6 Tips to Prepare for Getting New Headshots
Updated: Aug 5, 2020
With a little bit of planning ahead, you can finally get headshots that are "you."
You deserve photos where you look relaxed, super sharp, and it's clear that you totally feel comfortable in front of the camera.
Here are a few key tips I encourage my headshot clients to consider:
1. Wear layers
Usually the first question I get asked by most of my clients is what to wear for a shoot and here's the deal: figuring out how you want to show up in your photos is one of the most important decisions to make.
Your clothes can truly make or break your photos.
The good news is your don't have to break the bank to look fabulous!
Layers look great on everyone. Literally, everyone.
Layers are exactly what they sound like: jackets (my #1 recommendation), sweaters, necklaces, scarves, etc.
If you're getting new headshots I recommend bringing at least one jacket to your photoshoot. Also, be sure to think about what the top underneath your jacket looks like. If you want to rock a blazer, it doesn't have to be expensive. I've had multiple clients purchase a super affordable blazer like this one and their photos have turned out great.
Consider whether your clothes will wrinkle or flatten out in different poses.
I have also seen where dresses can look stunning. If your dress has a high neckline, I highly encourage you to consider adding a necklace or scarf.
The ultimate goal is to feel comfortable & like yourself.
2. Think about what "vibe" you want to give off
I've had headshot clients that want to embrace their rebellious side and others that want to embrace the boss that they are.
If you're going for a more corporate look, consider throwing in a blazer shot to look more formal. If you're going for rebellious, you can rock a graphic t-shirt under your blazer or rock a leather jacket.
When in doubt, consider rocking a look that's timeless.
However you show up, make sure it's YOU.
3. Consider the colors & patterns you want to wear
If you're going to wear patterns, consider wearing bigger larger/less busy patterned items or layering more intricate patters.
Also, take some time to think about what colors really look great on you.
Consider outfits you've worn where you've received a lot of compliments - What color(s) were you wearing? What style? What patterns?
Some people look amazing in pastel colors while others look horribly washed out. With my complexion, I've found that I look best in "jewel tones."
It's also worth considering that wearing all white or all black without any layers can wash you out.
To set you up for success, don't be afraid to send your photographer photos of what clothes you're considering. They'll be happy to share their their thoughts on what would work best for your shoot.
4. Think about how you'd like to use your photos
Are you taking photos that will be used throughout your personal website or are you mostly planning to use your headshots on social media? Do you need photos that will be submitted for events you're speaking at? Do you want them to be formal, casual, or something in between?
Based on your goals for the photoshoot, that will impact the location your photographer will choose, the number of horizontal and vertical shots they'll take of you, as well as the different ways they'll have you pose.
If your photos will be used for personal branding, your photographer will try to get a variety of angles, facial expressions, and poses.
It's also worth brainstorming with photographer if you have creative ideas for your photos - from showcasing your products to tossing confetti.
Talk to your photographer about whether it makes sense to bring props to your photoshoot like a laptop, journal, etc.
5. Think about grooming leading up to the day of your shoot
Ladies: Seriously consider getting your hair & makeup done
The one thing I have yet to see a photographer be able to edit well is flyaways. I highly encourage you to consider having a professional do your hair the day of the photoshoot. If you have longer hair, getting your hair curled into waves can help you avoid frizz if you live in a humid environment.
Whatever style you choose: go heavy with the hairspray.
As for makeup - it's your choice.
For many of my headshot clients, they've been very happy they didn't have to stress about doing their own makeup. Even if you don't wear a lot of makeup, having professional makeup done can still help you feel great if you work with the right makeup artist.
It can really makes difference in helping you feel confident.
Have I taken stunning photos of women with out makeup? Of course.
As for fake eyelashes - I personally love them. I personally think I look so much better in photos with them on. However, yet again, this is a personal choice.
Last, but not least, consider whether you'd like to get your nails done.
At the end of the day, the goal is to make you feel comfortable and capture who you truly are.
Gents - Be sure to get a haircut at least 5 days prior to your photoshoot. That way it has some time to grow out to a more natural look.
6. Rest up, relax, & trust your photographer
Do your best to drink lots of water and get a good night's sleep before the day of your shoot.
Consider writing down everything you need for the day of the shoot to make sure you don't forget anything.
Once you've shown up, relax and be yourself! Your photographer will walk you through it and help make the process fun and easy.