There are so many factors to consider when choosing your headshots
What do you want the casting directors/agents to see?
What is your castability?
Does the picture look like you?
Do they bring out your personality?
Will you stand out from the crowd?
These are things for you to consider but also for the photographer to consider. I have a responsibilty to help you stand out and not look like every other headshot I take.
As an actor myself I always try and think what characters do I want to portray in my headshots, what will I be cast as from this photo.
If you ask casting directors or acting coaches they will usually help with your castability and age range and who knows better than them ey! You may want to play a certain character and that's great acting wise to challenge yourself. But at the same time know your look, could you be cast as this character, do you look more suitable than other actors? I always want to play strong female characters but I am also 5ft 2 with chubby cheeks and a helium induced voice - Not exactly the next Tomb Raider, maybe Buffy at best - Sarah Michelle Gellar was adorable yet Kick ass (Buffy remake, let's do it Joss Wheeldon!)
It is good however to have a variety of shots, show off your leading lady/gent charm or your evil villian sneer! Be a chav if you know you can pull it off with regards to accent, mannerisms etc or if you have a good RP go for your Downton Abbey look. Just be confident in what you know you can do!
It always helps to have a second opinion, other people look at you more than you do! They know what you look like and which photos best reflect you. It's helpful to get your agents opinions, they work in the industry and they know what casting directors will want to see for different roles and which shots may make you stand out next to your competition.
I feel like with headshots you have to embrace you, if you don't like your smile do it anyway because they'll see it when you walk in the room. I hear so many people say oh God I hate my smile and you end up with a lot of shots which look the same! If you like one side of your face, force yourself to show the other side. You may think at the time, I look best from this angle and it may get you in the room, yay, but when you're in there they will see all of you so just put it all out there to start with. I never smile with my teeth when I have headshots done and I always try and show one side of my face more than the other but whats the point, I may as well upload a photo of Mona Lisa:
So yeah you may think headshots are just I'll pay, take a few outfits with me and have my pics done! But really think about what it is you want to achieve. You're paying for these shots and at the end of the day you want to be cast. So give it some thought, bring clothes which maybe bring out your eyes, compliment your skin, which hairstyles will give me different looks etc All so I don't end up with 5 shots that look the same!
I hope this helps :) Happy Monday guys! xx