How to Take a Professional Headshot Using Photo Booth and iPhoto

By Charong Chow

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • Digital video camera with cable

  • Computer

  • Printer

  • 8-by-10-inch photo paper

Choose a hairstyle that frames your face well.
i Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

An actor's headshot needs to capitalize on his face. According to the Movie Pool, a headshot is the equivalent to a book's cover. You become interested in what's inside by the what you see on the cover, and an actor's headshot is a direct representation of his most important feature. If you cannot hire a photographer, you can take a professional headshot using Photo Booth and iPhoto. Photo Booth allows you to take numerous shots and then you can edit in iPhoto on your Mac. Choose the best photo that showcases your face and be sure to print it out into the standard 8-by-10-inch head shot size.

Check your hair, makeup and clothing. You should be wearing what you want for your headshot before you open up Photo Booth. Have at least one change of clothing so you have a choice later. If you have long hair, be prepared to shoot some photos with your hair up and then down. Be sure your hair and makeup showcase your best qualities.

Choose a location with natural lighting or set up some lights. Your face should be clear without any hard shadows. Early morning or evening would work if you are taking the photographs outside. However, if your computer is not portable, you need to find somewhere inside to take the headshots. Be sure there is nothing distracting behind you.

Plug your video camera into your computer, unless you have an iSight camera built into your computer. Open the Photo Booth application on your Mac, since this application is only found on Apple computers. Turn your video camera to standby.

View yourself on the computer screen. Avoid taking pictures with you looking up or down at your camera. You want to look directly at the camera. Frame the shot so you see mostly your face and the top of your chest. Be sure Photo Booth has no effects clicked on. Choose the center button in Effects.

Press the Shutter Button when you are ready. The application has a 3 second countdown before flashing and taking the photo. Hold your facial expression for the shot. Try different sides of your face and different expressions.

Change your shirt or top for a new set of photos. Change your hair or makeup if needed. Press the shutter button when you are ready. Take as many photos as you want.

Open up your iPhoto application to view your photos. Photo Booth automatically saves your photos into your Pictures file. Click on the "File" tab in iPhoto. Press "Import to Library," which automatically opens the Pictures file.

Click the photograph you want to import and then press "Import" at the bottom left side. Repeat for each headshot you want to import. The photos should group together in the same event. If not, press "Last Import" of the right side of the screen.

Double-click on a headshot that you want to open up large. Look for any stray hairs or areas that are out of focus. Double-click the image again to go back to the Events page with all your headshots.

Edit the photo if you need to. Click "Edit" at the bottom of the application. This function allows you to rotate, enhance, fix red-eye, straighten, crop or retouch your picture. Click on the function you want to use. You can also click "Revert to Original" if you need the old picture again.

Click "Share" to order prints from Apple for your headshots. Choose the 8-by-10-inch size in matte glossy. If you have a printer and matte photo paper, click the "File" tab at the top. The print box should appear. Be sure it is going to your chosen printer and is going to print on photo paper.

Turn your printer on and put photo paper into it. Click "Print Size" at the bottom right corner. Press "Custom" for the size. Write eight for width and ten for height. Click "OK." Then, press "Print" to print it out.


Write your resume in a word processing software and glue it to the back of your headshot.

Print out a few possible headshots to choose the right one.

Most actors need lots of headshots to send out. Print them from a professional photography store or copy place to save money on printer cartridges and photo paper.

Ask a friend or professional for their opinion of your choice of headshot.


Photo Booth uses lower resolution than a professional photographer's camera. Choose a location with lots of natural light to prevent your headshot from looking too pixelated.