Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A random note...

I was just browsing the national message board and noticed the Miss Arkansas contestant headshots, among others, and for the millionth time thought:

Dear contestants, if you hope to use your headshots in future careers such as acting, musical theatre and broadcast journalism, which 90% of you do, then you might want to remove your big a$$ earrings and dial the airbrushing and crazy shirts way down. Yours truly, an actress in Hollywood who can't use any of her former pageant pictures.

I'm not saying they're not great photos for pageants, but simply noting that the idea of future use for most of them is quite frankly laughable. If I had it to do over again, I'd remove the jewelry for at least a few of the shots and request that the photog not give them the typical pageant touch ups. Sometimes the composition of the picture still screams pageant, but adjusting those few things will likely get you a bit more mileage.


  1. Wow, I never thought of that. Great point! Since I'm going into broadcast journalism I'll need a great headshot. This is something I'll definitely keep in mind in the future!

  2. It should scream pageant because it is for a pageant and very few girls look the same as they age.

    So if they choose to pursue acting they should then get new headshots bc no one wants a 8 year old head shot. I respectfully disagree. Most actress headshots would look inappropriate for a pageant.

  3. Well, anonymous, we'll have to agree to disagree then. I do think a truly amazing photo has the potential to be successfully used for both. But that's hard to come by; it takes a really photogenic woman and a knowledgeable photographer!

    That being said, my original suggestion was NOT that contestants use the exact same photo. I think it's fine that a pageant photos screams pageant. Rather, they should make the most of their photo shoots by taking a few pictures without the jewelry and heavy airbrushing, with the intent of using them for things other than the pageant.

    You're absolutely right - one of the top rules of headshots is to keep them updated and make sure they look like you! Translating that update into years or months is different for each person. Had I made the afore mentioned adjustments during my last pageant shoot back in 2006, I know I could still be using some of those shots since my look has barely changed.

    I had pageant shots from three different photographers and I always thought I'd be able to use them in the future. In the event current contestants are thinking the same thing, I thought I'd pass along my findings...



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