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A head shot or headshot is a specific type of portrait (usually a photograph) that realistically demonstrates a person's appearance for branding or casting. Many head shots are promotional pictures of actors, models, authors. Headshots could be a portrait of a face or full body with a background that clearly illustrate the personality inside the person photographed.
Head shot photographs are most commonly used in "about us" pages and many people represent themselves using head shots in social media. Other usage include online dating profile pictures. Actors often have a printed head shot with an attached résumé for auditions or an online presence in a casting workbook. Head shots are typically medium close-up (MCU)photographs which show the top of the shoulders up to above the head. In a typical head shot the eyes will be in the top, middle half of the photo according to the rule of third.
In theater, film, and television, actors, models, singers, and other entertainers are often required to include a head shot, along with their résumé, when applying for a job. These head shots are usually more artistic: they intend to portray the subject in the best possible light. Head shots often feature the actor or actress facing off-center. A performer will often have head shots expressing different poses and expressions to give a potential employer an idea of the subject's range of appearances or expressions. These types of head shots are called "looks". It is common for an actor to have different head shots for different roles, but for the most part these consist of a change in attire. The head shots that include a person’s shoulders are called "three-quarter" shots. Previously, head shots were often in black-and-white; however, most head shots are now taken in color.
Actors' head shots, when printed and not simply uploaded online to an industry database, are done in an 8"×10" format. Other promotional images, for example, press shots and lobby prints, may be in many different aspect ratios. Acting head shots are often not photographic prints, instead they are typically printed via a lithographic or laser process.
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