Six Tips on How to Prepare for Your Headshot Session
Jul 28, 2020 | By: Doug Burke Photography
There are lots of different things to keep in mind when preparing, both before and during the headshot session. There are many wonderful tips to follow to enjoy the benefits if a professional headshot.
A common misconception is that getting a headshot is like high school yearbook pictures: you sit on a stool and it is done in a flash. This cannot be further from the truth. Depending on time constraints and positions, headshot sessions often vary in timing. CEO headshot photo shoots can take up to two hours, while most professionals and executives tend to spend up to 20 minutes in the studio. Also, actors may want to have a few different looks for different casting so these headshot sessions may last an hour.
Whatever your position or intent, please allow enough time for your headshot session and follow the six easy tips below on how to prepare. This will help accomplish the absolute best results from your session.
1) Prior to the shoot, provide as much information with your photographer as you can.
Since a headshot session is usually short, it will require some preparation on your part beforehand. When we are on the same page, you will get the most out of your session.
Before the shoot, share your expectations with us in terms how what the overall look and feel you would like to achieve from this. The more information we have beforehand, the easier it is to direct the session to mold to your expectations.
2) During the shoot, just relax
Sounds simple enough, but often the hardest to achieve. If you aren’t relaxed, that mood will be conveyed in the photo through body language and expression and diminishes the quality of the photo.
Try to focus on improving your posture throughout the shoot and listen to the direction given. If at any point, you have concerns, please let us know. Whether it is before, or during, do not hesitate to mention any concerns as they come up.
3) Dress comfortably, hydrate and get some rest
To avoid dark circles under the eyes, drink plenty of water beforehand and try to rest well the night before. When choosing clothing – be your usual stylish, fashionable self but keep in mind that the subject of your photograph is your face and not what you are wearing. Make sure to wear something you feel confident and comfortable in so that mood comes through in pictures.
For a traditional business look, classic dark suits are a great choice. To choose a nicely paired tie, aim to wear a shade that falls between the color of the suit and shirt underneath. A v-neck shirt underneath is optional.
For a business casual look, skip the jacket and opt for a colored dress shirt or blouse that, ideally, is darker than your skin tone. In both cases, aim for small simple jewelry.
You can always bring different clothing options to choose from while in the studio. Also, take care that the outfit does not bunch when you sit down or have it buttoned. Always keep things on a hanger, not balled up.
4) Stay away wearing busy clothing and jewelry
Choosing the right clothing for a headshot can be difficult, but by eliminating some things that do not work in pictures, it might be easier to choose an outfit. Avoid turtlenecks and clothing with bold and distracting patterns and colors. Also, try and avoid clothing with grid-like squares or minuscule herringbone patterns. Avoid shiny and reflective articles of clothing. Female executives may want to avoid wearing short sleeves or sleeveless blouses as they draw attention to bare arms.
Also, it is best to avoid all-white dress shirts or blouses if you are not wearing a jacket or sweater over it. White shirts often cause a loss of detail and depth in a person and easily washes them out.
Jewelry tends to be a tricky element, but the key is to make sure it is not distracting. Avoid earrings that are longer than an inch and are reflective.
5) Bring a small supply kit
Whether the headshot session is two hours or two days, a small supply kit is necessary to ensure that your headshots will turn out amazing. If you have them, make sure to bring previous headshots so you can easily communicate your expectations to us. Also, make sure to bring various grooming supplies such as lip balm and a hairbrush.
6) Err on the side of simple hair and makeup
The hair and makeup in a professional headshot should be timeless and classic. Style your hair and apply makeup before leaving. Make-up should be clean, and natural.
To eliminate shine, apply a layer of translucent powder to face and neck. This also has the added benefit of shrinking the appearance of large pores and evening out skin tone. Take care to avoid products with shimmer and sparkles and avoid extremely bright colors.
Ultimately, your headshot will be used in many ways. These may include your company websites, social media accounts and media opportunities where you are interviewed, or you participate in media opportunities where you could potentially be interviewed or profiled. In an increasingly digital world, it is better to have a professional headshot ready to provide in these situations. Furthermore, a professional headshot is integral for event promotion where you could be speaking or honored. It is also useful for maintaining brand consistency.
Ultimately, your headshot might be your first and only impression for clients and colleagues, reflecting your personal brand as well as your company. It could be a deciding factor between new business and a lost opportunity. The choice is yours.
For more information or to schedule your headshot session, please do not hesitate to contact us.