Headshot for Actors – 2 hours with Ted Arcidi
Got a call from my good friend Ted Arcidi the other day. “Hey Chuck! I need some headshots. What are you doing tomorrow?” With an open day in my schedule I tell him I’ll be heading to Manchester, NH to visit. And so started a fun photo session with Ted.
If you are not familiar with Ted Arcidi I’ll give you a quick synopsis. On March 3rd, 1985 Ted became the first man in history to bench press over 700 lbs. He spent five years on the professional wrestling circuit from 1985 to 1990 and started a successful career in real estate. Nowadays you might be more familiar with Ted from his acting roles. He has appeared in commercials and TV series such as Law & Order, 30 Rock and Nurse Jackie. In addition he has appeared in films like The Town, The Fighter and The Family. Ted is a man of integrity with a quick wit, great sense of humor, commanding presence, and a heart of gold. You can check out his acting reel here: Ted’s Acting Reel
An actors headshot is a bit different than a classic portrait or executive portrait. The people that cast actors in roles for television and film roles need to see an accurate representation of the person which is why a headshot is so important. Minimal or no retouching, fairly even lighting and a range of expression is what they are looking for. If you present a headshot of yourself taken at one of those mall portrait studios where the object is to glamorize your face, you probably won’t get a call, let alone a chance to show your acting ability.
I meet Ted at a large historic commercial mill building in downtown Manchester, NH. No problem with parking, Ted owns the place. We unload my equipment, bring it inside and take a freight elevator to the second floor. Ted leaves while I set up. I find a spot that will allow me to take advantage of the surroundings. I balance strobe and natural light so that the background is out of focus and a bit darker than Ted’s seated position. He returns about the time I’m finished setting up and we start the shoot. Ted is on. He delivers more facial expressions in five minutes than most people experience in a week. Ted takes direction expertly. “Drop your chin a bit, show me sorrow, laughter, humility, fear, anger, pride.” We talk the whole time about a range of subjects including business, family, daily life and travel. Ted is in character from the beginning and just gets better as the banter continues. Start to finish is about 2 hours. When I get back to the office I download the images, adjust the color balance, check to make sure the images are sharp and create an image gallery for Ted to peruse.
Working with clients like Ted is always a joy. Professional, courteous and fun. A win win for both of us. Next!
Thanks for reading – Chuck