"Your headshot shouldn't be is just a pretty or handsome picture of you. Thats not going to help anybody (the Casting Director)" - Amy Jo Berman Vice President of Casting HBO.
The role of a casting shot is to get you into auditions that you are visually right for. The more auditions you get into the more your network of casting directors increase.
For an in-depth article read this: Actors Headshots as a Marketing Tool
For how to prepare for headshot read this: Actors Headshot Cheat SheetWhy a professional headshot?
These words are from Michael Helms
. One of the most established headshot photographers in LA.
“There is an unsettling trend where actors are having friends shoot snap shots of them and then using those “natural” images for their head shots. It’s sort of Reality TV comes to head shots. As I see it, that trend screams a lack of professionalism and is horribly self defeating. In order to be taken seriously, an actors first impression has to be a high priority and with the internet, there is even LESS time to make that first impression, so it had better be good. There are SO MANY people who are claiming to be photographers because they just bought a new digital camera, but they don’t know an f stop from a bus stop. Basically if a photographer does ANYTHING else for a living and/or hasn’t been in this business for more than 5 years, then just walk away.”
For more info on good UK headshot photographers see here: the APHP