10 Reasons to Delete a Photo

Spotlight shares 10 reasons for why you should delete a photo from your profile

By Natasha Raymond

A new year marks the start of a new resolution, and for a performer it might also mean it’s time to tidy up your Spotlight profile – starting with your photos. Throughout the past year, you’ve filled your profile with new professional headshots, stills from all the productions you’ve starred in, and shots of yourself in lots of photogenic locations. Now there are new photos you want to upload, but you’re running out of space. You need to delete some existing photos, but which?

Deciding which photos to delete can be almost as difficult as deciding which ones to upload in the first place. After all, you wouldn’t have uploaded them if you didn’t think they were ideal. But just because Spotlight approved your photo, doesn’t mean we approve of it. Here are 10 reasons why a photo could and should be considered for deletion. 

1. It doesn’t look like you anymore

The main objective of a photo is to show casting professionals what you look like, so you don’t want to have old photos from when you were younger or photos which no longer resemble you on your profile. Casting professionals won’t be pleased if you show up to an audition looking nothing like they expected, and they haven’t got time to try guess which of your photos is the current you.

2. It’s a ‘Selfie’ or temporary photo

‘Selfies’ are quick, easy to take, and fun to customise with filters and graphics. But they’re not professional, and your Spotlight profile is, above all else, your CV for applying for acting jobs. Likewise, any photo you’ve uploaded as a temporary placeholder should be removed after your professional headshots have been uploaded.

3. It’s similar to other photos on your profile 

It’s easy to delete a photo that has something 'wrong' with it, but sometimes it’s necessary to delete the beautiful, high resolution headshots you’ve had taken by a professional photographer as well. If you have multiple photos from the same shoot, all of which show you consistently in frame, with your head at the same angle and your hair in the same style, but with slight changes to your facial expression or clothing, then these photos are too similar. You only need one of them. Pick your favourite and remove the rest. Likewise, you don’t need the same photo in colour and black and white.

4. It’s more suitable for social media 

Are you doing an activity in your photo? Eating a delicious meal, paddling in a tropical sea, posing with a famous landmark, or anything else you’re eager to share? Spotlight is not the platform to do this on, and unlike Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and all your other favourite social media sites, your profile is not searchable to your friends. Only members of the casting industry will see your profile, and you want them to be focused on you, not trying to figure out if you’re eating lasagne or bolognese.

5. It’s of you ‘on the set’ or at a ’red carpet’ event 

Also known as ‘vanity shots’, these only serve to demonstrate that you were involved in a production – something casting professionals should already know from the information on your CV. These photos may wow your friends, but casting professionals already know what happens behind the scenes and at premieres.

6. It was uploaded for a specific casting

Sometimes photos are uploaded with a specific casting in mind. You might be applying for a hand modelling job, or something involving pets, a particular skill, or good physique. Once the casting has ended, these photos should be removed. They won’t be of much use for general castings.

7. It’s a still from the same production as your other stills 

It’s fine to add a production still or two to showcase the production or performance of which you’re most proud. But these should be kept to a minimum, as they are not much use to casting professionals. If they want to see you in a certain production, they’ll just go and watch it.

8. It isn’t cropped well 

You don’t want casting professionals to be distracted by the scenery behind you. If you’re standing in front of a beautiful forest, it should be cropped out. If you’re not central in the photo, it should be cropped so that you are. This is particularly important with horizontal photos. If the entire photo is filled with just your face, to the extent where your ears and hair have been cut off, then this is cropped too close. In all these scenarios, you will need to crop your original photo and upload it again, so make sure you delete the old version first.

9. The quality is poor compared to your other photos 

When comparing photos, you may notice that some aren’t as high quality as others. You don’t want the lower quality photos to bring down the overall quality of your profile. Perhaps the photo appears low quality because the wrong file has been uploaded? Delete it, and at the very least you can try uploading it again.

10. You have more than five photos on your profile 

Spotlight always recommends that performers have no more than four or five carefully selected photos on their profile, and we remind performers of this when they go over this amount. Four or five are all you need, and all the casting professionals who view your profile are likely to look at. So even if none of the previous reasons are applicable to your photos, think to yourself ‘What is this photo saying about me? What is it adding to my profile?’ Show casting professionals that you’re fully aware about what makes a great photo, instead of forcing them to look through the maximum number for one which just happens to be good.

If a photo is set as your Main Photo, you will need to choose a new Main Photo before you can delete it. In cases where you’re unsure about whether to delete a photo or not, remember: you can also hide photos to stop them from being visible on your profile. You should also feel able to discuss photos with your agent, as they should know which photos will best represent you.

Ready to move on to tidying the rest of your profile? Take a look at our helpful How to Create Your Best Spotlight Profile article. Also feel free to contact us through Twitter or email us at [email protected]!