The industry standard size for an actor or modeling headshot is 8 inches X 10 inches. The reason for this is so that when your headshot is submitted, it will easily fit in the stack of headshots casting directors, agents and other entertainment industry professionals use to cast their projects. Most headshots are vertical with a border. However, recent trends (starting from about 2008) show that full-bleed headshots are not only perfectly fine, but becoming much more common.
Below are some additional questions that many actors, models and entertainment professionals have regarding their headshots:
Should my headshot have a gloss or a matte finish?
According to many industry professionals, matte finish headshots are in, however either seems to work just fine, as long as you have a quality photo to start with.
Should my headshot be horizontal or vertical?
This really doesn’t really matter much, as long as the photography is done well and professionally.
Should my headshot by full color or black and white?
If you’re still using black and white headshots, many casting agents will think that your headshots are very old, and old means outdated. Full color headshots started in Los Angeles around 2001 and spread to New York City fast. Today’s headshots are in color, however, if you’re doing a collage print, you could add a beautifully shot B&W image to show variety. But a single image headshot should always be in color.