How often should you have new headshots taken?

One of the most frequently asked questions about corporate and actors’ headshots alike is how often they should be updated, and there are good reasons for this to be a matter of concern.

After all, if you are an actor, your headshot may be the single most powerful tool you have in your battle to land roles. Your headshot may be the first opportunity that a casting director has to see what you look like, and whether you have the right appearance for a given part.

If it turns out that you do not closely resemble your headshot, there is unfortunately a high risk of rejection.

Nor is it only a concern for actors

The importance of up-to-date headshots for those in other professional fields can also be frequently overlooked. Whether you like it or not, your professional headshot will be one of the first things that potential business contacts look at and judge you on when they visit your online profile.

While a clear difference between how you appear in your headshot and real life may not seem an obvious ‘make or break’ factor in whether people choose to do business with you, it may still get any corporate relationship off to a less-than-perfect start.

If someone meets you for the first time and sees that you bear little resemblance to your headshot, they may feel a little misled. They may be left with the impression that you are more concerned with hiding in your youth than you are with being honest in how you present yourself.

What factors should prompt you to update your headshots?

A general rule of thumb for both corporate and actors’ headshots is to update them at least every two years. However, other potential factors may necessitate you updating your headshots more often.

One obvious such factor is age. It is suggested that for children, one headshot should be sought between the ages of four and five, two between the ages of six and nine, two between the ages of nine and 12, three between 13 and 17, and one between 18 and 20.

Otherwise, common sense should largely dictate when you have new headshots taken. Have you recently lost weight, for example, or started wearing glasses? Maybe you have moved from a formal to a less formal mode of dress, or perhaps you have recently switched careers? A stern, business-like headshot may not seem very suitable for a field where it is more important to make a warm and inviting impression.

Have engaging new headshots taken by an expert

The exact reasons to have a new set of headshots taken can differ greatly from one person to the next. What is truly important is ensuring that your current headshots reflect both what you actually look like, and what you wish to communicate to potential acting or business contacts.

Steve Lawton is a professional headshot photographer based in London, shooting actors headshots and corporate headshots all year round.