Photo Guidelines

What quality of photo do I need for Spotlight?

All photographs submitted to Spotlight must be of the highest possible quality, otherwise casting professionals will not see the best possible you. Blurry, pixelated or amateur photography will make you look unprofessional and will put casting directors off!

We ask that all photography submitted to Spotlight is of print quality, to ensure the best possible reproduction on both our website and our apps. Remember that photos you publish on your web page may, at a later date, be printed when a casting director prints copies of your Spotlight web CV.
Please note, therefore that all portrait-shaped photos will be cropped to a 10 x 8 ratio.

Colour or black and white?

Your photos will appear on your web page in the colour in which you supply them. So, if you supply a photo in colour, it will appear on our website in colour.

Please remember that fair hair on a light background or dark hair on a dark background does not reproduce well.

Landscape or portrait?

On your web page, images may be displayed in an upright or landscape format. All photos will be cropped to a 10x8 ratio for optimised viewing on our website. Please see the following links to see how each format is actually displayed in a gallery on your web CV:

What kind of photograph is acceptable for Spotlight?

We reserve the right to refuse any photograph on the grounds of content or quality.

Principal Photo

Your principal picture should be a high quality head and shoulders portrait photo.

Portfolio Photographs

The purpose of your Spotlight portfolio is to show casting professionals a variety of different looks, it is to show your versatility as a performer. A bad quality photo makes you look like a bad actor so if the quality is not excellent, don't use it!

Remember, Spotlight is a casting directory, the only people looking at your portfolio are those who are looking to employ performers, they do not want to see your holiday photos or photos of an inappropriate nature.

Portfolio photos should be

  • Excellent quality
  • Current
  • A true likeness
  • In costume
  • A still from a professional production
  • Showing different looks (eg different hairstyles) (with or without facial hair)
  • Have minimal digital enhancement

We will not include

  • Holiday photographs
  • Amateur photographs
  • Photographs taken on a mobile phone
  • Modelling shots
  • Editorials /Advertorials
  • Nude / inappropriate photographs
  • Composites
  • Photographs featuring weapons

Hard copy or digital?

We accept both formats - although digital photos are quicker for us to process.

How do I submit photos to Spotlight?

All photos, however they are supplied, must be clearly labelled with your name, the name of the photographer (copyright law) and your performer type (e.g. actress, dancer, presenter, etc).

Submitting digital photographs

Once you are a member of Spotlight, by far the quickest way to submit additional photographs is to sign in to and upload photos online. Your photo(s) will appear immediately.

You can also email photos to [email protected] or supply a disk in the post. You must also complete and send a multimedia form at the same time. Please do not send us your original disk, always make a copy. It can take us up to 1-2 weeks to upload photos on your behalf, so if you want your photo uploaded urgently then you should sign in and do this yourself, as per the above.

My image is too big to upload. What can I do?

Sometimes if your image is very large and your internet connection speed is slow, it may mean that it is impossible to upload your photo. This can happen if your photographer provides a very high resolution image; which is perfect for printing 8x10s but a little too big for use on the internet.

There are numerous ways that you can reduce the size of your images.

  • Using different operating systems / different programs

Programmes such as Photoshop, Adobe Bridge, iPhoto and Paintshop Pro all have the ability to change the size of your images, however if you are unsure of how to use these programs the task can be quite daunting. There is information in the help menus of these programs, and many tutorials available online to tell you how to do this.

  • Over the internet

Sites such as the examples below will actually resize your photos for you without having to download or install any new programs on your computer. You simply upload your image to the site, request the size you need your image to be and click a button. It really is that simple! is a very simple site. If you do use this site, make sure you choose custom size, and keep it at 1000px. is another useful site. Again when choosing the size, use a custom width of around 900 pixels, you don’t need to worry about setting the height.

Please note: Spotlight does not recommend or endorse either of the sites above. We regret we are unable to offer advice/help when using them.

Just make sure you don’t go to the other end of the scale and make your photo too small!

My image is too small. What should I do?

If your image is too small, it’s not just a simple matter of resizing it to make it larger.

Making a small photo larger will only result in the image looking blurry, out of focus and/or pixelated. The likelihood is that it will get rejected by Spotlight anyway. The best thing to do is to contact your photographer and ask for a high resolution version of the image.

If you are having trouble uploading a photo to our website please contact [email protected] or call 020 7437 7631 ext 532 (office hours only).

Submitting hard copy photos

Hard copy photos should be sent in a hard-backed envelope and must have the correct postage. Please note that a 1st or 2nd class stamp is NOT sufficient for envelopes containing 10 x 8 photographs, so please check at the post office otherwise we will not get the package. Again, you must also send us a multimedia form at the same time.

Are there any technical specs?

Professional photographers should be aware of all of these technical specifications, so ask them for help when you are getting your photos taken.

Digital photographs

Photographs should be high resolution JPG or TIFF files.
Images should be a minimum of 500 pixels wide and 500 pixels high, and at no less than 300dpi.
Do not simply enlarge a small file otherwise the image quality will deteriorate. Do not compress images, since compression can also ruin image quality.
We cannot accept GIF images embedded into Word documents. If GIF files are supplied they must be sent as attachments. We cannot accept Bitmap images. Files smaller than 100kb are probably too small and will be rejected.

Good Photograph

© Tessa Hallmann

Tick This photo shows the correct technical specifications (click for full size image).

Low resolution image

© Tessa Hallmann

Cross This image does not have a high enough resolution.

Compressed Image

© Tessa Hallmann

Cross This image has been compressed.

Hard copy photographs

The industry standard is usually a 10 x 8. It is not necessary to provide an original print: a high quality, clear focused repro is fine.

Can I get my photo back? Or can Spotlight store it for me?

Spotlight can only store hard copy photos for a year from receipt. Disks should be collected within 3 months otherwise they will be destroyed. If you are able to visit our offices we are happy for you to collect your photographs. If you are unable to do so, please telephone 020 7437 7631 and ask for them to be posted back to you. Please do not send stamped addressed envelopes.

Why do I need to provide the name of my photographer?

1988 copyright legislation means that a photographer (as opposed to the subject) owns the copyright of any photograph they take. Therefore, Spotlight is obliged by law to credit photographers alongside all photographs.

It is the responsibility of the performer to seek permission for publication of a photograph in Spotlight. Whenever a new photo is submitted you must tell us the photographer's name in writing on your application form, or provide the name on the back of the photo, or if sent digitally it must accompany the image.

Further information by performer type:

Online CV: Colour and / or Black & White

Children & Young Performers
Web page: Colour and / or Black & White
Book Page: Black & White
Actual print dimensions/size to which Spotlight will crop a book picture: 48mm wide x 60mm deep

Web Page: Colour and / or Black & White
Book Page: Black & White
Actual print dimensions/size to which Spotlight will crop a book picture: 68mm wide x 85mm deep

Dancers *
Web Page: Colour and / or Black & White
Book Page: Colour and / or Black & White
Actual print dimensions/size to which Spotlight will crop book pictures: 60mm wide x 75mm deep

* Please note Dancers should submit 2 photographs when joining – a head and shoulders shot, and a full body shot showing head to toes.