Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Photo or no photo?

From time to time, I'll see posts on a favorite voice over forum of mine regarding whether personal photos should be used on voice over websites. I've never quite understood why the debate exists in the first place. Those of us who work in this industry do so with our voices -we're talking, disembodied heads. When I receive an audition notice, I know I'm going to be judged by the producer or voice seeker primarily on how well I interpret the copy, color the words, pace and tone, proper emphasis, the choices I make, etc. My facial expressions, the color of my shirt, how much hair I have on my noggin, and whether or not I look like their brother in law, is not going to be part of the selection process. And I like it that way.

There are many 40-50'ish year old voice talents who can effectively sound like a hip teenager voice on a spot. Why, I ask, would you want to post a photo on your website and possibly have that work against you? (And yes, if you're sending out MP3 auditions from your home studio with links to your website, some producers will be seeing your photo.)

Putting a head shot of yourself on your voice over website, in my humble opinion, is a big no no. Even if you look like Brad Pitt or Penelope Cruz.

If you're a voice talent who also does a fair amount of on camera work as well (such as a corporate spokesperson), then that's a different story.

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