How To Take Great Pictures For Your Casting Profile

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were around 69,400 jobs for actors in 2014, with a projected growth of 10% over the next ten years.

To put that in perspective, there are roughly 160,000 actors just in SAG-AFTRA. While there are no official numbers on the amount of non-union actors, it’s safe to say there are at least as many non-union actors, but most likely considerably more.

In our database alone, we have over 19,000 athletes, vying to be cast for the same roles.


So what can you do to give yourself an advantage?

Keep your profile as upto date as possible, build a reel, network, and post great photos of yourself on your casting profile.

For a lot of the jobs we help cast for, we use the photos on casting profiles to help determine the first round of selections for auditioning.


So what photos can you take to put your name at the top of the list?

Headshots – A prerequisite for any actor/actress. Ask a friend or photographer to take a photograph of your head in proper lighting, with a slightly blurred or no background.

Torso Shot – Some Casting Directors will ask for a close up of your torso (chest, stomach, arms). It’s important to highlight your best assets, so either going shirtless or wearing a fitted top will give you a leg up.

Action Shot – Having relevant action shots will increase your chances of being cast. If you’re submitting to a football casting call, you’ll want photos of yourself playing football in uniform. If you’re submitting to a basketball casting call, you’ll want crisp photos of yourself dribbling, shooting, jumping, and playing defense. The point here is, make your photos relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Checklist for taking great photos

1. Lighting – Using lighting properly to accent your best features and to brighten a room will increase the value of your photos.

2. Background – Uploading a photo with your bed in the background can seem pretty unprofessional. Either take your photos up against a blank wall, or a relevant backdrop (i.e. a track stadium or football field).

3. Focus – Make sure your photos are all properly focused.

4. Resolution – Higher resolution photos are received better, as they’re clearer and easier to view.

5. Express Toughness and/or Seriousness – This is specific to sports model casting, but as an athlete you’ll want to convey the seriousness of a professional athlete in game day action.

6. Grooming – Make sure you’re looking your best. Additionally, if you’re applying to a casting call and you’ve changed your haircut, it’s time to delete the old photo and upload a new one.

7. No Filters – This is not Instagram.

8. No Selfies in Mirror – This is not Myspace. Or 2005.

We wish you the best of luck in landing casting calls, and hope these tips help.

How Casting Works For Sports + Fitness Commercials (10 Steps)

Interested in acting in sports/fitness commercials? If you’re just starting out and need to figure out what contacts to make, this list is a great place to start.

1. Let’s start from the top of the food chain.

At the top you have the client — the brand/product and their marketing team.

Next comes their advertising agency — the producers and creatives. These people conceive the story, facilitate the brand’s mission, create and maintain the budget, hire the director, production company, and casting director.

2. Once a Casting Director is brought on a job, they hop on a call with the director and ad agency to discuss specifics — plot, scheduling, roles, budget, and overall vision. This is the level where Sports Studio Casting comes in. We work with casting directors and producers to find athletes that best suit their vision.

3. Then, we figure out what the director is looking for out of the audition — lines, emotions, athletic ability, and more. This is where we can help the actor best understand the role and how to properly audition for the role.

4. Once we are on the same page with the CD, creative team and ad agency, we list the casting call and start working through our database. We go through thousands of photos and profiles to select the actors for scheduling. If selected, we reach out via email or phone call to check availability.

5. Now it’s the day of the session. The schedule is confirmed, and the director is present and ready to go. We check in everyone, take a photo for approval, then put you in front of a camera and the production team for the audition.

6. After the initial auditions are complete, we prepare a link to send to the director and ad agency for callback selections. Typically, callbacks are not made by Sports Studio Casting. Sometimes we are asked for suggestions on athletes, but the final decision falls in the hands of the director and the producers.

7. We sometimes host callbacks with the agency producers, agency creatives, and the casting director. Unless you have been given direction to, don’t change anything from your initial audition, looks or performance-wise.

8. Before your audition, we took a photo of you to print out for callbacks. At the end of callbacks, casting and production lay these out on a table and begin whittling down the candidate list. Once they make their final selections, we make another link to send off to the client for approval.

9. Once the client approves, we call and book the talent.

10. All that’s left is to show up to set, on time, prepared, and ready to go!