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Brand Portfolios For Actors – A Must To Get You Noticed

Headshots are the actor’s calling card. But what happens when yours gets lost in a sea of similar-looking types?

Budding actors know that if you want to get noticed, you need to 1) create a professional repertoire of images that 2) you can go out and sell to the world. But your brand isn’t marketable with just two headshots – the commercial and the theatrical. It demands that you reveal different aspects of your personality that make you a natural fit for the roles you’re going after. I’m not talking about giving you four different looks. I’m talking about capturing that IT FACTOR - the marketable qualities that showcase the unique story of you.

To illustrate what I mean about "brand," picture George Clooney and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. What brands do you think these guys sell? Imagine the sort of portraits that capture who they are as people and actors. Clooney would undoubtedly be photographed in an expensive button down shirt and slacks, sleeves rolled, something that sells casual sophistication. That’s his brand. He’s the suave intellectual who both cruises the Amalfi coast and watches sports with the guys. Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson would probably have a very different portfolio of images, with body shots showing his incredible physique, maybe wearing a very fitted two-piece suit with no tie and lots of flair; something that shows off his adorable, pseudo cocky, action hero personality.

This is the purpose of a portfolio shoot. To create a repertoire of compelling magazine-style images that show off to casting directors the unique character traits that make you a natural fit for the roles you seek. These are not a substitute for your commercial and theatrical headshots, they are a complement to your much-needed tool kit.

As an example, I photographed a client who knows she is perfectly suited to the fashions and attitudes of women from the 1940’s and 1950’s. She loves this era and as a result is very believable in these kinds of roles. This is part of her unique brand. She is straight out of His Girl Friday. She is feminine, soft-spoken, a little quirky and her hourglass figure compliments beautifully this type of wardrobe. She is a glamorous, romantic female lead that comes across as a classic Mad Men beauty. So we did a shoot that, among other looks, pulled together the right clothes, makeup and lighting to capture this innate quality. And what happened? She used one of the headshots I took to submit herself to a casting call for George Clooney’s period piece Suburbicon set in 1959 and she landed an audition.

Creating a portfolio, even over time, makes the job of marketing yourself so much easier. It takes the guesswork out of what roles you should be going for and how talent agents can pitch you. It sends a clear message to casting directors that you know who you are and what roles you should be playing.

So instead of just getting headshots done, how about creating a portfolio of images that truly set you apart from the crowd?

For more information on actor "branding" and its various view points go to:

To book a portfolio session with our team, contact or call 310.622.4580 -

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