The Promo Package: The Headshot

Since this is the beginning of a new year, I figured we would all benefit from learning a thing or two about getting our promotional packages together so we can obtain more work.  A promotional package is all of the things you need to promote yourself to any potential bookers.  What is normally included is the head shot, the bio, the resume, and a video of your performance.  We will go through each one.  Now I am not an expert.  I just know what has worked and what hasn’t worked for me.  So if you need expert thoughts on the matter…I don’t know where you would go maybe just call up Chris Rock he’s in the phone book.

This week’s post is about the head shot.  This, in my opinion, is the second most important part of the promotional package.  This is usually the first thing they will see.  Honestly this will usually go a long way between deciding if you will get hired or not.  Bookers and promoters are human.  They have the same hang ups that everyone else has, and sadly most of these guys already have a stable of comics that they are using and are not really looking for anyone new.  That sounds messed up, but you can maybe change their minds with a great promo package and that starts with the head shot.

First things first you need a color head shot.  STORY TIME!! I was recently booked to do a show and the promoter asked for a hi res head shot.  I sent him the one I have been using for about 5 years now.  He replied asking if I had any COLOR hi res head shots.  I was honestly embarrassed because I had not kept up with the times and my head shot showed that I may not be as serious about comedy as I put on.

It is 2015!  The future.  A lot of things are going on the internet now.  There is no need to have black and white head shots.  The reason I have black and white head shots is that when I was starting I wanted color to look different, but all of the bookers I worked with insisted on black and white.  I then moved that way and now I am in the position I am today.

You want to get them professionally done if possible.  This is not has expensive as it may seem.  Besides, you will pay for it in about a month of gigs!  Get someone who knows how to take head shots.  There are many in your area.  I have seen the pricing anywhere from 175 and up here in Spokane, but if you live in New York or L.A. you may be paying a bit more.  Do not have your friend take a head shot of you with an iphone in a dark ass room and pass that off as a head shot.  That isn’t a head shot, that is a what they call a candid shot and that is useful on flyers, but not to represent you to the booker.

This is my opinion, but you don’t need to be doing weird in the photo.  Just a nice smile or something will do.  I have seen a lot of head shots where the person is like flipping the camera off or throwing a baby in the air and again, those are more candid shots.  Those have a place, but not as your head shot.  It is just supposed to show how you will (kinda) look when you show up to the show.

This day and age you are probably not mailing promo packages, so you might not worry about printing them (unless you also do acting then you will be printing them then) just make sure you have the highest resolution you can possibly get. That is why a professional is needed.  They know the current sizes and can get you what you want.  Don’t send a booker a 480×320 picture of yourself.  Why?  Because when they make it larger it will look all pixelated.  And you won’t get the gig.

I hope this helps.  Again.  I am not a complete expert.  There are many post out there on the internet that will help you learn more.

If you are in the Spokane, WA area I have started to do head shot and portrait photography.  I have everything needed to get you a great photo.  Contact me if you need something.  Thanks and have a great new year!

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