Headshots, like most photography styles, go through trends. Sometimes it's a narrative photo that feels almost like an environmental portrait - especially great for seeking an agent who might book a person for modeling, as well as acting. Sometimes it's a traditional simple, clean look with open lighting, tight cropping, straight-on angling, and vertical orientation.
That second style can almost be harder to achieve. It's one thing to hop from place to place in natural light and be interesting in an interesting environment. It's another to stand under studio lights against a white backdrop and let the eyes betray an emotional life in a genuine way. It really requires acting and skillful support from the photographer. But it can work to express acting type and personality.
Whatever the need, the most important aspect of a headshot is that you look relaxed and natural, with minimal makeup. Directors want to see what you'll look like when you show up for the audition.
Have you seen this actor perform? If not, you might very soon.
I've worked with Ryan for several years on his headshots. This is round three! And I'm super excited for him - beginning his life now in the professional acting world of New York City.