Does your headshot look like you?
I'd been guilty of using headshots that downplay/hide my less-than-perfect features.
As actors, we need to own all of our features - It's what makes us unique and castable for what we are.
I had a career consultation a year ago and was more or less told that my type is not the beautiful leading lady. The ego doesn't always want to hear that, but at some point you just have to decide that if you want to be a working actor, you have to work your type.
We're all prone to aging, too. Are you doing yourself a disservice by photoshopping the lines under your eyes completely in a headshot? Maybe.
Giving up the vanity of representing yourself with pretty pictures in exchange for realism means that casting directors can see what you really look like NOW. When you walk through the door, if you don't look like your headshot you may not being taken seriously. It's likely you could have just wasted your time.
I wanted a headshot that captures what I used to consider my less-than-classically-beautiful attributes, which are unique and add to the essence that I bring to a casting room: A prominant nose with the little indent on the tip when I'm dehydrated and my rounded front teeth.
True, this headshot will never get me cast as a "model type" (I'm 5'2" anyway!) or the traditional romantic lead, but it helps casting teams by letting them know whether or not I'm the right ethnic or interesting looking character.
Beauty can be replacable. A unique look with a strong work ethic, great sense of humor, and the ability to listen and be present sometimes isn't as replacable. Own what you've got and represent yourself true to who you are.
Headshots by Jamie Dufault Photography, 2015.