How to Prepare for Your Headshot Session

If you’ve never had a professional headshot session before, you may not know quite what to expect. Some of the most common questions we hear from clients are these: What should I wear? Should I have my hair done? What if I have a breakout?

For starters, take a deep breath. Relax. You hired a professional to take your photos, which means you get the benefit of all our experience. We’ve seen everything, and it’s totally normal to feel nervous about your photos. But with a little preparation and guidance, you will end up with headshots that will make you look like the talented, dedicated professional you are!

To help you out, we’ve put together this guide on how to prepare for your headshot session. So, let’s dive in!

Choose the right outfits
When picking out what to wear, think about what kind of impression you want to make. What the owner of an art gallery wears may be different from what the CEO of a financial company might wear. Know what’s appropriate for your line of work and what makes you look as professional and on top of your game as possible.

A good rule of thumb when choosing what to wear is to keep it simple. Go with solid colors and avoid loud patterns or bright tones that can draw attention away from you or even wash out your skin in photos.

It’s always a great idea to dress in layers, like a blazer or cardigan over a blouse or button-up shirt. Layers can easily be removed or added for different looks. And make sure to iron or press your clothes before your session. Wrinkles definitely don’t look professional!

Get your hair and makeup done
A headshot session is the perfect excuse for a little pampering. Visit your salon and get your hair done so it looks as good as possible. And when you pack your bag for your session, be sure to bring along a brush and any products you use to help deal with fly-aways and any other touchups your hair may need throughout the day.

You may want to hire a professional makeup artist, especially if you don’t often wear a lot of makeup or are unsure about how much to put on. A professional will know how to apply makeup that will look great in your images and will stay on set to make sure you look your best for the entire session.

If you choose to do your own makeup, start simple. Just add enough to cover up any blemishes or red spots and slowly add a little more as you go. Bring your makeup along to your session in case you need a touchup.

As for the men, avoid shaving right before your session if your skin gets irritated and red. Use aftershave or cooling gel to help sooth any irritation. If you develop a five o'clock shadow, schedule your session for earlier in the day. And don’t be afraid to use a little makeup as well to cover up any blemishes you may have.

Rest up and hydrate!
In the days leading up to your headshot session, be sure to drink plenty of water. Hydrated skin will look fresh and healthy in photos. The day before, avoid alcohol and fried or salty foods, which can cause bloating. You should also do your best to stay out of the sun to avoid sunburn or skin irritation.

The night before your session, go to bed early and get plenty of sleep, so you arrive at your session feeling refreshed and ready to go! Sleeping well throughout the week before your headshot session can also help you avoid those unsightly dark circles under your eyes.

Don’t rush
Give yourself plenty of time to get to your session. Rushing just causes unnecessary anxiety, and you don’t want to arrive panicked and anxious. Look up directions to your session location ahead of time and check traffic to determine if you need to give yourself any extra time in the morning. It’s better to arrive early than to arrive late!

Similarly, don’t schedule any other activities on the day of your headshot session. While your photoshoot won’t take the entire day, you don’t want to feel like you have to hurry to wrap things up so you can get to another appointment or engagement. Give your photographer plenty of time so that both of you can move through your session at a comfortable and relaxed pace.

Talk to your photographer
Do you want your images to be in a specific style? Do you prefer studio shots to natural light photos? If you have any special desires or concerns, be sure to talk to your photographer beforehand. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have and offer advice or guidance to make you feel more comfortable! Whether it’s a big question or a small one, feel free to ask.

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