Headshot Printing Information
Actors need a printed headshot to take on auditions and a digital headshot to email to casting directors. Casting agents now demand digital headshots in color that can be used for onscreen viewing and for printing.
Finding good quality, affordable headshot printing can be an arduous task. Printers often produce low quality reproductions. Common problems to watch out for are sloppy layout, poor image quallity and cheap paper.
If less than 50 prints are required, photographic reproduction is the best choice. Photographic prints are high quality and have a wide color gamut. A properly prepared digital image will look best if printed photographically.
Digital printing presses are also used to print headshots and other short-run jobs. They are ideal for short press runs (100 to 500 copies) because they are less labor intensive than traditional offset presses.
Some companies advertise inexpensive reproductions that are made on machines similar to color copy machines rather than offset presses. The image quality does not compare well to traditional lithographic headshots printed with ink on a press.
Old School Pressmen
Good printers will produce halftone and 4-color prints with full tonal ranges. Printers trained the old fashioned way will take the time to correct any errors made when burning the printing plates. An experienced printer can start with almost any print or digital file and create a printed image with good contrast, strong blacks and clean whites. Low quality printers will create dark or low contrast prints and won't bother to correct their mistakes.
Sometimes prints come off the press that have dust specks or other defects on them. A good printer cleans the plate and then restarts the press. The first copies from the restarted press should be rejected as the press needs to run at full speed for best quality.
Cheap paper is thin, not bright white and crinkles easily. A headshot should be printed on good quality, coated cover stock without uv gloss or varnish. It should be bright white and durable.
Sloppy printers may cut the headshot with uneven borders or may be careless when adding your name to the headshot image. Also some may layout the name too far down or out of line with the edge of the image.
Try to avoid layouts that detract from your picture. Thick borders are out of style and the sloppy border that used to be popular is probably unnecessary.
Choose a simple and legible font. Big block fonts with all capitals and fancy fonts should be avoided.
As a service for our clients we edit, color-correct, retouch, layout and print headshots. Each step of the process is done to our high standards of quality. If you are willing to pay for this service, we would be happy to do the work for you. Call us or email your photo. If, however, you are looking for cheap reproductions please try a local printer that specializes in headshot reproductions, hire us to layout the headshot for printing locally or print it yourself.