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Actor Portfolio : What you need to know - 2020

This is the biggest question and the most important one, as a matter of course when you urge to set a career in films or on television. A portfolio, we can say, is a tool to market you. The first thing any director or producer will ask you is your Portfolio. In-all, to start with an acting career, you need a good acting portfolio which should be shot by a pro photographer who has the experience, necessary knowledge, and insight into this field. Without it, only extraordinary luck can save you. It wouldn’t be an overstatement if we say the better your portfolio is, the better your chances to get into the desired role.

Please don’t think that you can do it yourself (Though there is nothing you can’t do but let the professionals do this job). We agree that smartphone camera is highly evolved to click picture-perfect snaps but there are a lot of other factors involved in building a perfect portfolio. If you are a newbie and wanted to kick start your acting career, grab the chance to make your first impression on the industry’s Big Daddy. It is not all about beautiful pictures that make a perfect acting portfolio, but there are many more things to work upon. We have made it simple for you.


Perfect Combination of Pictures (Headshot, Mid Shot, Full Shoot)


A portfolio is a collection of pictures that describe you the best from each and every angle. To define it better, there are different types of shots. Your acting portfolio should have a perfect combination of all types of Shots. This assists the selectors to check out you from all criteria and decide on if you are the right fit or not. Brands are always interested to explore all your best sides so that can best utilize your potential and talent.

A Headshot is all about focusing on the face. It takes a close up look of your face and a bit of shoulder. It sounds easy but that’s not the case. A dynamic headshot can prove your asset. You should focus on the eyes, expression, lights, and of course, your face should portray the emotions and mood.

If we talk about the Mid Shot / Mid-length Shot, the main aim is to make a note of your expressions. It captures you from the waist up. It is also a test of your body language.


A Full Shot / Full Length is the most important one. It gives an idea of your overall personality. From top to bottom, your looks, body built and height, etc.

Therefore, you must showcase all types of shots and pictures in your acting portfolio. You may also try different looks like clean-shaven, with a beard, for ladies – different types of MakeUp, etc.

Facial Expressions


Usually, all the focus, while constructing your portfolio and doing a photoshoot, is shifted toward dressing, outfits, MakeUp, and appearance. Facial expressions are not given much importance which proves a big mistake. The expression is a paramount factor which should not be neglected. It has the ability to make a photo shoot or break a photoshoot.

Pictures are dumb, they won’t speak the stories. Everything is revealed by the expressions you wear. Expressions add life to your pictures and notable for acting, it is a must to decorate your portfolio displaying all the expressions that you are good at. (Even if you are not so good, learn it). Any director, producer, or hiring agency wants a versatile actor or model so that, he or she can perform whatever be the role or situation given to him or her. 

Therefore, it’s very crucial to include pictures showing various facial expressions say daydreaming, thoughtful, candid, loneliness, happiness, sensual and seductive, etc. To express yourself better, you may make smart use of your hands, palms, body gestures, eyes, etc. 


Makeup And Lighting


MakeUp and lighting is a very decisive factor in your Portfolio. MakeUp has the power of a complete transformation of the appearance of someone. In order to make sure that everything is just perfect, you may reach out to some professional MakeUp artist who has enough work experience. Don’t overdo the makeup part try keeping it as natural as possible, because in the end you should reflect the real you in the pictures. There is already so much of distortion between the pictures and the reality because of which the casting directors are already cautious about it. When you try to overdo it in your folio pictures or videos an experienced casting director will catch it in seconds and you must know it’s a huge disappointment for them.  Dim lighting gives a poor effect hence correct and enough lighting is equally important.

Studio Or Outdoor


That’s a tough choice, but we suggest a photoshoot at both places – studio and outdoors. Photos taken in the studio has its own importance and meaning. While outdoor locations give much more exposure and opportunity to add a variety of photos in your portfolio. In the studio, you have limited pose and gestures to showcase your eligibility to be an actor or model. For the outdoor location, of course, your budget will stretch a bit but it’s worth spending to make a perfect portfolio. You can take the benefit of shooting under the Sun as it’ll act as natural light in your pictures.

Studio Pictures are helpful while you want to showcase your sharp looks, facial expressions more than your overall built whereas Outdoor pictures can help you showcase your overall built in a better way.


Key Points Not To Miss


Please don’t go crazy with jewellery, hats, glasses, and other such props. The best portfolios are always simple and classy. If you think clicking pictures with birds, animals, etc, makes you stand out among others, you’re probably misunderstanding the facts. Just follow the standard format without taking the risk of experiments. Show professionalism through your photographs instead of desperation to get noticed.

Don’t wear hats, glasses, jewellery and other accessories try keeping it as raw as possible let the casting director decide what will look best on you according to the character he/she is looking in you.


Keeping The Portfolio Up To Date With Your Current Look


It’s needless to say that you can’t be selected for your desired role putting forward the pictures 3 years back. Always keep your portfolio up to date with the latest photographs and current look. Make sure you get yourself clicked every time you play with your looks. The whole point of Portfolio come into play when you can’t be present there physically in front of the casting director so it must reflect your current look in case if you got selected on the basis of your old pictures and end up looking really different in real during your shoot you’ll only get in trouble. It’ll make a huge impact on your future opportunities and trust in the industry. Recommending you to never do this. 

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