I’ve been teasing it for a while now; it's been a running New Year’s resolution for the past several New Years. And from your point of view, Constant Reader, I’m still teasing; there’s still some retouching to do, some photo orders to place, before you’ll see any changes here on the website. But those changes are coming; after more years than I care to admit, I finally had new headshots taken.
When you first start in this business, and you get your headshots taken because you know that’s something that has to happen, and you don’t have many options for guidance except asking your friends what to do. Who should take your photographs, which photo you should pick, etc. As you progress in your career, and learn more about the field, your strategies become more sophisticated. You take seminars and workshops dedicated solely to the art of self-promotion. You flip through sample books of various photographers, cross-checking the names with the client lists of whatever agencies you’re targeting. You scour websites. You subscribe to Backstage. You do the research. When you get your next set of headshots taken, by god, you’re prepared.
So naturally, when I had my latest headshots taken, I just did what all my friends were doing.
The difference now, of course, is that I have accomplished actors and playwrights among my friends, who know what they’re doing. And over the past few years, I’ve seen many of them get striking new headshots, all reflective of their personalities and “types,” and all from the same photographer. So that was my research right there – no elaborate second-guessing of industry trends, but simply seeing what was working for those friends of mine who actually work. And once the pounds I was seeking to lose were finally lost, and the time had come to get those new pictures taken, the choice was a simple one. (The photographer, by the way, is Jody Christopherson, and you can feel free to consider this a recommendation. Check out her work here.)
It’s strange; each morning, I look in the mirror as I brush my teeth, and the face staring back at me doesn’t seem to change. I still have every reason to think that face to be mine. It’s recognizably the same face as the old headshots which you still see here on this website (if you’re reading this when I post it, that is). And it’s recognizably the same face that appears on new pictures – which, I must reiterate, are really good. And yet when I compare the two sets of headshots against each other, they don’t seem to me to look anything like each other.
Is it simply a question of the years? Of some fortunate weight loss? The thousand-yard stare we’re all sporting these days in response to a never-ending parade of insanities? I’m not entirely sure. But regardless of any existential crises they’re sparking in me, I have every faith that these new headshots are terrific and effective headshots. That, in a professional sense, they’ll work.
They worked for my friends, after all.