Since I’ve moved to Los Angeles to work as an actor 3 years ago, I’ve paid to get headshots about 5 times. 4 times to many!!

Now every actor in this town has an opinion about headshots – “headshots aren’t a big deal, have your friend take your picture” or “pay a LOT and then you’ll never have to get a new headshot again” or “find a picture you like of yourself and just use that.”

In my experience of having my headshot taken whether it’s in the backyard by my mom or I’m dishing out a $1000 and going to ‘the best of the best’ – the most important thing is your research. Take your time and look at a lot of different headshots in your casting category (whether similar to you physically or in a character you’d play) and see what really speaks to YOU.

What grabs your eye? If you were casting these actors who would you choose? Research celebrities that are somewhat similar to your casting and see what their headshots look like. You won’t know what you want your headshot to look like unless you’ve seen it.

Now that you know what you want – you can choose your photographer! Make sure you’ve seen their work and know that their style works well with you. I personally prefer a professional headshot photographer but if you feel confident that your friend can do it then go for it!

Your headshot is your calling card for an actor. You should feel proud of it! Feel confident that your headshot represents you well – that’s what gets you in the door.

Avalon Petersen


Over the past 3 years, Avalon has been in several short films and popular webseries (grossing over 2 millions views). She’s also done commercial work for JCPenny, Forever 21, Dell, Motorola, Bose, Epson, etc. Avalon Leigh Petersen, 21, Los Angeles