5 TIPS FOR GREAT HEADSHOTS
Updated: Feb 6
Your headshot is the new handshake. A headshot (or professional portrait) is the way you present yourself to the world, potential employers, clients, customers, and beyond. Since the rise of social media, your headshot is the first impression you give to the people that find you online.
If you don’t have a headshot that you are proud of, you need one.
Below are a few quick tips to consider for putting your best face forward:
Sleep and H2O
Alright, I know this is easier said than done. I have a busy 15-month-old. But sleep is often overlooked before a headshot. Tiredness and exhaustion will show in your images. Along with plenty of rest be sure to drink plenty of water before your session so you arrive looking fresh and well-rested.
Wear clothes you’re comfortable in
Anytime I don’t feel confident, it’s usually because I’m wearing something I’m not comfortable in. A headshot session is not a fashion shoot or an opportunity to pretend to be someone you’re not. It is important that your headshot is an authentic representation of who you really are. Your clothing choice should be appropriate for your profession, your business, your campaign or your potential workplace. Whatever the case, make sure your clothes fit properly! Especially in the arms, chest, and shoulders. Watch for things like visible bra straps and pulling buttons (your clothes being too little). Choose clothing that compliments your skin tone.
Dark colors, blues, and pastels generally photograph the best. One big no-no: stay away from neons. Neon colors can throw off the sensor in digital cameras and do not photograph well. Also, watch for lint (I typically carry a lint roller with me to assist with this) and wrinkles. Choosing the right clothing for your headshot can be an excuse to do some shopping and ask the opinion of a retail stylist, but it doesn’t mean you have to buy something new. Dig into your closet for the item you receive compliments in, ask a friend or a spouse to help. Make sure that the person is honest and not just a yes man/woman.
Get Professional Hair and Makeup
The day of or the days leading up to your photo session is really not the time for a fresh haircut. I would suggest avoiding any major changes to your hair the week before your session. That way if anything goes wrong you have some time to fix it. With that being said, I do encourage having a professional style your hair before your session, if possible. However please mind this very important tip: ONLY USE A STYLIST YOU ARE COMFORTABLE AND FAMILIAR WITH… and if possible, have a trial run.
My advice for makeup application is similar. If you can, have your makeup done professionally. Don’t risk it with a makeup artist you are unfamiliar with or that you’ve never used before. If possible, book a trial run with a new makeup artist before your session, or if you are more comfortable doing it yourself, that’s ok too. Keep things light and soft.
Overall, ask your stylists to keep your hair and makeup looking soft and natural… or you may find yourself thrust in front of the lens not looking like yourself and not loving your new headshots.
Find a mirror. Stand in front of a mirror. Turn on some Beyoncé. Find your best facial expressions and angles. Move around. Talk to yourself. Get comfortable posing. You know yourself better than anyone else. If you work on getting comfortable with how you look, it will really shine through in your photos. Trust me on this one! Confidence is the key!
Plan and Be Prepared
Don’t wait until the last minute to choose your shirt or decide where to part your hair. Also, bring some quick fix items with you such as a hairbrush, make-up powder, hand mirror, tide pen (I carry one of these too) for stains or touch-ups during the session. When you arrive prepared with a clear vision of how you’d like to look, your session will be perfect and your headshot will be an awesome representation of YOU!
Are you ready for a fresh new headshot? Shoot me an email to book your session!
Did you find this blog post helpful?
Then, I know you'll want to check out Your Headshot is the New Handshake!
Oh, and follow along as I share some pretty awesome and authentic moments in these squares (Instagram of course)!