When you think “headshot” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? It might be professional headshots used on company websites or your Linkedin profile. Or personal branding for your business or social media. Maybe it’s creative headshots for modeling or dance auditions. 

Headshot photography includes all of these and more. A professional headshot isn’t only for business! There are many ways you can benefit from a headshot, no matter your profession or interests. 

Professional headshots are a necessity. Your headshot should never be a picture from a birthday party or your face cropped out of a friend’s photo. 

2020 has proven to be an especially crucial year for headshots. We suddenly need a profile picture for Zoom calls, online conferences and presentations, and school. And based where we're headed, the need for a professional headshot isn’t going anywhere. 

Headshots are a great investment because they can serve you for years. They can help you book an audition, rock a job interview, attract more clients to your business, and more. A professional headshot is an essential tool for anyone in the business or entertainment fields. 

How your headshots look depend on two things: your photographer and you. Here are 8 tips to help you prepare for your headshot session.

Before Your Professional Headshot Session

The prep work before your session is as important as showing up for the session itself. Taking the time to prepare for your session will help you feel confident and relaxed. Who says getting professional headshots can’t be fun?

1.- Determine why you need a professional headshot

Are you using your headshot for Linkedin? An audition? To create a personal brand for your business? 

Professional headshots serve many purposes, but one type of headshot doesn't work well for everything. A dance or modeling headshot looks much different than one for your business or employer. 

Make sure you have a clear plan for your headshots. After booking your professional headshot session with me, I'll send you a questionnaire. Completing the questionnaire will ensure I have the information I need to capture the best headshots for you.

2.- Gather inspiration

It’s important to do some research before your session. Headshot sessions can feel awkward at first. Doing your research ensures you'll be more comfortable. 

While researching, look for location and outfit inspiration. You can also look at poses and expressions. Practice your favorite poses and expressions in the mirror so you know whether you like them. 

I will always provide guidance during our session to ensure you get the best photo, but it’s important to have an idea of what you need to do. It helps the session run more smoothly and makes you more comfortable, which creates better headshots.

You can use a platform like Pinterest to create a board and save photos. On Pinterest, you can share your board with me to give me a better idea of what you’re looking for. Simply using Google to search works too. Feel free to look at my portfolio for ideas as well!

3.- Keep your background simple

Your background depends on what you need your headshot for. You might want an urban background if you’re appealing to clients in an urban setting. If you’re getting modeling headshots, you might want a clean, studio background. If you’re unsure, I’m more than happy to offer suggestions. 

Pick a location where you’ll feel comfortable. If you’re camera shy, a busy park might not be the best option. Sometimes using a studio with professional lighting is the best bet. It really depends on what your headshots are for.

4.- Practice self-care

Self-care is important every day. But it’s particularly important the days leading up to your headshot session. Take care of yourself, especially the night before and the morning of your session. 

First, drink plenty of water. Hydrated skin looks better in photos. Make sure you get enough sleep, so that you can avoid dark circles and baggy eyes in the morning. 

Regularly moisturize your skin and wear sunscreen when you go outside to ensure your skin looks its best. And finally, eat a healthy breakfast the morning of your session. Together, taking these steps can help you look your best for your headshots.

5.- Pick out your clothing 

Clothing for professional headshots should be comfortable. If you're uncomfortable, your pictures will show it. 

Warmer colors are generally better than cooler colors. Navy, army green, maroon, and brown are some of my personal recommendations. 

You also want to keep your location in mind when picking an outfit. If your background is going to have lots of greenery, wearing green probably isn’t the best idea. 

Stay away from busy patterns and too many accessories. The best headshots look clean and polished. Don’t wear too much of the same color, colors that clash, or only black and white. This can make you look washed out in your photos. 

Bring multiple outfits to your headshot session. Circumstances for sessions are always changing. It might rain or be extremely windy. You might spill something on your sweater or lose a button. Having a few outfits ensures you can get the best look possible, and it helps you prepare in case something goes wrong.

During Your Professional Headshot Session

Even if you’re a natural in front of the camera, getting your photo taken can be a little nerve-wracking. Use these tips to ensure you get a headshot you love.

1.- Match your personality or brand

A cohesive brand is important for business and audition headshots. You want your headshot to be a representation of you and/or your business. 

If you’re a dancer or model, using a headshot that showcases your personality can make you stand out. 

If you have a business, incorporating your brand colors is a great way to ensure your headshots fit your aesthetic. If your business is in a more serious industry, like the medical field, you’ll want your headshot to be more posed and professional. If you’re in a creative field, you might want a more relaxed headshot.

2.- Keep your hair and makeup natural 

Your headshot is a professional representation of you. You want to look put together and awake. Doing your hair and makeup is essential for flawless photos. Keep your hair and makeup natural to achieve this. Stay away from dark makeup and complicated hairstyles. 

Don’t forget the smaller details like your nails, shoes, and accessories. Headshots are close-ups – you want to make sure everything is perfect.

3.- Loosen up 

Take a deep breath and relax. The best photos look natural, not stiff. If you've taken the steps above, you've already set yourself up for success.

I want your professional headshot session to be a fun experience. Trust that you will look your best when working with me! We will find the perfect photo for you. 

If you’re interested in booking a professional headshot session with me, you can find the information you need here. To learn more about me or my services, be sure to check out my Facebook and Instagram pages. I can’t wait to work with you!