How to prepare for a headshot session / by Kyle Sharp

Preparing for your headshot session

You've just booked a professional headshot session with a great what? The prospect of a single picture defining your online presence can be a daunting one, but I promise, it's really not! There are a few simple steps to follow that ensure you will look your best in front of the camera, and your photographer will appreciate you!

Make sure everything is ready on the day of the shoot so you look and feel your best.

  • Why do I need this headshot?

    • The most important question you need to ask yourself is "Why am I getting this headshot?". Your needs should be clear and defined. Is it going on a website? Is it being used for social media? What colors are on the webpage my image will be displayed on? Do I have specific needs for style, aspect ratio, or file size? The more information you give your photographer, the better the final result will be!

  • Hair

    • Make Sure you decide on a hairstyle (and cut) a minimum of 5 days before your shoot. This will prevent that "just cut" look from showing up on-camera. Experiment with different styles and ask your friends and family what looks best on you.

Hair should be clean-cut and away from the face. Don't hide the thing we're trying to show off!

  • Wardrobe

    • This is the most common issue headshot photographers run into. Make sure that your outfit(s) are clean, pressed, and fit properly. Nothing ruins a headshot faster than sloppy clothing. If you're not quite sure about what to wear, consult with your photographer and/or bring multiple outfits. If you don't have it with you, then it's not an option.

  • Jewelry

    • The ideal amount of jewelry for a headshot session is: none. Headshots are all about your face! We don't want any distractions! If you absolutely must have jewelry on, make sure it's small and unobtrusive. The photo above is a good example of the type of jewelry that is acceptable for a headshot session. Remember: less is more!

  • Makeup

    • This is largely dependent on what type of headshot you're getting. As a general rule, you want a very "natural" look. This is not "going out" makeup. You want to make sure you're foundation is a perfect match with your neck and chest. If there's any difference, it will be very obvious in the final image, even if your photographer says he can "fix it in post". You also want to steer clear of oil-based foundations. Oil-free products, such as water or alcohol based, will photograph best. For lips, you want to pick a shade that's just a tad darker than what looks best in person, and I do mean a TAD. Too much darker, and it will be noticeable.

Make-up should look natural and not "caked on". This particular shot was a beauty headshot for a model, so it's a rather extreme case. This should be considered the absolute limit of what you'd wear to a headshot session.

  • Personal Preparations

    • Be sure to get a full night's sleep before your shoot. And you should never go into a shoot on an empty stomach, even if it makes you feel thinner. If you're hangry, it'll show up on camera. Before your shoot, think about why you're getting this picture and embody that mentality. If you're using it as a picture in your professional life, get into a confident mindset. What you're feeling internally will come across when you get your pictures back. And the most important thing to keep in mind during your shoot is...Relax! Headshot sessions can be a lot of fun, if you're open to it. It doesn't have to be serious or intimidating. Just sit back, relax, and let your photographer do the work! You've already done your part by following this list!

Thanks for reading! Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And if you're in the DFW area, give us a call and book a headshot session with us!