Headshot Guide - Stacey Tompkins

Headshot Guide

How to get the best out of your headshot session


Headshots connect you to your place of work, they are a big part of your brand, they help to show people who you are. People want to think that by seeing your photograph they can tell a little about who you are and often will book your services or choose your company based on this. What do you want your image to portray? Probably someone who is professional, confident, kind, and caring. Maybe you want your picture to look more serious, or maybe more relaxed with a little personality. It all comes back to your business brand; what is it that you want to show about yourself to your potential clients?

Maybe coming into your headshot session you are a little nervous. Here are some tips to make your session go smoother than expected and end up with some pictures that represent the best of you.

1) Pick your outfits in advance. This way it takes the stress out of deciding these things the day of the shoot. (See what to wear below)

2) Do a “trial” of your hair (and make-up for the ladies). This doesn’t need to be a professional job, it can be something at home in front of the mirror.

3) Pick a professional hairstyle that shows your eyes and your personality. Practice posing in front of the mirror. Do you want to smile in your photo? If so how big? Do you have one side that is better than the other? It is best to do this with your hair done in your chosen outfit.

4) Google headshots of other people of the same industry, see if there is a “look” that you feel would best suit you. With preparing for your shoot the biggest question is always what should you wear?

Again don’t forget your headshot represents your brand. When picking your outfit you want to concentrate on your upper body attire. Bring a few clothing options when coming to your shoot so you can change if your first pick isn’t what you expect it to be. Here are tips on what or what-not to wear.

1) I recommend staying away from detailed patterns, anything with brand names displayed or anything that is too “trendy” that could date your photo.

2) When picking a color, wear something that is a nice contrast to your skin tone and think what color would make your eyes pop or your hair look nice. Also avoid colors that may make you look washed out such as tans, light pinks, pale blues and even sometimes whites (it will be different for different skin tones).

3) What ever you are wearing make sure it is wrinkle free. You want to be comfortable and have it to fit good (not scooped too low in the neckline, no pulling at the buttons, and long enough sleeves). You want to look professional but not stuffy.

4) For women, sleeveless is a no no unless you want to show off your arms. Often arms look bigger when skin is bare. Wear make-up; foundation, highlighted cheeks, colored lip and mascara are a must. Consider hiring someone to do this if you aren’t comfortable creating a look that you love on yourself.

5) For men, have your haircut and shave/trim facial hair before your photos. Plan to look your best. Bring a few different shirts to your session to try, long sleeve are ideal.

Once you have done the above work keep in mind that a professional is also doing your photos. It is your photographer’s job to use light to soften fine lines and illuminate the best of you. Your photographer will also help you to loosen up and give you direction in how to stand, sit or move your body during your session. Hopefully this info better prepares you for your headshot session, you are going to kill it :) Happy posing!

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