Richard Stubbs - Comedy Poster

Photographic headshots now included in stand-up comedy course

Since January 2021, stand-up comedy students at the School of Hard Knock Knocks will each receive a photography package as part of the standard comedy course. Photographer and former graduate of the School of Hard Knock Knocks, Adam Sparnon, has been shooting headshots and body shot photos at each course which are vital for comedy posters, particularly with the comedy industry reopening in 2022.

Why are headshots important for comedians?

A comedian’s face is their brand. And it’s not only the big names of Australian comedy, like Dave Hughes, Carl Barron and Kitty Flanagan, who recognise the importance of professional photos. Perth-raised stand-up comedian Joe White built a photographic portfolio early in his career. His website,, features a gallery page, which serves as a repository for graphic designers and journalists alike.

Joe White Comedian
Joe White understands the importance of photography for his personal brand.

This early investment in photography has set Joe apart from other new comedians, and his photos have appeared on festival posters, as well as in Australian and international newspapers.

Why do so many comics lack headshots?

The simple answer is cost. Professional photographers charge by the hour, and the average hourly rate in, say, Melbourne is around $250. As with all things, it’s cheaper in bulk, which is how the School of Hard Knock Knocks is able to include photography within our stand-up comedy course.

What makes for a good headshot and body shot?

For comedians, headshots and body shots are needed to attract the paying audience. A variety of poses and expressions are important, to suit any style poster (or pun you’ve selected for that year’s festival show title). But most importantly, your photographs should be in colour. It’s not your funeral and you’re not aiming to impress a casting director. A selection of 10 or so high-resolution photos on a plain white or grey background is ideal, and these can be sent to a skilled graphic designer to be embedded into posters – as in the example with veteran comedian, Richard Stubbs, shown below.

Richard Stubbs comedian
When you’re the ‘face of radio’ for 11 years your photos need updating, as was the case with Richard Stubbs.

Keep your photos fresh

Richard Stubbs might be a household name, but he’d also been the ‘face of radio’ for 11 years. With his return to the stand-up comedy scene in 2018, it was understandable that a new portfolio was needed. For you, this means a photo from your year 10 formal won’t do. People age. You age. Even Richard Stubbs ages, so keep it fresh.

To learn more about how the School of Hard Knock Knocks can help you with your comedy career, either through coaching or marketing, contact us or give us a call on 1300 06 8882.

Comments 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.