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How to prepare for a headshot photography session
So you’ve booked to have your new professional headshot taken and want to know how to prepare for your session?
Fear not! These simple tips will have you walking in the room and working the camera like a supermodel.
Leading up to the shoot
It seems really obvious, but my first tip is to get a really good night’s sleep before your headshot session and make sure you’re well hydrated for a couple of days before the shoot too, to keep your skin looking radiant.
Before the shoot, it’s a good idea to communicate with the photographer either via phone or email the look you are going for so they have time to set up any backgrounds or specific lighting which they may need for the shoot.
Every minute they spend tweaking lighting is a minute they are missing shooting your next amazing headshot.
It’s important to carry this communication on throughout the day of the shoot too.
If you don’t like how the images look, let the photographer know and guide them through what you don’t like about the images they have taken.
A good tip is to practise your different looks in front of the mirror before you get to the shoot. If you know how your face moves and which expressions you want to come through in your headshot it will make the whole process run much more smoothly.
Use your photographer as a mirror. They can see how the light is falling across your face and can position you in the subtle ways to bring out certain attributes. Some of these may feel a little awkward, but trust that your photographer knows what they are doing.
Clothing for your headshot
Bring a few different outfits for your headshot session and talk through with the photographer before the shoot what each outfit means to you.
You should have enough time in any session to try at least three outfits, giving you plenty of options afterwards.
If you’re a businesswoman then obviously having a smart suit or shirt is your number one choice and represents you in a professional capacity, but it’s also a good idea to have some more laid back options with you too.
Your clothing should reflect your personality. If you work in finance but are known for wearing outlandish ties for meetings then bring a selection of those ties with you.
People want to see the real person in a headshot so let the real you shine through.
Makeup and hair for your professional headshot
It’s a good idea to discuss your makeup and hair with your photographer before the shoot so they can get an idea of the looks you are going for.
Many photographers will have good links with makeup and hair stylists, so may be able to supply you with these services on the day. If not here are a couple of tips:
Ladies makeup and hair for a professional headshot
Your makeup should start the shoot as light as possible and, if needed, build it up throughout the shoot.
The lights used for the photograph can become quite hot if you’re under them for any length of time. Bear this in mind when applying makeup as you don’t want it to run, or cause oil and sweat to build up on your skin.
Bring your makeup with you and a good quality mirror, so if you do need to touch up throughout the shoot it can be done as quickly as possible.
Your hair should be styled to match your outfit, so come with it prepared naturally and shoot with your most natural look first so that you’re not having to fight to get your hair down to start the next look.
Gents makeup and hair for a professional headshot
You should aim to get your hair cut around a week before the shoot. This gives you plenty of time to get used to it and also get used to styling it.
Aim to shave in the morning before your shoot to remove any unwanted hair and make sure your skin is in good condition after your shave. If you have a beard, make sure it’s trimmed and looking well groomed.
Makeup isn’t recommended for a male headshot but if you feel more confident wearing it or need it to cover blemishes, use it sparingly and discuss with the photographer beforehand if it would be easier to remove anything in Photoshop which you don’t feel comfortable with.
Go out there and enjoy yourself
Having your photograph taken can be some people’s worst nightmare but it’s important to remember that your photographer is a professional and will have (hopefully) shot thousands of them before so there is no issue they will have not come across.
If you do feel awkward at the shoot, ask the photographer to put some music on – and it’s always an option to bring someone with you who is going to support you throughout the shoot.
Hopefully, armed with these tips you’re going to walk into the studio and own the lens and get the best professional headshot you’ve ever had.
If you want to get in touch to discuss updating your own headshot then please get in touch.