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Let’s face it, there isn’t some “magic formula” that encompasses a perfect headshot. Any rules we might give you definitely have exceptions. With that said, most of the most effective headshots have these characteristics in common:

 - They focus on the model or actor, including only what is necessary to show the director that you are good for the part. Make sure your jewelry, clothing, hairstyle, etc. accentuate your best qualities, but don’t distract the viewer from the overall picture of you.

 - They are accurate and realistic in how they represent you. They won’t make the actors or models look younger or like someone else.

 - They will generally act as an invitation for the viewer to want to know more about the actor or model. This can be done through a combination of expression, shot composition, and lighting.

 - While lighting is important, good headshots avoid overly dramatic lighting, such as excessive shadows. These are not “fashion shots”, after all, which can make excellent photos but fail miserably as headshots.