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4 Biggest Headshot Mistakes in Modeling Portfolios

Learn the 4 biggest mistakes models make when they have headshots taken for their portfolio from model scout Trudi Tapscott in this Howcast video.


Hi. I'm Trudi Tapscott, and you need a great head shot. The problem when doing this is that sometimes people want to show too much in a head shot. So, there have been some crazy head shots that I've seen over the years where you can't oversell it. Let's put it that way. There's not too much you can do. The head shot really is just showing you.

So, nobody wants to see crazy, big hair. Nobody wants to see way too much makeup. I don't want to see a red lip. If the one thing I see in the picture is not you, then you've gone down the wrong road. If I look at the picture and all I see is bright red lipstick, then I missed you. I didn't see you, and I'm going to remember the picture for the bright red lipstick, and that's all I'm going to remember. And the same goes with the hair, bows in the hair, things in the hair. Never, in my opinion, in my experience, never look like you're trying too hard. Don't try too hard. Don't try too hard in the pictures.

You're never going to look like you're modeling in New York. Your picture's never going to look like a head shot that a New York photographer did. So, all you're doing is doing the best you can do with what you've got at that particular time. But if you try to do your hair to look like a model, if you try to do your makeup to look like a model, you're not looking like a model. You want it to be clean and fresh, and I want to see you. That's what happens in a head shot.

In a head shot for a model is a series of things. The head shot is just the beginning. Actors, they have a head shot and a resume, and that's all they have. Models have a variety of things. So, if an actor has a head shot and a resume, then you go on an audition. If a model has a head shot and a book full of pictures, she's going to go on an audition, but the audition is different. People might not even look at the book because they saw the head shot, and they're not interested. So, it has to be something that's interesting.

And if it's a head shot that you're trying to get an agent, less is best because they're looking at you. They're not looking at anything else. So no distractions, nothing in the background that's distracting, no wild wallpaper in the background. Very simple, clean daylight, good light, indoor light that you can actually see, nothing that's too dark. Simple, that's what you want to do. The focus has to be on you and how you photograph.

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