for kids and teens. A Make-up artist may be required for older teen girls and adults. Clients should come with hair styled the way they wear it on auditions- then we can take it from there.

Get sleep and eat a good breakfast before your shoot! Bring water, and a healthy snack. Perhaps a protein shake drink.

Do not wear perfume the day of your photo shoot. It is a professional courtesy for photo sessions, auditions, and on set when you work. Do not bring clothing that is saturated with perfume.

No cell phones ON-SET. If you need to take a break to go check your phone- that is fine. I find it very distracting for a client/ or parent to be on the phone while we are shooting. You will not be on your phone on set if you book a job.

Headshot Costs

Photo session prices vary depending on the client's age, type of shots, location, and whether it's a private, share or group session.

Private photo sessions for children and teens are available at your location or mine, and start at $500. Private photo sessions for adult actors and corporate clients start at $750, and may require a make-up artist.

You can schedule your own Share-a-Shoot with a friend, or a Group-Day-Shoot for 3-4 actors at a special discount. Plus, you can join one of my pre-scheduled group-days.

Make-up, Hair or Clothing Stylists are available at an additional cost- the fee paid directly to the stylist. I do lite make-up for kids and teens.

Retouching and prints are also additional- fees paid directly to the retoucher or printing lab.

Proofs, Retouching and Prints

View your raw proofs online and choose your headshots- usually a legit (serious) shot, and a commercial (smile) shot. Make sure to get your agent/manager's approval on your choices! The raw files will be digitally retouched. After we approve files, they will be sent to the printer. I will also save them as web-viewing files for you to share online.

Most submissions are now done online -so most clients choose one Legit headshot, and print 25-100 (8x10) paper copies to hand to casting directors at auditions. Some choose a 2nd commercial shot. It is up to you. Remember- if you have a great smile- showcase it!

This can all be done via the Internet. If you can not go into NYC to view a test print and/ or pick up your headshots- they can be shipped to you. Printing costs run about one dollar per headshot. Check the lab's website for prices.

Kids change- so best not to print too many! It may be more cost effective to have several shots done for web-viewing only. Again- ask your agent/ manager.

Print Labs

Most of my clients use these 3 trusted headshot printers. Check out their websites for location, prices, and if needed- shipping options too.
Quick Color

Print vs Web-Viewing Files

Print files will be uploaded directly to the printer. You and your reps can use your web-viewing files for online submissions and websites like Actors Access Casting  and  IMDb.
Prints and Web-viewing files available with or without borders.

NY actor headshot
NY actor headshot
actor headshot

Publicity Photos

Headshots are printed as (8x10) color prints with the actor's name on them. Digital files are color, but the finished product can be saved as a B&W file to use for Playbill entries, publicity, and press photos. Use your headshot to make business cards, postcards, CD covers and other promotional tools.

child actor headshot
NY actor headshot
actor headshot publicity postcard


Acting Comp Prints and Model ZED Cards

Actors that do commercial print work (modeling) can also print a (6x9) model comp/sed card with their print agent's logo on it. Sometimes you want to show more than one look. Some agents like their child actors to put 2 or 3 photos on a (8x10) print. Comp Card is short for Composite Card- also called Zed Card, Z Card, Sed Card, or Model Card.

child actor headshot

child actor headshot

child actor headshot

Sometimes we snap a family portrait for framing and greeting cards.


family portrait

family portrait

Actor Demo Reels & Headshot Webpages

FACEbyDee online actor headshot demo reel

Visit the Gallery page for more headshots. Have fun reading the newsletter archives. This site is for clients referred to us by their child's agent, manager, acting teacher or vocal coach, or by a past client. This site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute, legal, financial or any other type of professional advice.