Headshot Preparation Guide
Headshots may be the most basic way to photograph someone, but not every headshot session is treated in the same way. When booking a headshot session, it's important to think about how the shots are going to be used. Who is your viewing audience and what do you want to say about yourself in your photos? This will help determine what you should wear to your session. One thing I can almost guarantee is that if you are booking a headshot session, it is because people need to associate a face with whatever it is that you do. That being said, a good first impression is paramount. So, let's start with the most common reason people come to me for headshots.
WHAT TO WEAR / NOT WEAR
Headshots should tell your company's potential clients that you are professional, so you don't want to show up to your shoot in your favorite t-shirt or halter top. In fact, it's important to wear something with a sleeve whether it's 3/4 length or full. A nicely fitted blazer or business jacket is always a good option, but there are many fashionable tops and shirts that look great even without a jacket. Do make sure that your clothing is free of lint, wrinkles, and and any bold patterns or logos as these things can be very distracting and will delay your turnaround time.
Sample of what not to wear What to wear
for corporate headshots
The wrinkles in the shirt below are enough of a distraction to delay shooting time, but the necklace should be tucked in for a corporate headshot as well
Keep it simple! Ladies, if you're going to wear a necklace, then please keep your earrings simple and vice versa. Remember that we are advertising YOU and not your jewelry. That statement piece of jewelry you love so much and probably looks really cute with your blazer could end up being a photo killer in a corporate headshot. Please remember that headshots are not about playing dress-up, but rather making you look like a professional in your field. The people who are looking to do business with you only want to see what you look like to put a face with your name. Heavy makeup and jewelry is only a distraction and you may not be taken seriously by potential clients or employers.
Most of us have something we don't like about our looks and can sometimes be critical of our own bodies. For example, if you are self conscious about your arms, try downplaying that with a fitted blazer or a long sleeved top. That being said, trust that I will be sensitive to this not only by choosing the best camera angles and lighting for you, but by coaching you through the poses. If you're really not sure what to wear, you can try doing a Google search on what professionals in your field are wearing on the job or for a job interview. Pinterest also has great wardrobe ideas that are body type specific. The most important thing is that your wardrobe flatters your body.
HAIR AND MAKEUP
In a perfect world, we would all have our own makeup artist and hair stylist and I know a few who I can recommend for our session. However, if you're comfortable doing your own makeup, then here are my suggestions for you:
Stick with earth tones on your eyes, but don't be afraid to wear a little more than you normally would, being sure that your foundation truly matches your skin tone. Remember you are going to be very well lit and photographed in high resolution by a professional, so there's no throwing a beauty filter on your images after you get them. Your images will be retouched in the most natural way possible.
Know how you are going to wear your hair and if necessary have your ends trimmed a few days or a week beforehand. Do not get a fresh cut right before your session. It does not matter if your hair is pulled back or worn down, as long as it looks neat and is not covering your face.
The key to a great shoot is planning, so take the time to choose your wardrobe in advance so that you are not stuck throwing something together at the last minute. That includes having earrings or necklace already picked out as well. Always get plenty of rest the night before any photo shoot for best results! I can whiten teeth, reduce shiny skin, and even smooth frizz, but if you show up looking and feeling exhausted it will absolutely affect your session. Last but not least...practice your smile in the mirror! Play with your hair and turn your head to either side. Most of us do not have perfectly symmetrical faces, so you may find that you have a "good side". For most people, it is their left side.
I hope this information has been helpful in planning your professional headshot session. If you have any questions of your own regarding professional headshots, please feel free to comment below and thanks for checking out my blog post!