How to Prepare for a Headshot Photo Session

How to Prepare for a Headshot Photo Session

How to Prepare for a Headshot Photo Session

Accordingly, headshots from a headshot photo session are a powerful way to market yourself. As a result, you could be a business person, model, lawyer.

Therefore, in this post, I explain how you should prepare for a headshot photo session with a professional photographer.

Choosing a Photographer

In the first place, photographers are all different, no two are alike. As a result, each one has its own individuality of shooting style and editing style and bedside manner. Therefore, one photographer may be very laid back with their clients and like to keep the shoot casual. While another likes to keep a more business-like setting to their sessions. To put it differently, does either style make one less professional? Absolutely not, it’s all a matter of preference.

By the same token, Photographers have different levels of expertise and experience. Thus some have been shooting for 20+ years and their work can be lacking. Equally, others have been shooting for a few short months and have some amazing work under their belt. When choosing a Photographer don’t be fooled by the length of time they have been shooting. Therefore judge them by the quality of their work, most photographers have an online portfolio

Different Types of Headshots

Henceforth, all photographers have a different style of shooting for a headshot photo session. Therefore, you should think about the style that you want. Most importantly tell your photographer which style you want when booking.

Another thing to consider is the background. In fact, I personally prefer white it’s clean and where LinkedIn is concerned, makes you stand out.

Picture of a lady smiling Headshot Photo Session
1. Vertical Studio Headshot

A common style that is vertical (portrait) in orientation. Consequently, this gives you the opportunity to show what you are wearing. Hence, this lets people get a better sense of who you are and what your style is.

2. Peter Hurley Style

Horizontal instead of the traditional vertical usually with a nice and crisp white background.

For this reason, I personally like to shoot this style. The white background works well for all aspects of the internet whether it’s your website or social media.

3. Environmental Headshot

In this case, for professional headshots, environmental headshots are taken outside of a studio. For this reason, this is shot using natural or artificial light.

Consequently, they are a more casual style of image. Hence, a good outdoors headshot is one that has separated from the background. Therefore, the background is blurry and is known as Bokeh.

Getting Ready for your Headshot Photo Session

Accordingly, you’ve chosen your photographer and have had your first discussion over the phone. As a result, you’ve thought about the style you want and the location/background. In addition, the date is looming for the photoshoot. Therefore, being prepared for the shoot makes you relax and easier to photograph.

1. Clothes

Moreover, simple is best. Therefore, what you wear is an expression of you and reflects your personality.

  • Accordingly, choose solid colours as these look good in headshots.
  • Do not wear something that is patterned.
  • In particular, bring a few changes of clothes to the shoot.
  • Equally, it’s not likely that the photographer is going to have an iron. Please make sure ALL clothes are ironed and pressed before the shoot. Because the wrinkles in clothes are difficult to Photoshop out.
  • Likewise, for headshots, you don’t need to worry about your shoes, be comfortable.
2. Hair
  • In this case, please do not visit your hairdresser on the day of the shoot.
  • Accordingly, please bring with you a brush and some hair product (gel/hairspray), this helps to calm any stray flyaway hair.
  • Furthermore, if you can afford it and would like, hire a hairstylist for the morning of the shoot.
3. Makeup and Face
  • In general, start with just enough to cover up any blemishes.
  • Moreover, try not to use matte styles of makeup this is likely to dry out your skin.  It will also show in the finished photo.
  • Please bring your makeup and moisturizer with you just in case your skin does get dry or you need touchups.
  • Likewise, bring lip balm or lip gloss with you to help keep lips looking soft.
  • The night before brush your lips with your toothbrush to help get rid of any dead skin.
  • Don’t do visiting a tanning studio, or have a beauty treatment right before the shoot. It’s important to have a skin that is natural and not irritated.
  • Remove stray eyebrows the night prior to the shoot.
  • Also, if you wear glasses please bring them with you. Also, some lens wipes to clean them before the shoot. Similarly, only wear clear contact lenses if you have coloured ones please don’t wear them for the shoot. To explain, these will look fake in the photos.
FOR MEN.
  • Shave right before you leave for a shoot. Hence, a 5 o clock shadow can’t be Photoshopped easily. Accordingly, use cooling gel or aftershave to help with skin irritation.
  • Bring some oil absorbing sheets to soak up any oil or sweat that might build up during the shoot. As a result, the studio lights can get pretty hot. As a matter of fact, some great sheets are the Clean and Clear: Oil Absorbing Sheets.
4. Practice Makes Perfect

Consequently, as an added extra, if you can afford it. Why not hire a Makeup artist to do your makeup and stay with you during the shoot for touchups.

Before the shoot

  • Furthermore, do you know if you have a good side? Therefore, look at yourself in the mirror, do you have a side that you like better.
  • If you are aware of one eye that is visibly smaller than the other. In this case, turn the side of your face with the smaller eye towards the camera. As a result, it will help reduce the difference between the two.
  • Practice your smile before the shoot. It’s amazing how many will comment and warm to you. A good photographer will get different expressions from you during the shoot.
  • Moreover, if you are have discoloured teeth, let the photographer know, they can correct this in photoshop.
  • Accordingly, if you have a favourite set of music, ask the photographer if you can bring it along.

During the Shoot

  • In this case, music helps take the tension out of your photo session.
  • Equally important, follow the photographer’s direction, even if it sounds a little silly. Accordingly, we know the best posing on headshots and the best way to shape your face. You may feel a little funny posing differently, but trust me the photos will look great.
  • Henceforth, the session should be fun to relax, be yourself.
  • In addition smile, a difficult one to do naturally. In this case, don’t force your smile it will look more genuine.
  • Squint, Squint, Squint!!! Squinting your eyes just a little will also help the shots look more confident and natural. To put it another way, having your eyes wide open looks like a rabbit in the headlights.
  • In addition, take time to relax, drink some water and move away from the lights and take a break.

After the Shoot

Accordingly, each photographer has a different editing style for photos from a headshot photo session. Equally important, let them know if you want the photos edited. In general, here is a list of some of the items you might want to consider.

  • Imperfections. Do you want imperfections cleaned up (Freckles, moles, scars etc…)?
  • Double chin reduction.
  • Eyes Whiter
  • Teeth whitened/corrected
  • Remove bags under the eyes

Equally, don’t feel awkward about asking or the photographer asking you about editing. If they’re truly a professional then they’ll expect this. If you do want any major editing done, please keep in mind that it may cost extra.

Depending on the amount of shoot post-processing that needs undertaking will depend on when the photos are available. Accordingly, please be realistic in your expectation.

Hopefully, this guide will help you prepare for your big day in front of the camera for your headshot photo session. It will also help make your experience a little more stress-free. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email me

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