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head shot or headshot is a specific type of portrait (usually a photograph) that realistically demonstrates a person’s appearance for branding or casting.

Many headshots are promotional pictures of actors, models, authors, just about anyone wanting to bring their best for online engagement through social media sites and the “about us” website page.

Headshots could be a portrait of a face or full body with a background that clearly illustrates the personality of the person photographed.

A modern portrait for today’s branding, casting and social media needs.

Headshot photographs are most commonly used in “about us” pages and many people represent themselves using headshots in social media.

Other usages include online dating profile pictures. Actors often have a printed headshot with an attached résumé for auditions or an online presence in a casting workbook.

Headshots are typically medium close-up (MCU) photographs which show the top of the shoulders up to above the head. In a typical headshot, the eyes will be in the top, middle half of the photo according to the rule of thirds.

In theatre, film, and television, actors, models, singers, and other entertainers are often required to include a head shot, along with their résumé, when applying for a job.These headshots are usually more artistic: they intend to portray the subject in the best possible light.

The main purpose of an actor’s headshot is identification. Therefore, the most important feature of an actor’s headshot is that it represents the subject.

Headshots are intended to show a person as they currently appear and reflect their best qualities. Therefore, if an actor’s hair has been recently cut or coloured, they would often get a new headshot to reflect their new image.

Additionally, if an actor has a scar or facial blemish, it is expected to be visible on the headshot and not digitally removed from the image. Pimples or spots are temporary and, therefore, are usually digitally retouched.