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How to Get Amazing Kids Actor Headshots: A Guide for Parents

Jeremy Bustin
20 May 2023
5 min read
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Capturing Stellar Kids Actor Headshots

If your child dreams of becoming an actor, you know how important it is to have a professional headshot that showcases their talent and personality. Kids actor headshots are photos that represent the actor’s public image and helps them get noticed by casting directors and talent agents. It is often the first thing that will set the professionals apart from the amateurs, so having a portfolio of high-quality kids actor headshots is paramount to your child’s success.

However, taking a headshot for a child actor is not the same as taking one for an adult. There are unique challenges and considerations that you need to keep in mind when photographing kids. In this blog post, we will share with you five tips to help you capture amazing kids actor headshots that will make your child stand out from the crowd. From eliminating distractions to choosing comfortable clothing and working with an experienced photographer, we will guide you through the process of creating exceptional headshots for your aspiring child star.

Tip 1: Eliminate Distractions

One of the most important factors in taking a great headshot is having a clean and solid background that does not distract from the child’s face. A cluttered or busy background can make the headshot look unprofessional and reduce the impact of the child’s expression. Therefore, you should choose a backdrop that is simple, neutral, and complements the child’s skin tone, hair color and wardrobe. Some options for choosing a suitable background are:

  1. A studio setting: A studio offers the advantage of having complete control over the lighting and the background color. You’ll want to make sure the photographer you select has not only white backdrops but also colorful backdrops. Kids headshots need to pop, and colorful backgrounds are an easy way to make them stand out. A studio also provides a quiet and comfortable environment for the child, with minimal distractions and interruptions.
  2. An outdoor location: An outdoor location can provide a natural and fresh look for the headshot, as well as some variety in terms of colors and textures. However, you need to be careful about choosing an outdoor location that is not too crowded or noisy, as this can distract the child and affect their focus. You also need to consider the weather and the time of day, as these can affect the lighting and the shadows on the child’s face. Many casting directors prefer the clean look of studio headshots, so keep this in mind.
  3. Another thing to avoid when taking a headshot for a child actor is bringing toys or gadgets that might divert their attention from the camera. While you might think that these items can help them relax or have fun during the session, they can also make them lose interest or look away from the lens. Instead of bringing toys or gadgets, you should try to keep them engaged by playing their favorite music, talking to them, or making jokes. You can also plan for short breaks between shots or looks to reset their focus and prevent fatigue.
Playful portrait of a young girl with curly hair, wearing a pink pearl-decorated headband, expressing surprise against a purple background, adorned in a light purple shirt with a heart design - Premium Atlanta Headshots Photography

Tip 2: Choose Comfortable and Appropriate Clothing

The clothing that your child wears for their headshot should reflect their personality and style, as well as suit the type of roles they are aiming for. However, comfort is also key when it comes to clothing, as your child needs to feel at ease and confident during the session. Therefore, you should avoid clothing that is too tight, loose, or flashy, as this can make them feel uncomfortable or self-conscious. You should also avoid clothing that has large logos. In today’s industry, patterns such as plaids are totally fine as are some graphic tees if it aligns to the types of characters your child would play.

Some tips for choosing clothing that is comfortable and appropriate for your child’s headshot are:

  1. Opt for solid colors that match your child’s skin tone and hair color. For example, if your child has fair skin and blond hair, you can choose pastel colors like pink, blue, or yellow. If your child has dark skin and brown hair, you can choose warm colors like red, orange, or purple.
  2. Choose clothing that fits well and flatters your child’s body shape. For example, if your child is slim and tall, you can choose clothing that accentuates their height and curves. If your child is chubby and short, you can choose clothing that creates an illusion of length and slimness.
  3. Have a few different outfits ready for different looks and moods. For example, you can have one outfit that is casual and playful, one that is formal and elegant, and one that is quirky and fun. This way, you can showcase your child’s versatility and range as an actor.

Some photographers will provide thorough guidance and empower you to bring lots of options and determine what will be best for your and your child’s goals.

Tip 3: Find the Right Pose and Expression

The pose and expression that your child adopts for their headshot are crucial for conveying their character and emotion. However, finding the right pose and expression can be challenging for some children, especially if they are shy or nervous in front of the camera. Therefore, you should try to find a photographer who uses more natural techniques and leans more into the energy of the shoot rather than awkward or unnatural poses. 

Some tips for finding the right pose and expression for your child’s headshot are:

  1. Encourage your child to sit or stand in a way that feels comfortable and natural to them. Avoid posing them in a way that is unnatural or forced, such as tilting their head too much or crossing their arms too tightly.
  2. Emphasize the importance of capturing vibrant and joyful expressions that showcase your child’s charm and talent. Ask your child to smile naturally, laugh, or make funny faces. You can also make them laugh by telling jokes, making silly noises, or tickling them. Avoid asking them to say “cheese”, as this can result in a fake or cheesy smile. A great photographer will engage your child in a way that draws out natural and energetic expressions.

Tip 4: Work with an Experienced Photographer

One of the most important decisions you need to make when taking a headshot for your child actor is choosing a photographer who has experience with children. Working with children requires a special set of skills and patience, as they may not always cooperate or follow instructions. Therefore, you need to find a photographer who knows how to communicate with children, understand their needs, and bring out their best qualities. Some photographers in Atlanta don’t shoot kids actor headshots. 

Some tips for choosing a photographer who has experience with children are:

  1. Review their portfolio and online reviews to assess their quality and professionalism. Look at their previous kids actor headshots and see if they match your expectations in terms of style, lighting, and expression. Read what other parents have said about their experience working with them, and see if they mention any positive or negative aspects.
  2. Discuss your child’s specific needs and preferences with the photographer beforehand. Tell them about your child’s age, personality, and goals as an actor. Tell them about any attention span limitations or preferences for music. Ask them about their approach to working with children, and how they plan to make the session fun and enjoyable.
  3. Emphasize the importance of building a rapport and trust between your child and the photographer. Ask them how they will introduce themselves to your child, and how they will make them feel comfortable and confident. Ask them how they will handle any challenges or difficulties that may arise during the session, such as tantrums, boredom, or shyness.

With more than 220 5-star Google reviews, Jeremy Bustin is the go-to kids actor headshots photographer in Atlanta.

Tip 5: Ensure Quality in the Shots

The final tip for capturing amazing kids actor headshots is ensuring quality in the shots. Quality refers to both technical aspects such as sharpness, lighting, and overall image quality, as well as artistic aspects such as composition, framing, and cropping. Quality is essential for attracting casting opportunities and showcasing your child’s versatility as an actor.

Some tips for ensuring quality in the shots are:

  1. Examine the photographer’s work on a large screen to scrutinize details like sharpness, lighting, and overall image quality. Look for any flaws such as blurriness, overexposure, or noise. Make sure that every shot is clear, crisp, and well-lit.
  2. Get feedback from your child’s manager or agent on the suitability of the headshots for different roles and projects. Ask them which shots they think are most effective in representing your child’s talent and personality. Ask them which shots they think are most likely to catch the eye of casting directors and talent agents. Ask them if there are any shots that need improvement or editing.


Taking amazing kids actor headshots requires careful planning, a focus on capturing genuine expressions, and selecting the right photographer. By following these five tips, you can ensure that your child’s headshots truly shine. Remember, high-quality headshots play a pivotal role in attracting casting opportunities and showcasing your child’s talent and versatility. So don’t hesitate to invest in creating exceptional headshots for your aspiring child star.

If you are looking for a great kids actor headshots photographer in Atlanta, check out Jeremy Bustin’s portfolio of kids headshots and book him today! He offers fair rates for kids headshots and makes sure your kid has fun and gets a great range of shots for your kid’s acting career.