How to Take a Central Casting Selfie

AUGUST 3, 2020
A man in a blue shirt practicing how to take a selfie.

If you have registered with Central Casting and submitted for jobs before, you know Casting Directors may ask you to send a recent selfie with your submission. There are many reasons for this, from seeing what you look like right now to confirming you have the right wardrobe for a role. Over the last few months, many of us have changed our look in some way, so these photos will be a useful tool for Casting Directors when production resumes.

The first thing you should know is there’s a difference between a selfie you take for social media and one you send to Central Casting. Filters, fun poses, and editing tricks may make for the perfect Instagram shot, but not when you’re submitting for work. Since these photos help determine if you’re right for a job, they need to be an accurate representation of what you will look like when you show up to set. Here’s what you need to know about how to take a selfie to send to a Casting Director.

Photos should only feature you

It seems obvious, but selfies you submit to Central Casting must be of you and include your face. Casting Directors are not looking for perfect headshot-type photos, they just need to be able to clearly see what you look like. Selfies you submit should only feature you and not include other people.

Be taken in good lighting on a solid background

We’re not looking for professional photo shoots, but your selfies need to be taken in good lighting so the Casting Director can clearly see your face. It can be hard to determine things like skin tone, hair color, and features in dark photos, which is especially important when casting doubles. Thanks to Zoom chats and video calls, many of us have learned more about how to light ourselves, so if you can’t use your camera’s flash, try facing a light source (like a table lamp) or standing near a window.

Only feature wardrobe you own/have access to

If a Casting Director asks you to submit a selfie showing off a specific type of wardrobe, please make sure to only feature wardrobe you own and have access to. If you’re cast based off that look, you will be expected to show up to set with that same clothing. But what if you were booked on a period project once and snapped a quick selfie to show you can pull off a certain look? First off, you should never take photos on set. Second, if that clothing was provided by production, you obviously can’t bring it to another job, so please don’t submit photos in looks you cannot replicate.

Include what the Casting Director has asked for

As always when looking for work through Central Casting, you should read the job post carefully before submitting. Depending on the needs of the role, you may be asked to send a photo showing off a specific hairstyle, specialized wardrobe, a full body shot, or additional material like a Stand-In resume. If a Casting Director asks for something, it’s because they need it to determine if you fit the role requirements. If you don’t read the entire post carefully, you can miss out on roles you’re perfect for.

Be recent

While staying at home, some of us have grown out or dyed our hair, grown a quarantine beard, or changed our appearance in other ways. Since your profile photo may not reflect your current look, selfies are one of the tools Casting Directors can use to see what you look like right now. In some cases, they will ask you to snap a quick photo that day to ensure you show up to set with the correct look. If you want to be prepared for when production resumes, you may want to keep a folder of recent selfies in commonly booked looks on your phone so you’re ready to submit to job posts.

Now that you know how to take a selfie for Central Casting, find out more ways you can prepare to get back on set by reading our articles Wardrobe Essentials Background Actors Should Know and How to Be Prepared When Production Resumes.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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