The Young Actor's Guide To More Mature Headshots

As a young adult, it can sometimes be a challenge to break out of the gray area when it comes to landing a role. Young performers can be typecast and forced to portray characters that are much younger than their actual age. While there are a variety of factors that lead to this issue, how you look in your headshot is undoubtedly a part of the equation. If you want to land more adult roles, here are some headshot tips you should remember.

Color Scheme

As you plan your headshots, be mindful of the color scheme. One element that is sometimes overlooked is the relationship between perception and color. Without ever reading a single word or hearing any audio, you can often distinguish a child's book or television show from an adult one simply due to the presence of primary colors. If you don't want to be typecast into playing junior roles, don't choose a color scheme for the photoshoot that involves bright red, blue, green, or yellow.


Wardrobe also creates a perception and even tells a story. If you've had issues with producers and agents thinking you're much younger than you are in the past, choose more mature wardrobe options for your new headshots. Try to avoid t-shirts, tank tops, or casual dresses, as they tend to look more juvenile and playful. On the other hand, blouses, shirts with high necklines, and tasteful yet form-fitting dresses tend to read as more mature in print. 


How you wear your hair also has an effect on how your age is perceived by others. For women, high ponytails and very long hair can make them appear younger than they are. Conversely, shorter cuts, neat buns, and shoulder-length hair can offer a more mature appearance. For men, well-groomed facial hair and a haircut with a little extra length on the top can offer a more aged appearance than very long hair, no facial hair, or a very short haircut. 

Backdrops and Scenes

Be mindful of where you plan to set up the photo session for your headshot. If the shoot will be in a studio, choose a backdrop in a darker color, such as black. However, if your wardrobe is also dark, you want to create a contrast so that you stand out in the picture, so you might need to choose a brighter color, just not a primary color. For an outdoor shoot, avoid locations that would make someone think of a child, such as a park. 

It's always best to let your photographer know what your goal is. Your photographer will use this goal to help you achieve the type of headshots you want.