5 Reasons Why You Need a Visual Portfolio

The days are gone when you could submit a black and white CV to any agency or directly to employer and already have a chance of being picked out for an interview/ audition. Unfortunately – or fortunately, and I’ll explain why – these days, it isn’t so simple. For artists, models, actors or musicians, applying for roles or to agencies has changed. Now, you can impress your agent or casting director by applying with a pre-recorded piece for the audition or stunning headshots.

Casting directors

They usually look for a specific type of person, specific image that fits how they see the character in their minds; how they want them portrayed. A simple selfie is unprofessional and any other photos are simply unsuitable and usually of poor quality – or posed. Posed is the worst as it is already acting. Casting directors don’t want you to act in your headshots/ photos. They want you as raw as you can be, so they can see if they can mould you into the character they desire. You will act at their audition, and then – hopefully – later in their play.

It is 2018 after all...

....and because of that, a lot of filmmakers, media professionals and TV producers are more and more on the look out of people who have some sort of representation online – whether it’s social media, your own website or profiles across different professional networks. All of these will need to include high quality video and photo content, representing who you are as a person. Not because they expect you to spend all of your budget (and this is not the case either, look out for the Common Misconceptions about Hiring Photographers/Videographers post coming soon!), but because they want to see if you are up to date with the world itself. You cannot expect to enter the professional entertainment world purely via selfies on Instagram.

Get Used To It

Booking a photoshoot or recording an original piece is great for you to get used to working with other people or even a team of people, within a deadline and in a professional media environment. There is a lot you can learn by just booking in a headshots photoshoot. You will know how you present yourself on camera, how different facial expressions or physical expressions come across and you will find yourself improve those within your performances, being aware of what they look like or come across. A lot of actors found it extremely helpful to book a headshots session – it helped them to see what it is like to be in a professional environment, and what is expected of you as an artist.

It's not all about Online Representation

Your headshots or your video recording are not just for online representation or just to send out to agents so they can see what you look like. It shows you are committed to your art and that you are serious about your career. That is sometimes just as important as your performance skills.

The more, the better : displays persistence, and experience.

Although, it is not always the case – in the world of portfolios and careers – the more, the better. The more photos, the better chance of getting hired. Why? It looks as though you are very active as a performer, that you are not afraid to get in front of a camera or on stage and you live for performance. That is what casting directors or agents want to see – passion, persistence and commitment. The more photos from performances, headshots, photoshoots, video recordings of various pieces or performances – the better chances of the agent stopping and scrolling through. And once you have their attention, that’s all you need to move forward.


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