The Complete Guide to Preparing for Your Professional Headshot

Your headshot session is scheduled, you've decided on a portrait style, and you're ready to go. But wait... Are you sure you're ready? How do you prepare for your close-up? What are you supposed to wear? How should you style your hair and makeup? 

One of our most frequently asked questions: "What should I do to prepare for my portrait session?" After years of rambling our list of go-to tips and tricks, we decided it was finally time to put together a guide that will help you feel prepared for your professional headshot session.

After all, your headshot is important! You should make the most of it by looking your absolute best.

So here you have it. From a professional photography studio: The Complete Guide to Preparing for Your Professional Headshot.

Well Rested for Headshot

GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP

This tip may seem a bit elementary. But because it's the one piece of advice everyone neglects, we feel it's our responsibility to remind you: get some sleep!

Being well-rested is the foundation to looking your best in your professional headshot. The night before your photoshoot, get plenty of shuteye to ward off dark circles and puffy eyes. A full night’s sleep will help you appear bright-eyed and radiant during your headshot session. It will also give you the energy you need to genuinely have fun in front of the camera. 

Bonus tip: stay hydrated as well! Try drinking half your body weight in ounces of water.

When you feel great, you’ll look great. 

Makeup for Headshot

SHOW UP FRESH FACED

If you typically wear makeup, stick to your daily beauty routine.  No need to amp it up for your picture: a little goes a long way. If you're having your portrait taken in our studio, we have two private dressing rooms (complete with makeup lights) available for your use, so bring your cosmetics along in case you need to do any touch-ups.

If makeup isn’t your thing... as long as your face is freshly washed, your brows are well-groomed, and you use a touch of lip balm, you'll be camera-ready. And in case of any shine, blemish, or dark circle emergencies, we always have powder and concealer on hand.

You should look like your everyday self in your photo: wear glasses if people are used to seeing you in them and groom facial hair as you normally would.

Hair for HeadshotTAKE CARE OF YOUR HAIR

Don't get a new hairstyle or fresh haircut shortly before your picture. This tends to look unnatural in photographs.

The morning of your session, style your hair as you normally would, using extra hairspray or product to keep everything in place. Right before you get in front of the camera, take a final look in the mirror to confirm that your hair is laying exactly how you’d like it to. 

While our photoshop professionals can fix almost any imperfection, hair can be tricky to correct. This is because the strands go in so many different directions. It's always better to have your hair neatly styled for the photo than to try correcting messy tresses in post-production. 

Outfit for HeadshotCHOOSE THE PERFECT OUTFIT

When it comes to your portrait, the best outfit is often the simplest. Avoid trendy options, and don't wear anything with graphics or text. Complex patterns and stripes don’t always photograph well, so skip those. And unless blaze orange or neon green is your signature color, it’s usually best to stick to more natural hues. Take some time to consider what colors compliment your skin tone and eyes best.

Don’t wait until the morning of your photo to decide what you're going to wear. Choose your outfit days in advance to allow time for steaming and ironing. If you're struggling to pick something, ask friends or family for their opinion. And if you're still torn between a few options, bring them along and ask the photographer what they think.

Remember: you - not your outfit - should be the focus of the photo. 

Relax for HeadshotRELAX AND LOOSEN UP

Most people don't love getting in front of a camera. And that's perfectly normal! If you're nervous, sometimes just saying so out loud will ease your nerves.

If you have anything you'd like to share with the photographer beforehand, such as telling them which side is your "best" side or revealing any concerns about a blemish or scar, just tell them! We've heard it ALL before - there's nothing you should be embarrassed about. It's much easier to tell the photographer these things ahead of time than to put up with a portrait you don't like.

Before you get in front of the camera, take a deep breath and relax. Do a meditation exercise in the dressing room if it helps. Once you're ready for your time in the spotlight, assess your posture to ensure you are standing/sitting tall: this will help you project your inner-confidence and professionalism.

And that's it. You're ready. 

You can trust that our photographers will make you look great. You're in excellent hands.

 

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