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The Biggest Mistake Actors Make With Headshots

The Maggie Flanigan Studio trains serious actors in the craft and business of professional acting. In this video Michael Cinquino discusses the biggest mistake that many actors make during their headshot sessions.

meisner technique headshots michael cinquino 03

Meisner Technique Headshots – Michael Cinquino

What is the biggest mistake that actors can make during a headshot session?

The biggest mistake I see people make when they get in front of one of these things is that they think it’s about them. What happens is when we think being on camera is about us, we become self-conscious. As Meisner actors, we know that self-conscious actors are boring actors. The issue is that most of the time, we don’t know how to translate what we learn in the room to what we do in a headshot session.

We’re here. We’re uncomfortable. We’re looking at this camera. Our attention goes in. We become nervous. We’re thinking about our breathing, what our lip is doing. We just become uninteresting. That’s why a lot of people complain that their old headshots aren’t them. What I recommend doing is treating your headshot session like a Meisner scene. In a Meisner scene, you have an activity, right? You have a partner. You have a relationship as you go on in the training.

Now, you can’t do an activity in your headshot session and oftentimes you don’t have a partner. You can’t really have a partner. You’ve got the photographer. What I recommend doing is creating a relationship to the camera. A point of view about the camera. Thinking about how you want to been seen or what you want the viewer to feel when looking at their photo. Do you want them to feel like they can trust you? Do you want them to feel like you’re powerful? Are you flirtatious? Whatever that is because you only want to be one in two places in front of a camera.

Active plain action or in some sort of reaction. The reaction’s going to depend upon your relationship with the photographer. Actions are up to you. How do you want to make this person, your acting partner for the day, feel? Happy? Inspired? Sexy? Whatever it is. Remember, it’s never about you. It’s always about what you’re trying to do to that other person in a headshot session. It’s the camera.

Business Class for Actors - Maggie Flanigan Studio  (917) 794-3878

Business Class for Actors – Maggie Flanigan Studio (917) 794-3878

Learn More About Professional Actor Training

For more information about the business classes and professional actor training that the studio provides, contact the studio directly by calling (917) 794-3878.

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