Character Type Headshots

Los Angeles Headshot Photographer Robert Olin blogs:

There are character types in headshots. But even types need more explaining. Take the villain character type. If you were to see a villain headshot, what would you expect to see? Does Hans Gruber come to mind, or perhaps Anton Chigurgh?

Both are correct, but also very different from one another. Often we have actors that come in and need character type shots. While it is awesome to hone in the type and range people have, often more information is needed.


Let’s go back to the villain as an example. Cary, an actor who came to us for this exact character type, had a detail conversation with his agent about the type of villain he was submitting for. What they came up with was, “A Wolf of Wall St.” and “Alley Mugger”. Once Cary knew that, he new exactly what type of character types to research for wardrobe.

Since he had a clear idea of what he wanted, he trusted us to bring that to reality on the headshot. We were able to create different lighting and mood to help convey more clearly the difference in the character types.

Cary’s headshot types for White Collar Villain and Alley Mugger / Villain.

Cary’s headshot types for White Collar Villain and Alley Mugger / Villain.


Talent who talk with their agent in-depth about the looks and the sub-categories within those looks, often are happier with the overall final outcome. When an agent tells you they need a Young Mom shot, but leaves out what kind of Young Mom, it would be a good idea to really focus in on your range of young mom. Are we talking Darlene Conner or Vivian Banks? See how the wardrobe might change between the two?

So while it is awesome that people come in with such range in their skills, knowing how they want to represent that range in the headshot is key.

Robert OlinComment