You do not need professional headshots when you are applying to Drama school. Most of the time they will be satisfied with a passport style photo. I would recommend trying to keep costs low so I suggest paying for a batch in a photo-booth and then keeping them stashed away because they will come in handy later on.
I would not recommend buying professional headshots. Do not purchase professional headshots just to apply to Drama school! I have seen too many applicants spend £200+ on something that may affect your application 1%.
It does make you look more professional and it may slightly increase the effect of your first impression. When they call you into the audition room and look at your application they may be impressed at the beaming, wonderfully edited and professional photograph in front of them.
However, that will not matter at all unless you can blow them away with your audition. Those people that spend hundreds of pounds on headshots should probably pay for an Acting class or a one on one lesson with that money instead.
They will be judging you on performance.
Focus on going through your speeches the way I have recommended, focus on being active and social and focus on enjoying your everyday life more than petty things like head-shots.
When I was applying to Drama school I had nearly a decade’s worth of experience working in professional Theatre. I was a child Actor who had performed on the West End as well as in multiple productions up and down the country. I required headshots for my Musical productions as well as for my Theatre shows which meant that I was comfortable in front of a camera with a photographer.
Even I did not purchase headshots specifically for Drama school
That isn’t because I didn’t need them. By the time I was applying to Drama school I hadn’t Acted in a professional capacity for a while and needless to say, puberty had changed my face beyond recognition. There is no way that I could use my old headshots which meant I was presented with multiple choices.
Should I use my old and out-of-date headshots?
Should I purchase new headshots?
Should I save on money and effort and focus more on the Acting preparation by doing the least amount of admin work possible?
Luckily I chose the third option and that is the option I recommend for most people to follow. They aren’t expecting you to be polished and slick business-savvy Actors at this point. All the panel wants to see is that you are talented, dedicated and willing to work with what they give you.
For those of you who are already professional Actors or have already got high quality and industry level headshots – use them.
It would be foolish to not include them in the application when they are necessary. If you have a batch hanging around then there is no harm in using 5 for Drama school applications. It cannot do any harm for them to see that you have great headshots.
Not to harp on the same point but in any other circumstances do not pay a huge amount of money for headshots. Save your money and save the effort, there will be plenty of time to blow headshots on overpriced photographers.