Ideally, models should be updating their headshots every 1 or 2 years. If that sounds too soon or if you think you haven’t aged a day (we want to know your secret), here are the factors to consider when deciding if you should be updating your headshots or not. Of course, if your headshots are still getting you called in often and your current appearance still holds true to the photos, don’t fix what isn’t broken.
Signs Your Headshots Need to Be Updated
Changes to your hair
A huge chop or more than a few inches’ worth of trimming may affect the roles you’re vying for. While it may be easy to put in extensions or cut your hair, you really want at least one shot to show agents what they’re potentially working with. Dyeing your hair a new color can also make a massive difference in your appearance. There’s absolutely no problem about brunettes who go blonde or adding pops of color to your hair, but any of those alterations warrant new headshots. Before you make any major decisions on your hair, know that you will most likely need new shots soon.
Changes to your facial features
If you gained or lost a significant amount of weight, underwent surgery, aged a bit, you’ll need to consider a new headshot session. You have to show up to a go-see or casting looking like the headshot you submitted or else you’ll frustrate or disappoint the casting panel. You were called in because of the portfolio you submitted. They spent time evaluating the type presented by your portfolio—your profile, look, and previous gigs. So if you come in and they see an entirely different person, it will have been a complete waste of time.
Changes in trends
Trends are something to be mindful of. Industry norms change over time. Expectations with headshots change over time. According to headshot photographer Marc Cartwright, adults need new headshots every two years and child models need them every six months. You also want to stay current with what clients and casting agents are looking for and how they’re viewing the headshots. For instance, at one time, black-and-white headshots used to be popular. However, if you submit a black-and-white headshot today, some casting agents may assume you haven’t had a gig since 2005! Another new casting trend is viewing headshots online, which means your headshots are showing up for them as small thumbnail images. In this case, you may want your main headshot to have a tighter crop on the face so that your eyes can be seen easier.
Also, if you wore something too seasonal or trendy in your last headshot, it’s time for an update. The fashion you wore on the shot years back can be an indication that the photo is not current.
Lack of gigs
Could your previous headshots be the reason for the lack of gigs you’re getting? Assess whether your headshots are hurting your career on a regular basis. Are you getting positive feedback on your headshots? Or are you getting called in less because your headshot doesn’t look like you? How can you make yourself more marketable? Do your headshots represent your personality and physicality or are they just generic pretty shots? The modeling industry is filled with a million good-looking people, so a headshot needs to say more than just looks if it’s going to stand out. Are you consistently getting called in for jobs that aren’t what you wished for? Getting new headshots will do yourself a whole lot of justice.
Model agents are usually connected with various brands and casting agents, so chances are, they know what’s up. If they’re not happy with your headshots or if they don’t feel like your headshots represent your or the gigs you’re going for, it’s going to make their job harder. If you sign with an agent or manager, you should trust them to act in your best interest. Discuss your headshots with them. They should be able to give you advice on whether or not it’s time to get new shots.How Often Do You Need to Update Your Headshots? by Holly