Professional Printing At Home

Printing Professional Photos

Part One in this series reviewed how to get the best professional acting headshot and in Part Two of this series, I discussed tips for creating a professional acting resume. Now that you have these two important marketing tools ready, it's time to reproduce them so that you can start distributing your headshot with resume attached, to industry professionals.

There are companies which specialize in reproducing headshots and usually, there is a minimum you can order. Over the years, I have ended up with hundreds of leftover headshots. With the new trend in the entertainment industry to conduct much of its business online, it is not necessary to have hundreds of hard copies on hand. You can easily respond to online casting notices by e-mailing your headshot as a jpeg image and your headshot as a Word document, as these are commonly accepted formats in the industry.

In recent years, I gave this dilemma serious thought to see how I could cut the cost incurred by printing a hundred or more headshots and resumes. I decided that the best strategy would be to print them on demand, that is, printing my headshots and resumes as I needed them, thereby eliminating the need to stockpile and saving on the associated cost.

I decided to invest in a good home printer. After shopping around and checking out the different options, I narrowed it down to HP All-in-One Printers which I have used for the past decade. I use the HP All-in-One because it allows me to print, copy, or fax, depending on the task at hand.

When I compared HP to other brands, I found the quality and color of the photos to be superior. This was an important factor considering that I need to have my headshot photos print as if it they have been reproduced professionally. You will also need good quality photo paper and print cartridges for printing you headshots.

Remember to make sure that your photographer provides you with an 8" x 10" jpeg image of your headshot on a CD, which you can then save to your computer. This jpeg image can then be used for printing or e-mailing. I also recommend that you prepare your own resume as a Word document and save it on your computer as well. Then you can always update or edit it whenever you need to. If you get someone else to prepare your résumé, make sure that they e-mail it to you as a Word document which you can then save on your computer and edit yourself as needed. When your résumé is saved as a Word document, it will be easy to e-mail as well.

When you have printed your headshot and resume using your home computer and printer, you will need to trim it down to an 8" x 10" size, since this is the standard industry size. I invested in a portable paper trimmer which is a great tool for doing this. First, I trim my headshot to an 8" x 10" size. I use double-sided tape which I stick to the back side of my headshot going around the border. Then I carefully fix my résumé in place to the back of my headshot, print side up. I check that the résumé is positioned correctly before smoothing it out, sealing the edges, and trimming off the excess paper around the border of the headshot.

In closing, I would like to say that it will take an initial investment of money and time to reproduce your headshots and resumes at home. However, in the long run, it does pay off if you only need a few headshots at a time for auditions, or for mailing hard copies. If you are just getting started in the business and it looks like you will need at least 100 or more resumes, then it might be worth it initially to get your headshots reproduced professionally. Then later on, you can have a better idea of what your ongoing needs are, and then decide if you would like to make this investment. 

Review Auditioning Tips Part One: Getting The Best Headshot, and Auditioning Tips Part Two: Creating Your Acting Resume.