Do voice talents and voice actors need headshots?
This topic came up on a panel at VOICE 2007 and there were many opinions presented.
What do you think?
During the conference, there was an agent present who worked with voice talent in addition to on-camera talent based out of Las Vegas.
The agent suggested that although voice actors don’t necessarily need professional headshots, agents will often ask for them so that they have more material to market you with. As Chris Wagner noted a comment left on the previous post, a professional headshot is one taken by a trained photographer with a high quality camera, not a friend or family member with a run of the mill or disposable camera.
Let’s say that the VO market was really slow going in your neck of the woods…
If your agent had a professional headshot to promote you with, they could potentially land you some work in print, on-camera, or announcing / presenting at live events.
This logic is based upon the fact that many people who work in voice overs also pursue other performing art forms (acting, singing, dancing) or are print models.
That being said, I think agents also would like to know what you look like if you are from out of town and they don’t know you from meeting in person. A headshot may give them more of a reason to remember you and refer you for gigs.
Now, the flip side…
Not everyone has an agent and not all agents require headshots from people they represent who do not work on-camera or at live events. As many of you have noted, sometimes a photograph does not correlate visually with what you have to offer vocally (not a voice professional let alone your voice matching your physiology).
For instance, you could be a shorter, slender man with a big booming voice. If your photo betrays you in the slightest, you may lose work over it because your physical image isn’t what the casting director had in mind for the role (even though the job may not be for on-camera work).
Providing a photograph could also give someone the opportunity to judge you with your photograph as primary criteria before even hearing your voice. This act or decision made by the client hiring voice talent could potentially stereotype you based upon your photograph. But… what about the notion that showcasing a photograph builds trust? There’s a catch 22 where having a photo as a voice actor is concerned.
For those of you who have a headshot, why did you decide to feature one on your website?
For those of you who choose not to do feature a headshot, we’d love to hear why you made the decision not to.
Looking forward to reading your thoughts!