11 Professional Headshot Tips
Don’t know where to start? Check out these professional headshot tips to rock your next headshot session!
When it comes to professional headshot tips, the biggest one you’ll find me repeating is to look like yourself. It sounds so simple and overstated, but honestly it’s so true. When someone looks at your headshot, they want to know what you, the real you, looks like. If it’s for acting, they want a real sense of the name about to walk into the space with them. A headshot is to give them a taste before ever meeting! If you don’t straighten or curl your hair (or can’t commit to that) for EVERY audition, then don’t photograph it. Embrace you! Got greys that you’re letting stay? Photograph. Not sure if you’ll have a long or short beard depending on the month that year? See if it’s possible to photograph both. Just do you.
2. Color Choices
Colors mean different things. If you know you’re a super bubbly personality, yellows and brighter colors will go a long way. If you feel your energy is calmer, calmer colors. Black and red are power colors, one a calmer energy, the other a bit more snappy. Ask your friends or family what color they see you as…you might be surprised 🙂 Additionally, if you know a color makes your eyes pop, or just looks perfect with your skin tone, doooo it! And a word on fabrics–patterns tend to be too busy, but textures are oh so delightful. Aim for non-wrinkle materials as well…you’ll thank me, I’ll thank you, it’ll be a whole bunch of gratitude. Need a little extra inspiration? I thought these folks kicked it out of the park with their outfits!
3. Give Yourself Time
The last thing you want is to feel rushed, so pack anything you might need ahead of time. Try out makeup ahead of time. Pick outfit choices a few days ahead to make sure nothing needs ironing, has stains or cat hair (listen, I don’t judge–that is my life), fits correctly. I’m not kidding–I literally went to a photoshoot of my own that I hadn’t tried on clothing, and y’all, my shirt didn’t fit anymore. This is a true story that I’m owning up to. Anyways, give yourself time to decide before!
4. Drink Lots of Water
When we don’t drink enough water, our skin gets dry. And when our skin gets dry, foundation and other powders don’t settle so well into our skin. To keep yourself looking fresh, drink lots of water a few days leading up to your shoot! It’s wild, but it’ll make a difference. Not to mention you’ll be feeling great 🙂
5. Pack “In Case” Items
And that reminds me–powder, chapstick, a comb, dry shampoo for those flyaways, an extra shirt if you’re only planning for one, tissues…these are all just a few ideas. You don’t need a whole duffle bag, but throw a couple “in case” items in your bag for more peace of mind.
6. Do a practice run.
This goes hand in hand with the earlier “planning ahead”. Now if makeup is of no concern, move along, but if it’s been a minute since you’ve worn eyeliner (thanks CoVid) and you aren’t having your makeup done professionally…practice beforehand! It’ll save a ton of frustration the day of when you’re rushing to get where you need to be.
7. Check your bra line.
I’m not kidding. Check and see if you can see an outline of your bra through your shirt. And always make sure buttons fully close, bra lines are smoothed out, and necklines are where you want them to be to represent what you’re going for. Which leads me to…
8. Set aside time to reflect on how you present yourself & what you want to say?
What roles do you get called in to play? What business are you representing? Are you selling something? Is your personality the biggest part of your brand? Jot down a few words about how you want to be portrayed and how other people see you, and use that when selecting your final images.
9. Less is More
Makeup, jewelry, hair, patterns. Less is more. And I’ll add this–you, just the way you are, are enough, so never think you need to put on anything for the camera. Headshots are about capturing y-o-u. See, I said it again.
10. Jewelry or No Jewelry?
Unless it’s a piece of jewelry that you wear all the time that is a big part of your personality, or says something about your persona, it’s better to leave it out. Business headshots have a little more wiggle room with this, but generally it detracts from looking at you!
11. Glasses? Try both!
Do you wear glasses–sometimes? Bring them and try both! It’s important to represent all your looks on all the different days of your life!
Have more questions? Go on and head over to my contact page and shoot me an email! I’ll be happy to help with any inquiries you may have, and while I’m at it, add to the running professional headshot tips list! And if you feel like I’m not exactly the right fit, I’ll be more than happy to point you toward someone who is. Most importantly, you want to have confidence in the photographer you choose to represent you. At the end of the day, it’s your profession, your personality being captured, and connecting with the photography is the key ingredient. Be well, friends!