Anything Goes : A word about profile pictures by Gary Craig

Gary Craig

A word about profile pictures

In the process of building my network, I'm seeing a great deal of profile pictures. Stage 32 is NOT Facebook. It is a social network for professional show busniess people, and your picture has to reflect that. If you're portraying yourself as an actor, and an agent, producer, or casting agent goes to your page and they see a crappy picture of you sitting in your living room a million miles away from the camera, what does that tell them? It tell them that you're not professional, and they say "next". In this day and age of technology there is absolutely no excuse for that. If you can't afford professional pictures, EVERONE has a friend that has a good camera. Go out, shoot a couple of hundred shots, a handfull will probably be acceptable,'ll get a couple of great shots. Give some thought to what you're going to wear in the shot. What vibe do you want to send? Remember...this is your calling card. OK, you're a screenwriter, or a makeup argument can be made that the picture doesn't matter. Everything matters. First impressions are everything. It's the same thing with video. I always tell people, "Don't put a video of your performance up on youtube unless it's professional quality". It's the same with headshots and profile pictures.

Johanna Marshall

In your profile pix, are you checking your pulse????????jiiiisssst kidding!!! I agree...I agree......Spoken like a true professional!!!!!!

Gary Craig

Thanks Johanna! Yours is perfect

Johanna Marshall're kind Gary........Perfection is the all inclusive yet elusive force......but I thank you just the same.

Dawn Chapman

I agree a picture paints a thousand words. Some are good and say everything, some don't. It's a personal choice what picture you use. Jacqueline sorry that you're getting abuse. Why? did you report it... doesn't sound good. And that also is a good reason why some choose not to put up pictures.

Johanna Marshall

Everybody has a valid point here. There's no right or wrong.....Of course putting a pix or yourself after you just woke up or in your underwear screams Noooo....okay, an exaggeration but you never know......It all depends on who is viewing and what the intent is. I also have a profile on Linkedin but have never had any communication with anyone...just lots of "inviting you to join"......In defense of Stage "32" I have to say that I have had and continue to have some form of communication with some of the people in my network........I do feel that initially a pix is what gives the first impression, but also believe in giving people the intelligence to look deeper if they sense something they want to know more about.....

Gary Craig

Yes....that's what I'm talking about Bruce--the terrible ones!

Vince Anderson

I got some videos on YouTube,should I remove them ? Any suggestions, would appreciated.

Gary Craig

Vince, if you're talking about performance videos..make sure they're high quality, and the one thing that KILLS videos for the viewer is BAD SOUND, and the video being shot in the audience a million miles away from the stage with people walking by the camera, and comments from the audience

John C. Bailey

Agreed, to a point, in that I don't expect cinematographers and gaffers to have professional headshots. However, crappy webcam shots do cause me to think twice about the level of professional commitment and acumen. Having said that, Gary, the general taboo of hand touching face, finger pointing at temple, distracting background is something to think about. As a career coach and frequent casting professional, if you want to do hand modeling, there is a format for that. Cheers ~ jb ~

Dankha Fiennes H

Wao, thas beautiful and very realistic!

Philip Hay

Well said. Dress for success.. Cheers

Gary Craig

Noted John! Thanks for the tip

Sabina Giado

LOL. I either have my picture or the mugshot taken from my passport photo. Comedian and screenwriter - Gosh, what vibe AM I trying to send?

Armando Gonzalez

Thanks for the Tips :)

Diane Silvester

Awesome advice! Even on Facebook, if you are anywhere in the industry on any level...your appearance is the first thing that speaks for you...

Diana Romero

It shouldn't matter what you look like - the only thing that should matter is if it is an offensive picture or like someone said earlier, a picture in your underwear. This is not a dating site. If you are an actor, put your headshot up, the rest of us, we are not hired based on what we look like - at least I certainly hope not!!

Debbie Elicksen

Well said. Even in a social network, what you portray reflects your professionalism.

Hardy Awadjie

so the bathroom mirror pic of me is NOT acceptable?

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

Uh oh... My picture represents me pretty well, but it most definitely does not convey a professional tone. At least, not from a conservative point of view. Maybe I should change it some day. But I like it and have had no complaints so far. In fact, I made a connection with someone in the industry because of that shot. They liked the fun and frivolity of it. Apparently, I stand out in the crowd. Basically, there are no rights, and there are no wrongs. You play the odds. Playing it safe will most likely not drive people away from you, but being daring might just attract attention and, as they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

Kathy Rowe

Ah, Glamour Shots, worth the $$. Since I'm not only a screenwriter, but an author as well, I needed something nice to put in back copy of books. Even though the photos are 2 years old, I haven't changed that much (thankfully!). Yes, a face needs to impress.

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

I like that point, that this is a collaborative industry, so we certainly do ourselves no favors by driving away people we may need to help us achieve our goals. Thanks, John. And thank you, Gary. This is really good advice, my anarchy notwithstanding. It's kind of like going to a job interview in your pajamas. That actually could work, if you know something about the people you want to work for. Mostly likely though, you'll want to wear something that suits the culture of that employer.

Diane Silvester

It's all about energy and intention. Successful people feel it and convey it through everything they do, everything they think and everything they are. 'A picture is worth a thousand words, " and yes, it is more important for actors...however..."clothes make the man". Not just a clever expression. A reality. Your shot tells people who you are and how confident you are. If you don't believe in yourself, why should anyone else?

Vince Anderson

Thank you much for advice guy's I appreciated.

Richard "RB" Botto

I've always been of the belief that your social network profile should be a reflection of your "real world" self. Facebook, since it's more of a social site than a professional one, lends itself more to family photos, etc. However, what I've seen many 32'ers do is create multiple photo albums within their profile. For example: One for headshots, one for on set photos or photos representing their work, and then a personal one - family pics, lifestyle pics - which add color to who they are. I think each individual needs to ask him or herself what they are looking to get out of the site. If you are an actor looking for work, perhaps a professional headshot is the way to go and probably sends the right message. If you are a crew member looking for work, I'm sure your resume is going to speak more than if your profile pic looks as if you haven't shaved or showered for a week. But, remember, you are in complete control of your profile. You can choose who you want to network with. You do not need to accept every network request. If you feel as if someone is "stretching" their qualifications, you do not need to interact with them.

Sabina Giado

I'm going to throw open a can of worms. People in the media profession have told me to avoid putting my picture on professional resumes because well, my overtly religious appearance (read: headscarf) might deter people from hiring me. Passive response: They're going to have to look at me sometime. Assertive response: I don't want to work with people who don't value their team for everything they bring to the table, including their beliefs. Diversity is power not division.

Marcello Aurelio Lanfranchi

It's a conundrum. On the one hand, screw the bigots; be proud, and be who you are. On the other hand, you likely won't get a job without first having an interview. If the decision-makers are bigots, you likely won't get the job anyhow. So, do you stick to your guns and represent yourself as who you are, or do you play the game and try to get to the point you can demonstrate that you're worth them putting aside their intolerance? In the entertainment industry, the money is the religion most practiced.

Sabina Giado

I agree with you John. I'm going to God willing be myself at all times and hopefully craft a product that makes people see dollars signs and global recognition instead of headscarves.

Sabina Giado

Why, thank you John. :-)

Diane Silvester

Perhaps I am jaded as I worked for a number of years as a commercial casting director. Headshots came in giant piles and there were only seconds of times to decide between one shot or another. All from good agencies. All with good resumes. Time was a critical factor. Now I am a decision maker in another way. I hire employees for a growing company that I own. I decide who gets to be in my theater. Who I want to work with. Resumes are submitted constantly and a misspelled word or sloppy presentation is off putting. We humans are data computers processing tons of information every second. We make decisions all the time, in the subway, on the street, on the computer. Who is "valuable" to us. Do we like this person. Do we want to work with them. It's important to put out what you want. The nature of your success does very much depend I believe...on everything you are putting out at all times. None of us feel secure all the time...and even though we love to create, it's also frightening to throw ourselves out there...with possible rejection at times. It is a noble quest to want to create and put outselves out there despite all odds. It just also makes sense to present the best possible YOU at all times, for the highest possible return on your great and noble efforts!

Johanna Marshall

Be who you are, do your best, gain strength from the rejections and pursue your passion...............That's all I can say!!

W.D. Rodriguez

They'll eventually learn that representation is important to a person's perspective. I'm not sure about Stage32 being a social network for professionals only (looking at myself as more of a rebellion outsider :P) but I can agree that this is certainly not JUST a social site like facebook...

Vince Anderson

This would be good ,Superhero - blind boy.,from Oklahoma.

Kristin M. Edwards

Where do you think my profile picture lands on the spectrum? Creative and different, but still relevant? As a new professional, I would love an outsiders perspective.

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