What You Need to Know About Selfies

JUNE 25, 2018
Woman taking a selfie

There are many factors that go in to deciding if you’re right for a role. Your height, hair color, sizes, portrayable age, and wardrobe are all aspects of your look that Casting Directors may consider when booking their projects. To help them get this information, they may ask you to send a current selfie along with your submission. Here’s what you need to know before snapping a selfie for a Casting Director.

Why do I need to submit a selfie?

If you have a casting photo on file, why do you need to send a selfie? Casting Directors may ask for a selfie if they need to know what you look like right now or if they need to see you in certain wardrobe. When booking their scenes, Casting Directors often have very specific requirements for what they need. Asking you to send in a selfie helps give them confidence that your current look fits the role.

When looking through the casting notices on our Jobs page, it’s important to read the entire post carefully before submitting for that role. If a Casting Director asks for a selfie, you need to submit that, not a headshot or picture from your last vacation.

What do you look for in a selfie?

This should go without saying, but if you’re asked to send in a photo, your face should be in it. The photos you take don’t need to look professional, they just need to be taken in good lighting. It’s hard for Casting Directors to determine skin tones and hair color when photos are dark. Your selfies should also clearly feature just you and should not have other people in them.

Again, Casting Directors, and sometimes productions, use these photos to determine if your current look fits the role they’re casting. You should not retouch or add filters to your photos.

Are my selfies kept on file?

Any photos you submit directly to Casting Directors are used for determining your fit for that specific role and are not added to your file. To update or add additional photos to your file, log in to your online profile. We recommend updating your photo every six months or anytime your look changes.

Can I take selfies on set?

You’re on set with your hair and make-up done perfectly, in an outfit from wardrobe that completely transforms you into a 1970s club patron. Sounds like a good time to take a selfie, right? No. You should never take photos on set. As a Background Actor, you are often aware of storylines and major plot points weeks or months before they air. Taking photos on set, even if it’s just of yourself, could reveal a major spoiler. 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.

Another important rule to remember, is that you should only send photos in wardrobe that you own and have access to. When you submit for a role, you may be cast to work the next day and will be expected to show up to set in the wardrobe from your photo. So not only does taking selfies violate the no photos on set rule, you may also be taking photos in wardrobe that you don’t own.

Do all selfies need be taken daily?

It’s up to the Casting Director how recent the selfie needs to be. For some cases, like seeing you in certain wardrobe, the photo might just need to reflect your current look, but may not have to be taken the same day. In other instances, like when the Casting Director is casting doubles, you will need to submit a photo of what you look like right now.

In cases where Casting Directors want to see you in specific wardrobe, it may be beneficial to keep a digital library of recent selfies on your phone so you’re ready to submit. The key word here is “recent,” so any photos you take in advance should be retaken regularly.

Remember, always read the job post carefully before submitting. The Casting Director will leave instructions for what and how they want you to submit. This may vary from post to post, so never assume you know what to send before reading through the whole post.

Now that you know the kind of selfie Casting Directors are looking for, read through our Jobs page for all the jobs we’re currently casting. Want more submitting tips? Check our Background Actor Do’s and Don’ts for Submitting.

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By Meghan Dubitsky

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