Do’s and Don’ts for Submitting Photos to Casting Directors
As you scroll through our Jobs page, you may notice posts asking to submit selfies or additional materials. Why do you need to send these? Don’t Casting Directors have the headshot you took at registration? There are many reasons why Casting Directors need additional materials, like if they need to see you in specific wardrobe. Here are some do’s and don’ts to follow when submitting photos to Casting Directors.
Do only submit what the Casting Director has asked for
In their job posts, Casting Directors will leave specific instructions for what and how to submit. Please read these instructions carefully and only send what they ask for. For example, if a Casting Director asks for a photo of you in formal attire, don’t send them a picture of you and your friends on the beach.
Remember, one of a Background Actor’s biggest responsibilities is being able to follow directions. By showing Casting Directors you can follow directions in a job post, you give them confidence that you can follow directions on set.
Do make sure your head is in the photo
This one sounds obvious, right? If you’re submitting photos to Casting Directors, your head definitely needs to be in it. 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 sending a photo to prove you have renaissance era 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, since Casting Directors often need to match a principal actor exactly.
Do send unaltered photos
We all like a fun Instagram filter, but filtered photos belong on social media and not in job submissions. We know it can be tempting to touch up photos, but Casting Directors use these pictures to determine if you’re right for a role and they need to see how you really look. After all, you’re not going to show up to set sporting a flower crown filter.
Do send photos as an attachment or small file size
When you email photos, Casting Directors ask that you 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 sending attachments from an iPhone or Android device.
Don’t send professional headshots
The main photo Casting Directors use when casting their roles is the profile photo you take when you register with Central Casting. If you’re asked to submit a picture, please send a selfie or photo you took, not a professional headshot. Professional headshots are often altered and out of date, which doesn’t help when Casting Directors are trying to figure out what you look like right now.
Don’t send dealership car photos
If you’re asked to submit a picture of your car for a role, 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 build their scenes and 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
One of the reasons Casting Directors may ask for photo submissions is to see you in specific wardrobe. Maybe you’re on set one day in the perfect 1960s outfit and think it’d be fine to take a selfie to submit later. It may sound like a good idea, but you should never take photos on set, even if you think the photo won’t give away spoilers. If you need to review the Anti-Piracy and Confidentiality Policy you signed while registering with us, you can find it and other forms on your location’s Sign Up page.
This also brings up another important rule to remember. You should only take photos in wardrobe that you own and have access to. If you’re cast based on that wardrobe, you will be expected to show up to set with it.
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 Text with a Casting Director and How to Read a Central Casting Job Post.