I've watched hundreds of directors flip through thousands of headshots and I'm always surprised that actors and models don't understand what they want.
They need 2 photos:
1) one where it's obvious you spent a lot of money. It tells them either your agent or you have a lot of faith in you or that you work enough to afford it. Gives them confidence.
2) A snapshot where it looks like "you are better than the photographer". They have seen thousands of perfectly taken perfectly retouched photos that make somebody drab appear both amazing and unrecognizable. A bad photo where you happen to look great makes them say "wow, imagine how fantastic she could look with a pro."
My acting buddies have recently started asking me more often to do their headshots. This is Hu Jieqong, young good rising actress in China. These shots are from the "fake snapshot" day. They are supposed to look a little unskilled and unpro so that her beauty shines through even a bad photo. "Expensive Photo" day sometime next week.
Opinions? On this and the ones below?