As an actor or model, you’ll need to get some professional marketing photos in order to stand out and look like you’re serious about landing gigs.  You’ll want to get a headshot, a full body shot, and some lifestyle photos that showcase your range and how well you perform in front of the camera.

If you have an idea of the types of images you’re looking for and what you’ll be wearing on the day of the shoot, great!  But, you’ll also want to have an idea of the backdrops the photographer is planning to use.  The background of your photos can either make or break the shot.

Most photographers are seasoned professionals who understand what will work and what won’t.  Make sure you schedule a shoot with one who is well-versed in entertainment industry images, who comes with references, and has a reputable resume.  Don’t be afraid to ask for credentials or to discuss exactly what you’re hoping to achieve.

Be mindful of what backdrops are going to allow you to stand out, and make sure you use these during the shoot.  The tried and true standards most photographers use are white, gray, and black.  Gray is great because it tends to draw attention to the subject, which is exactly what you want.  White will do the same, but the final image may look like there’s too much blank space if you’re not posing just right.  Black can be used for more dark or dramatic poses and looks.  If you’re hoping to have a photo or two of you in a villain role for your portfolio, this is a good option.

Another option is to use a color that pairs well with your makeup and attire.  Use contrasting colors, and steer clear of anything too eye-catching that’s sure to steal the spotlight.  For instance, if you’re wearing white, opt for a deeper tone such as burgundy, brown or black.  If you’re wearing black, opt for a subtle pastel, white, or cream.

Don’t use props or anything in the background that looks too cluttered or busy.  Sometimes photographers will want to use a curtain-like backdrop for studio shoots.  While popular, this backdrop can be busy and is bound to take away from what you want the client to focus on – you!  Other popular backdrops are brick walls and scenic, outdoor landscapes.  You will likely want to save these for your lifestyle shots.