Do comedians need headshots?

Elani Cooper, Washington DC Comedian

I often get asked by local comedians, or stand up comics, if they need headshots. If you want people to book you then the answer is yes! 

Having a good headshot is a great way to show bookers you’re serious about your career and will take any gigs they offer you seriously. It’s important to have a professional headshot that looks clean and polished, No iPhone selfies or family vacation pictures! The better the headshot, the better chance you have at standing out among the competition. Bookers love having great photography to put on their posters instead of dark, blurry pictures that Sandy took of you at the open mic. 

A great headshot also have more value than you think, It doesn’t only need to live on show fliers and on your social media profiles. A lot of comedians and performers use their headshots on their business cards so anyone they give the card to can put a face to the name.  A headshot might seem like a frivolous expense but an amazing headshot can last you up to a few years and pay for itself when it starts getting you more bookings. 

Scott Seiss, Comedian and Actor

Here are some tips for a great headshot:

-  Choose a photographer who specializes in headshots. Your friend might have gone to school for photography and have a really sweet camera, but if they dont have a strong portfolio of clean headshots, be careful trusting them to get you a great professional headshot. Research your options for different photographers or ask other comedians who they went to for their headshot. 

-  Wear something you would wear on stage. This helps sell your image and gives the booker a better idea of what you’ll look like when you’re performing in their space. 

- If you aren’t shooting in the photographers studio then choose a space with clean, non-distracting background elements. Remember, a headshot is to show what you look like and the main subject of the image should be your face, not the hilarious mural you found. 

- Show a bit of your personality in your headshots. Whether your comedy is monotone and reserved or Eccentric and loud, your headshot can reflect that. 

-  Avoid props. Leave the microphone and rubber chicken at home. A headshot is simply that, a shot of your head. Fun, conceptual images can be great for additional promotional material, but not for your headshot. 

Do your research and put in the effort and your first headshots will be a great start for your professional comedy career. 

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