Mar 15

How Often Does Your Child Need Headshots?

The question “How Often Does My Child Need Headshots?” is a common question asked by parents of young actors. It is also on my mind right now because my child needs new headshots.

My daughter has had new headshots taken on average about every two years since she started acting. This is probably a little less often than she really should have had them!

In one photo session, she had  some photos that were young looking and some that made her look a lot older. Her manager first picked some of the younger-looking headshots for us to use.

Then about a year later, we started using one that made her look older. That allowed us to go two years before having new ones made.

Children change so rapidly that headshots need to be taken frequently.  Many professionals (agents, managers, casting directors) will tell you that kids need new headshots about every year. And that certainly is ideal, though expensive!

But chances are, you can go a little more than a year between headshots.  You can be the judge or ask some friends or acting teachers  what they think. If your child looks a lot different now than in the headshots you are using, then you need to get some new ones.

Your child’s agent or manager will also let you know when it is time for new headshots. It is very important that casting directors see what they expect when your child shows up at an audition.

Don’t forget that if your child’s hair color changes or if your child gets a haircut that changes the way/he she looks, you’ll also need to get new headshots.

Please opt-in to my Acting Newsletter for tips on many topics including finding the right photographer and getting good headshots for your child.  And your comments and questions are welcome on any topic I discuss.


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  1. Nick@Actors Headshots

    In my 18 years experience as a headshot photographer in London I can only say that your child’s headshot needs to be a true likeness of them. In particular in the UK market (but I would assume in the USA too) often kids are booked directly from their headshot and are expected to look like it. So if your child has had their long hair cut short – get e new headshot. Likewise if they have changed dramatically facially (as some teenagers do) then get tehm a new headshot. On the reverse side of this, if they haven’t changed much then use the same shot.
    The risk of using an out of date headshot is appearing unprofessional, losing a job that your child could have secured, and upsetting your representation by making them look bad sending out children who do not look like the photograph.
    I hope this helps.


    Nick 😉

  2. Heather

    Nick’s advice is true – if your child changes their hair color or length, or is looking older than he did in his original headshots, it is time for a new batch. I’ve heard from a lot of agents and casting directors that they don’t like it when you show up looking way different from your headshot.

    Heather Broeker

  3. Debbie Sikkema

    Hi Heather,
    Yes, I certainly agree with what you are saying — as my post says! Gotta make sure your child looks like their headshots — and if they change much, it is time for more headshots. Thanks for commenting.
    Best regards,

  4. Blanca Rivera

    Hi my daughter is 11. She is just stating out. Have a question about headshots ? She as never taken them before. Would like to know if I should do her eyebrows? And what kind of colors clothes for pictures?

  5. Debbie Sikkema

    Hi Blanca,
    Did you sign up for my list and free mini-course. I talk a lot about what to wear for headshots in there and also about appearance for headshots. I don’t recommend any real changes to the appearance of an 11 year old. Natural is the best way to go. If there is a major issue with something, like if she has a unibrow, and you want to take care of that, then that would be okay, but if she just has thick eyebrows (which I think can add a unique and interesting look to a child), I would not mess with them unless they are particularly unruly and/or they really bother her. Perfectly groomed eyebrows are not necessary or even desirable for a child. As far as colors are concerned, blue denim is almost always good and similar shades, and otherwise, go for solid-colored clothes in medium colors — greens, blues, reds, pinks. Most photographers will help pick, so we always take a collection of colors with layering options and let the photographer help choose, as the colors will vary based on your child’s skin and hair coloring and type and also according to whether you are taking a commercial or theatrical headshot. Take a look at some photographers galleries of headshots online and find similar looking children and see what they are wearing to help you with your selection. Hope this helps. 🙂
    Best of luck,

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  7. Emily

    What about for children who are loosing teeth and growing in? My daughter is 7 and going through this phase right now!

  8. Debbie Sikkema

    Hi Emily,
    Yes, that happens to all kids around that age. Some do it more gracefully than others. Most prople know that young kids are going to lose teeth and are willing to cast them in roles with teeth missing. Sometimes it won’t work out and they’ll want to use a younger or older kid who is not losing teeth. Other times they think the toothless grin is cute and prefer that look. When my daughter was losing her teeth there were times when I know she did not get a job because of it. One casting director asked us if we thought her tooth might come in tomorrow (jokingly). He liked her, but he did not want that look in this role so of course she did not get it. But that too will pass… Good luck!

  1. What Is a Headshot? | Your Young Actor

    […] to: “Does Your Child Need Professional Headshots?” and “How Often Does Your Child Need Headshots?” on my blog for more on the topic of […]

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