What’s the difference between a commercial and a legit (or theatrical) headshot? Most actors need at least one of each, because a legit headshot is used when you audition for theater, film and television dramas, and a commercial shot is used for commercials, sitcoms and industrials. A commercial headshot should convey that you are warm, friendly and able to connect to a broad audience. Beautiful isn’t necessary, but appealing is — you’ll be trying to sell a product or a service, after all. Theatrical headshots, on the other hand, should focus more on your type, whether that’s vixen, villain or girl next door.
Actors are chameleons by trade, and this actress nailed her commercial and legit headshots in our photo shoot last week:
Brett Deutsch is co-owner and chief photographer of Headshots NYC, Gotham Family Photos and Deutsch Photography. Formally trained at the New York Institute of Photography, the School of Visual Arts and Pomona College, plus nearly 20 years of photography in New York City and on all 7 continents. His work can be found on The New York Times. Time Out London. Dallas Morning News. Backstage, and on countless websites, newsletters, annual reports and other publications.