When that little headshot jpeg pops up on a casting director’s computer, you want them to say, “Yes, bring that person in!” Not “Yikes, that guy kinda scares me.”- Backstage

Teenage Actor Headshots

When it comes to teenage actor headshots there are a few things that you want to consider.   First off,  headshots are the first thing that a casting director will see.  This might be the only chance you have to make a big impression!  You want to make sure that your headshots stand out from the crowd, but you don’t want it to ‘crowded’.  What I mean is this.   Keep it simple, keep it clean and keep it fresh.  All eyes should be on your eyes.


Clean and Neat Cannot be Beat.

Remember this saying because it’s easy to overthink your teenage actor headshots.  (So much rides on these pictures, right? )  I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your clothing options simple.  Stay away from logos, stripes and crazy patterns.  Always keep in mind that the director wants to see who you are.  Keeping your clothing options simple gives the casting director a window into you.

To Compliment or Contrast

Definitely Compliment! You probably have a good idea which colors complement your skin tone and eye color. (The compliments are never about the clothes, they’re all about you — what beautiful eyes, glowing skin, lustrous hair, etc.). In general, if you have medium or dark skin & eyes, any color except one that matches your skin will work. Contrast is key. Fair skin and blue eyes? Try blues, pinks and grays. Green eyes? Browns, greens and oranges. These are general rules of the color chart, but go with what you know — and you know what you look and feel good in.


Ready to get started?

We will work together to find the right location and the right clothing options for your headshot photoshoot.  Typically,  sessions last 1-2 hours and we can do a few different outfit changes during that time.  Contact me today! 

Let’s talk about Kid Acting Headshots

I have been photographing children for almost 9 years.  My photography business began when I started taking pictures of my kids and posting them on facebook.  There is an art to taking photograph of kids.  The trick to taking great kid acting headshots is being able to move with them.  Children are naturally full of energy and like to bounce around a lot.  My photography style is quick, efficient and fun.



“Your headshot is your calling card,” she says. “It’s what’s going to get you that first audition, that first agent, and will pull you into the business.”- Backstage

Every actor needs a headshot

Kid actor’s are no exception to this rule.   We all want success and a future in our profession.  Kid actors are no exception this!  A great headshot will get you the first audition or the first agent.  It can get you into the right places at the right time.  That is what we all striving for, right?  Kid actor headshots need to be genuine.  A real smile will make your child’s headshot jump off the page!  (That is why we like to have so much fun on our shoots! )

How to Book Your kid acting headshots

First and foremost, call me!  We can go over everything over the phone.  With so much casting done online, you will want at least 3-5 images that you can use.  This means that your child will need multiple outfits.  I want to make sure that the colors you pick out go well with your child’s skin tone and color of their eyes.  We will then decide on a couple different locations.

I live in Burbank, so I have a few spots I really like- but I am always open to finding new and interesting places.  Sometimes, headshots can be done in the comfort of your home- depending on how your child feels about meeting new people and  going to new places.  Making sure your child feels comfortable and safe is really important to us.


I look forward to hearing from you!


The headshot. It’s the single most important marketing tool for an actor, and it’s amazing how many people do it wrong just to cut a few corners. Actors, it’s time to take it more seriously. When that little headshot jpeg pops up on a casting director’s computer, you want them to say, “Yes, bring that person in!” Not “Yikes, that guy kinda scares me.” – Backstage.com

What are acting headshots?

Acting headshots are the first thing a casting director sees.  How do you want them to see you?  I have tried to find the actual number of actors in the Los Angeles area, but they are pretty hush hush about this sort of thing.  (Maybe its because aspiring actors would get discouraged and not come out?)


Ike's acting heads


What makes great acting headshots?

Use a professional!

Having your friend snap a few pics will not make the cut.  If a headshot looks cheap, it probably is! Even if your friend has a ‘decent’ camera, take the money and splurge on a professional.  Someone who knows lighting and is trained in portraiture is definitely worth the money. Save your cheap acting headshots for instagram.


Look Natural

A casting director does not want to see a lot of photoshop in your acting headshots.  Make sure your images look like you!  Good headshots should be 3/4 quarter shots are good for print.  Don’t get too close up. Directors stress to not do peace signs,  or the infamous hands on face pose for your pictures.  Let your personality stand out!   Natural light is great, because it shows directors how you will look on film.



“A simple, solid color shirt with a little texture that fits you well and matches your eyes should do the trick.” – Backstage

Simple is best!  No graphic t-shirts and whites can be very distracting.  Leave the props at home.  I once saw someone with a cop uniform on for his comp cards.  This to me, limits who you can be as an actor.  Being a professional will get you noticed, not desperation.

Ike's full acting headshots



“One of the biggest mistakes young actors (or those coming back to the business) make is getting a “generic” headshot—a blank smile, wearing your comfortable blue jeans or a hoody—instead of pointing out your most marketable roles.” -Gwyn Gilliss, Backstage




Now that my husband and I are living in Los Angles, he has started his path into acting.  So this is something we have both been learning together.  I had done plenty of headshots back in Wisconsin, with the soul purpose of helping entrepreuneus and small businesses get ‘seen’ in the busy, complicated web of social media.  Out here,  my task as a professional headshot photographer will be a little different – as acting headshots are a need I intend to help fill.

What makes good acting headshots?

When you submit to a project or role, your headshot is the first thing that a director sees.  Remember the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover?”, well that saying does not apply when it comes to acting in L.A.  Casting directors are busy,  so your headshot needs to stand out – fast!


Your headshot will determine what roles you will get.  It is great to pick three different characteristics that you can best portray.  This is especially important when you are a new actor just starting out.

“Casting directors or agents need to look at your headshot and know instantly your age range, where you are on the economic scale (upscale, middle class, blue collar, etc.), where you are on the attractive scale (despite what your mother tells you), your role in society (mom, educated professional, victim, CEO, etc.), and various aspects of your innate personality (sweet, friendly, gruff, powerful, etc.).” Backstage

Your acting headshots should look like you!  Casting directors want to fill the role just as bad as you do!  There  is no need to false advertise in this business. Who you are is who you are. Own it!  With almost 4 million people living in Los Angeles, its o.k to be different. Your headshot should be able to tell casting directors who you are, the essence of you.


Prior to your acting headshots photo session, write down what your best qualities are as an actor. Not an actor? Do it anyways! It’s good way to boost your self esteem!   Not sure, ask your friends!  Directors want to recognize you from your headshots, what parts do you want them to remember?


Last but not least, be yourself!  Don’t get your make up professionally done before hand, unless you plan on getting it done before every audition and on every set.  Have a clear idea of what you want before you head off to your photo shoot. Stay away from lots of jewelry and strange abstract patterns on your clothes. Pick colors that compliment your skin tone and bring out the color of your eyes.


Don’t forget to have fun!


Questions? Ready to Book?  Send me a message at stephanie@stephshanks.com or call me at 608-697-1419.


headshots Shawndell Marks

Are you looking for Headshot Photographers in Los Angeles?

If you typed in headshots photographers Los Angeles in your search, then the answer is “YES!”  I am so new to Los Angeles, and I am looking to increase my L.A Portfolio.  If you need headshots in Los Angeles, you should give me a call today! I have a passion for helping aspiring musicians, actors, and creatives get stand out through digital photography.

Why should you choose me to take your headshots?

Although I’ve only been in Los Angeles for a couple weeks, I have owned and operated my own photography business since the beginning of 2008.  My experience includes photographing and videographing weddings and events, and shooting portraits and lifestyle shoots.  But most of all, I understand how important your head shot can be.

We are all in this Together!

I am here, just like you are! I came here to try and make a better life for myself and my family, and I really want to make it work! I don’t want to go back to another cold Wisconsin winter! I am just as dedicated to your dream as I am to mine.  Right now, tomorrow, this week- we can work together and get your professional L. A photographer headshots taken.

What to Expect

First, we meet up for coffee and go over clothing options and locations.  This is the time when I learn about who you are and what you want out of your photography.  Secondly, we shoot.  Photography shoots typically last about an hour.  Typically, we can shoot in 2 different locations during this time.  My preferred time of day to shoot outside on location is in the early evenings.  Last but not least, you receive your images in about a week.  We can either sit down together or I can send you a digital link.  I can give you my professional opinions on best options, if you would like.  You get to pick and download 5 images from the shoot.  If you would like more, they are available to you at an additional price.

What does it Cost?

Everything that I have explained will cost you a total of $125.00.  This includes the preshoot consultation, the photoshoot and 5 digital images for you to use.  In return, I will be using your photos to promote my photography business here in Los Angeles.

If I were you, I would jump on this! I am not a newbie photographer, I am a professional with over 8 years experience.  I just want to take photos, and grow my business here.

I am following a dream, just like you!  I can be reached at (608)697-1419 or by email at stephanie@stephshanks.com

Burbank Photography

Hi Are you interested in Burbank Photography?  I am new to Burbank, and would like to tell you about my photography business.

I ‘accidentally’ started my photography business over 9 years ago when I started my facebook account.  When I was a kid, I loved taking pictures but lost touch with it during college when I started taking classes in art and art history.  By the time my third son was born, I had just gotten a ‘nice’ camera and started taking pictures and posting them on facebook.

Soon, other’s were asking me to take pictures of their kids and their families.  So, I started learning more and more about photography, photo editing, ect.  By 2012,  I had gotten so busy with my photography that I decided to do it full time.

Flash forward to Burbank Photography:

We unintentionally moved here from Wisconsin in August 2017.  After travelling in a camper van for 8 weeks around the U.S, we came to Los Angeles to have lunch with some friends who had recently moved here.  We loved the weather and the people so much that we decided to move here!

I am excited to be here and excited to start by Burbank Photography business here!  I offer all sorts of photography services such as headshots, wedding and event photography, photo editing ect.  Burbank seems like such a beautiful place, I can’t wait to start shooting here!

I am available 7 days a week for you!  The best time to shoot outdoors is in the early mornings or late afternoon. I am not really a morning person and the sun comes up awfully quick, so I would rather shoot in the evenings.  I am best reached by email at stephanie@stephshanks.com.  You can also check out more of my work portfolio style at: https://stephshanks.pixieset.com/

I look forward to working with you soon!

-Stephanie Shanks

steph shanks photography

headshots of choir teacher

Professional Headshots

Professional headshots are more important now then ever before.  Gone are the days of stuffy, studio headshots. In are the days of creative, fun and spontaneous professional headshots.  I will work with you to create unique, one of a kind headshots that highlight your personal brand, story and mission.


Your personal Headshots

It’ s no secret that setting up your headshots is about as fun as setting up a root canal.  As humans, we try to push off things that we feel will be painful.  It’s time for you to stop thinking that photography is painful.  Updating your headshots will put you back in the professional game.  We live in a world where first impressions are everything.  Most first impressions are done online.  How do you want to be seen? What do you want your story to be?


Building Your Business Brand

So you are ready to start making more money this year?  Great advertising starts with great pics (and great word of mouth compliments!)  These headshots were done for a friend of mine, she needed new pictures for her business cards and facebook advertising.

How do you want to be seen?

If you are like me, you want options.  I like having a couple of different portraits and images to choose from depending on the day and who I am communicating with.  As long as your images look like you, feel like you and tell your story- feel free to have fun with them!



You can check out more at my professional headshots gallery!