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What Makes Great Children's Headshots

Jeremy Bustin
1 June 2023
3 min read
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If you’re an actor, you know you need actor headshots. But what if the actor is a child?

What are children's headshots?

If a child wants to get into acting, they need professional headshots. Since children grow and change so quickly, their headshots should be updated regularly. You want to make sure that when the casting director meets the child, they look like they do in their headshot.

What makes great children's headshots?‍

A professional headshot will make the person look like their best, most authentic self. That goes for children as much as for adults.

Children's headshots should show them happy and being themselves. A good children't headshot photographer will spend some time observing the child to see what their natural expressions are. When it’s time to shoot, they’ll work to pull these expressions out in order to capture them. That could be the child’s lopsided smile, their half-raised eyebrow, or a twinkle in the eyes.

A headshot that shows the child as they are will make casting them easier and more accurate.

Keep in mind that, now, casting directors often review headshots online, which means they’re probably scrolling through tiny thumbnails. The child’s face should fill most of the frame to grab the casting director’s eye.

Since the children's headshots should focus on the child’s face, the background should be solid to avoid being distracting. Children's headshots should also catch the eye, so bright and colorful backgrounds are a must, especially for commercials.

What to wear for children's headshots?

Remember that children’s headshots should show them:

  1. Happy, spirited, and with an energetic personality
  2. Authentic
  3. Without distractions

When making wardrobe decisions, pick clothes the child feels happy in. No matter how nice the parent thinks the outfit is, if the child doesn’t like it, the photo will reflect that.

Be mindful that children don’t have the stamina of adults, so keep the photoshoot brief. Bring a variety of outfits in different colors, and have the child wear the most flattering outfit in the middle of the photoshoot: after they’re feeling comfortable but before they get tired.

Choose colors that complement the child’s skin and eye color.

Finally, remember to keep the clothes simple so they’re not distracting. No frills, patterns, graphics, accessories, or buttons.

What about hair and makeup?

Children should look the way they would when going to a casting call for their children's headshots. Don’t make drastic changes to their hair. As for make-up, there is no need for it. A casting director looking to cast a child expects a child. Wearing make-up might make the child look older than they are, which defeats the purpose.

Takeaways for children's headshots

  1. Since children grow and change so quickly, they should get professional children's headshots regularly.
  2. Let children look happy and capture their authentic expressions.
  3. Focus on the face and keep everything else neutral to avoid distractions.
    Make sure their wardrobe is colorful and simple.
    Don’t make big changes to their hair and avoid make up.