Do’s and Don’ts for Submitting Photos to Casting Directors

NOVEMBER 21, 2021
A woman submitting photos to Casting Directors.

When you receive availability inquiries or as you scroll through our Jobs page, you may notice instructions to submit photos or additional materials. There are many reasons why Casting Directors ask for these, like if they need to see you in specific wardrobe or to see what you look like right now. Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow when submitting photos to Casting Directors.

Do submit what the Casting Director has asked for

It’s important to read all messages and job posts carefully so you know what information is needed to consider you for that role. Sometimes you’ll be asked to snap a quick selfie, often if Casting Directors need to see what you look like right now, which is important when trying to match an exact look.

Keep in mind, selfies or photos you send should only be of you. Photos that include other people or obscure your face are not useful when determining if you fit the role.

Do make sure your head is in the photo

It might sound obvious, but if you’re submitting photos, your face needs to be visible. Casting Directors not only need to know what your look is, but they also need to verify that the photo you’re sending is actually of you. Even if you’re submitting to prove you have the required wardrobe, your face needs to be clearly visible in the picture.

Do make sure the photos have good lighting

Please be sure to take your photos in good lighting. These shots don’t need to look professional, but your features need to be clearly visible. It’s difficult to determine things like skin tone and hair color when photos are dark or muted. This is especially important when casting doubles, who often need to match a principal actor exactly.

Do send unaltered photos

We all like a fun Instagram filter, but filtered or altered photos belong on social media and not in your online profile or submissions. We know it can be tempting to touch up photos, but we need to know the look you’ll show up to set with; edited photos aren’t useful when casting our productions.

Do send photos as an attachment or small file size

While Central Casting uses the photos in your online profile when booking Background Actors, there are times when Casting Directors will ask you to submit a specific photo through email. When you email photos, please send the file as an attachment or as a small-medium sized image if you’re including it in the body of the email. If you send the file as “actual size” or “large,” the image embedded in the email becomes massive, which makes it difficult for the Casting Directors to get an accurate read on your look. Here are some helpful tips for sending attachments from an iPhone or Android device.

Don’t send professional headshots

Professional headshots are often altered and out of date, which doesn’t help when Casting Directors are trying to figure out your current look. That’s why we ask you to add photos to your online profile that were taken by you recently.

Don’t send dealership car photos

If you’re asked to send in or upload a photo of your car to your profile, please submit a photo of your actual car and not a photo from the dealership or the car company’s website. Casting Directors use these photos to confirm things like make, model, color, and condition. Remember, your car is expected to show up to set the way it looks in the photos, so you should always send photos that accurately reflect your car’s condition.

Don’t take selfies on set

Maybe you’re on set one day in the perfect 1960s outfit and think it’d be fine to take a photo to show you can pull off that look. First, you should never take photos on set. Second, you should only take photos in wardrobe that you own and have access to. If you’re booked based on that clothing, you will be expected to show up to set with it. So even if you look awesome in character, please do not take any photos while on set.

Now you know how to set yourself up for success when submitting photos to Casting Directors. For more ways to be a successful Background Actor, check out our articles How to Prepare for Your First Day on Set and 5 Key Background Acting Tips.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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