Headshots that stand out to Casting Directors

 I had an amazing time shooting with Robert Olin Studios! Robert is easy-going and helped me really open up in front of the camera; Michelle was super informative, communicative, and beyond helpful throughout the entire process. These two really understand what actors are looking for in headshots and are willing to go the extra mile to make sure their clients are happy and feel 100% thrilled with the photos they receive. I'd recommend Robert Olin Studios to all of my actor friends, period.  Tracy C. - Los Angeles, CA

I had an amazing time shooting with Robert Olin Studios! Robert is easy-going and helped me really open up in front of the camera; Michelle was super informative, communicative, and beyond helpful throughout the entire process. These two really understand what actors are looking for in headshots and are willing to go the extra mile to make sure their clients are happy and feel 100% thrilled with the photos they receive. I'd recommend Robert Olin Studios to all of my actor friends, period. Tracy C. - Los Angeles, CA

Getting auditions is tough enough. Part of Robert Olin Studios saw this first hand when working with O’Connor Casting, one of the largest casting houses in Chicago. While there, it became clear that after an audition the headshot was the only tangible thing left for the client and casting director.

You need a headshot that shows your best you. A great headshot goes a long way to creating a lasting impression that will get you hired. It’s time to stand out from the crowd. Whether you’ve been recommended to us by an agency, or just found our website, get in touch about your acting headshot in Los Angeles.

Commercial Headshots

Commercial headshots are designed to appeal to the advertising industry. The purpose of a commercial is to promote a product to a specific demographic. In your commercial headshot, you really want to consider what demographic you fall into. It is important for the personality types in commercials to be easily identifiable since there are only a few seconds to connect with the viewer. Are you the upscale luxury car driver or the college student compact car driver? What is your authentic age range? Are you the stylish hipster phone commercial type or the nerdy, quirky office type? As always, you want to show unique qualities in your headshot. But keep in mind, commercial headshots are really about that broader appeal.

Commercial Serious or smile? 

This would really depend on your type, but for the most part smiling is recommended. You want to have energy and charisma in a commercial headshot. If you typically play tougher characters, your commercial shot should be your character on a good day. Your commercial headshot must be relatable and engaging. The goal of your photographer should be to capture an authentic moment that feels alive, not just a plastered on smile and a head tilt. 

Theatrical Headshots

Theatrical headshots are geared towards being cast in TV shows and Films. In theatrical headshots, you really want to see the layers of a person’s personality. Generally speaking, theatrical headshots show a little more emotional depth than a commercial headshot. In commercial headshots, it is important to come across as trustworthy so you can sell a product. In theatrical headshots, you are selling an identifiable personality type, whether it’s a trustworthy one or not. 

Theatrical Serious or smile? 

Typically, theatrical headshots are thought of as confident expressions without a smile, but it really depends on the types of characters you are going out for. Sometimes a knowing smirk or vulnerability behind the eyes better exemplifies who you are as an actor. Not all theatrical shots need to be stoic and serious. I like to think of the theatrical headshot as feeling more grounded


We work with several independent makeup artists, and are happy to recommend and schedule one for you. We add time to your session at no additional charge: a half hour for men, and an hour for women. The makeup artist stays through your session and ensures that you look your best.

WOMEN - $200 ( starting )

MEN - $125 ( starting )

Arrive with a clean face, and clean hair, styled as you normally wear it. Let us know if you will be changing hairstyles during your session. Men, consider if you want to start with scruff and then shave.

Any additional time requested for shooting, or additional looks with hair and make-up will be billed separately and in addition.



Some women don’t wear much, or any, daily makeup. While the goal in your photos is to look clean and natural, most women will benefit from at least a light application of makeup. Remember that this is makeup for camera, and we want to highlight your features.


You will generally do your own makeup for auditions, so some actors choose to do the same for their photo session. If you are confident in your abilities, this is a viable option. If you do choose to do your own hair and make-up, you will need to arrive ready to shoot.  If you wish to do your hair and make-up here at the studio, you can rent an extra hour of studio time with advanced notice.


We recommend professional makeup for women. You have plenty to focus on during your shoot, and the professional knows how to apply makeup, specifically for camera. They will work with you and address your specific needs, and they stay through the session to help watch your hair, makeup, shine, and wardrobe. They are part of the energy of the shoot, and are great at helping you to relax and express yourself.



The choice is up to you, whatever makes you the most comfortable. We are happy to schedule a professional makeup artist if you like. The makeup artist is there to help eliminate shine, lighten under-eye shadows, cover blemishes, even skin tone, etc. They can also help with male grooming, tweezing eyebrows and stray hairs. For some men, the main reason the artist is there is for hair styling, often helpful for longer hair. Some men simply prefer to have a makeup artist, and that is great.

We are not discounting the value of a talented makeup artist, but rather making the point that men should look natural and masculine in their headshots, and not "made-up." Either way, we also recommend you learn to do the basics for yourself. Besides photo shoots, this will help you to look your best for auditions and events as well. Go to a MAC Cosmetics store or counter and pick up some basics. Start with a translucent powder (or mattifier) to eliminate shine. Next you could consider concealers and lip balm.  


We have an amazing wardrobe stylist we collaborate with. One thing that really pushes your photos to the next level and brings the overall look together is the wardrobe. Our stylist can help take some of the stress away by going out shopping and providing you with wardrobe for your entire session.

1 Hour Session - $200

2 Hour Session - $300

3 Hour Session - $400

  • You provide your own wardrobe. This may be items from your closet, borrowed from a friend, or purchased for your session;
  • Your most important pictures are close-ups on your face, so naturally we are primarily interested in tops;
  • Begin by considering the character types you are most likely to play. What would those characters wear? Watch TV and see what they are wearing in commercials, film, and TV shows;
  • One simplification is to break it down to into casual, casual nice, and professional;
  • Another consideration is age range. Your first outfit can support the younger characters you will play, working up to the older end of your range;
  • Keep it fairly simple, and generally avoid clothes that are distracting with loud colors, busy prints, patterns, stripes, graphics and logos;
  • Rich color tones are nice;
  • Light colors/tones can wash you out;
  • Avoid primary colors, like a pure red, blue or green;
  • Black or white tops can work in some cases;
  • Use colors that match and draw out the color in your eyes;
  • Consider layers, with shirts over t-shirts;
  • Lightweight jackets can work;
  • When you are shooting several outfits, tops with different colors, styles and necklines will give you more variety in your pictures;
  • Think about how the neckline serves to frame your face. Generally avoid very loose, open necklines (like a wide scoop neck);
  • Consider how different hairstyles work with each outfit;
  • Men, consider which outfits are best with scruff, and which you should shoot after shaving;
  • Wear clothes that fit well, that make you feel comfortable and confident;
  • Take close-up pictures of yourself with your phone in each top to see how it works in a photograph;
  • Clothes should be clean and wrinkle free. Use a lint brush on dark clothes, little details really show up in photographs;
  • Feel free to bring extra outfits for each “look,” and we will make final choices at the beginning of your session;
  • A lot of options

Typically, you want your commercial headshot to be warm and bright. You want to come across as likable. It’s best to wear a color that pops. I’m not saying wear neon, but jewel tones tend to work well for drawing attention to a shot without overshadowing the actor. Blacks or grays tend to take away from the warmth and energy of a shot. If you only have dark clothing, make sure your background is brighter. The types of characters you go out for will determine wardrobe in theatrical headshots, but I tend to like earthy tones. While I try and stay away from black or white shirts, I do find some grays acceptable in theatrical headshots. Just make sure that there is an adequate contrast ratio between wardrobe, background, and hair.  You don’t want your headshot to be muddy or dull just because it’s theatrical. I find that earth tones can be rich in color to stand out, but still subtle enough to give focus to the actor.