What should I do to prepare for my session?
Get plenty of sleep the night before your session. Lack of sleep does not photograph well. If you are relaxed and rested, it will show in your final images.
Any special skincare tips?
Moisturize your skin well the night before your headshot session as well as the morning of your appointment. If you’ve scheduled our makeup artist for your shoot, do not apply any make-up before your session.
What should I wear for my headshot session?
Bring your wardrobe to the session on hangers—do not wear it. You want everything neatly pressed at the time of the session. Seatbelts are notorious for adding wrinkles.
Avoid all black and all white. If you know “your palette,” by all means bring it. If you don’t know your preferred colors, choose something that brings out the color in your eyes. Otherwise, bright colors and jewel tones are flattering. Don’t choose items that are seasonal. People will be looking at your images year-round, and you want your portrait to look fresh regardless of the time of year.
Short sleeve/sleeveless should usually be avoided. That being said, if you’ve got “buff” arms and want to show them off, by all means, let ‘em show. But for most of us, keeping arms covered is preferable.
How many outfits should I bring?
There is no magic number, but in this case, more is better. Choose outfits that are professional, yet convey a feeling of approachability. Most importantly, make sure your clothes are clean, crisp, and neatly pressed. Bring everything on hangers. Even knits should be pressed and wrinkle-free. Even the best software can’t remove wrinkles from your clothes, and nothing ruins a great portrait more than unkempt-looking clothes.
Why do I need a professional headshot?
Your digital brand is key. It is usually the first impression that clients, prospective employers and colleagues have of you. And in today’s world of social media and online networking, like LinkedIn and Facebook, your headshot speaks volumes to your professional image. If you don’t have a headshot on LinkedIn, it just begs the question, “Why doesn’t this person have a profile picture?” A bad headshot says you don’t take your professional image seriously. An outdated headshot implies that you don’t keep up with trends and technology. Whether you’re looking for a job, building your professional network or you’re an actor, musician or author, your professional portrait and headshot is your most important marketing tool.
What about eyeglasses?
If you normally wear eyeglasses, plan to wear them during your session. BUT if your eyeglasses do not have a non-glare coating, we recommend that you visit your optometrist to borrow a pair of your frames without glass. Glass glare can be a real problem, and your emotion, connection, and authenticity all begin with your eyes. If bringing a second pair of frames is not an option, we can remove glass glare in postproduction for an additional charge.
Will my images be airbrushed?
Quality postproduction is almost as important as the photoshoot itself. Proper airbrushing, sharpening, and color correction are essential. All of your final images will receive the high quality, meticulous finishing they deserve. Most important, they will look natural and not overly processed. You want your final image to look like you, not an unprofessional Photoshopped version of you.
Do I need a make-up artist for my corporate headshot session?
It’s not required but is definitely recommended. Nine out of ten of our female clients choose to have their makeup done by one of our specially trained makeup artists. Well-applied makeup takes a good image and makes it look even more polished and professional. Our artists specialize in a natural look that doesn’t make you look overdone but instead well put together. Read more about makeup.
Makeup isn’t just for women. Professionally applied makeup for guys will make you look younger and slimmer. Men should also pay attention to your beard. If you tend to show a heavy five o’clock shadow, book your session early in the day, unless this is the look you are going for. For male talent, if you want the slightly grown stubble look, come with it, and bring an electric razor for a few clean-shaven shots as well.
What happens during my session?
Your final image will be a reflection of how you are feeling at the time of our session. Be prepared to relax, have fun and be a little playful. The resulting image will be a portrait that reflects your genuine personality and one that you will be proud to use in the right venue for the right results.
Our spacious studio has a separate shooting area and changing room. The changing area allows you to spread out, get comfortable and relax before and after your session.
Our specialty is capturing your authenticity. We shoot directly into a computer so that you see your images in realtime. We will shoot and review your images multiple times—each time refining your choices until we capture the picture that best represents your brand and the image you want to portray.
WHAT TO WEAR
One of the most common—and most important—questions I’m asked is “What should I wear for my headshot session?” Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Remember three basic wardrobe principles and you’ll find that looking your best is as easy as—well, 1,2,3!
1. Color and Patterns
2. Style and Fit
1. Color and Patterns
It’s tempting to stick with black and white, but a splash of color can really make your image pop.
Men and Women
Black and/or white maybe your “go-to” wardrobe choice, and that’s fine, but photographically, pulling details out of black or white can be challenging. So if you love wearing black or white, by all means, bring it along, but also bring along colorful options. Men, please no all-black suit coats or sport coats unless they have obvious texture.
If you know “your colors
,” bring items from that palette, or try hues that bring out your eye color and enhance your skin tone. Rich colors and jewel tones are great choices for almost all women.
Guys, avoid a plain white shirt. If white shirts are your signature look, accentuate it with an interesting tie. Avoid the all-black jacket, unless it has texture. Charcoal grey is a great choice for anything with color or texture. Whatever you bring, make sure you feel good wearing it. If you feel good, you’ll look good.
2. Women’s Style and Fit
Crew, boat, or narrow v-necks are always flattering and will always lay nicely. We want to be sure we can see your top after the image is cropped. Standup collars don’t always “behave,” so I suggest women avoid them. If you typically wear a jacket to work, bring a couple of jacket choices, but you do not need to wear a jacket to look professional. I’ve photographed plenty of c-suite women without jackets and without sacrificing their professionalism and status. Also, make sure your clothes fit well. Try them on a few days before your session just to check. Generally, a little snug is better than baggy and loose.
- short sleeves or sleeveless styles (unless you’ve got “buff” arms and want to show them off)
- low necklines
- busy or trendy patterns or plaids
- shiny fabrics — no silk or satin
2. Men’s Style and Fit
Men, if you’re going business casual (specifically, no tie) bring a couple of sport coats. A sport coat without a tie is an intentional wardrobe choice. But if you wear a suit coat without a tie, it gives the impression that you are dressing “down.”
Tie = suit coat OR sport coat.
NO tie = sport coat but NOT a suit coat.
Button-down collars rarely lay nicely in a photo. AVOID button-down collars, unless it’s an intentional style choice for you.
Make sure your clothes fit well. This is especially important for men’s collars, sports coats, and suit jackets. Guys, take a look at your jacket & shirt, watching for gaps at the back of your neck. Conversely, watch that your shirt isn’t too tight, causing your neck to “bulge” over your collar−even a little bulge will look terrible on camera. Think ahead, and invest in tailoring before your session if necessary. It will be money well spent for a professional headshot and a professional overall look.
Guys, if you’re not confident tying a great tie knot, tie it before you come to the studio and slip it over your head. A sloppy tie knot looks like just that—sloppy. The best tie not by far is the Pratt or Shelby Knot.
3. Women’s Accessories
Less is more. Keep jewelry to a minimum (unless it is your signature look). A few jewelry tips:
- Stud earrings are best—simple pearls, diamonds, or other gemstones.
- Hoops and dangling earrings can interfere with your hair and get lost in your portrait.
- If you have jewelry that has special meaning for you, by all means, bring it along. But in the end, we want all of the attention on your face not your clothes and jewelry.
- Big jewelry draws attention away from you, and your portrait should be all about you.
- If your signature brand is big jewelry, however, bring it along, and we’ll choose the best options for your headshot.
FINAL tips for both men and women
- Don’t wear your portrait wardrobe in the car; seat belts = wrinkles. Instead, bring your clean, neatly pressed pieces to the session on hangers.
- Make sure everything is clean, pressed, and fits well.
- Bring at least three to four choices. We only need above the waist for headshots. But if you feel more confident by putting on the full wardrobe, feel free to bring the pants and shoes along.
- Also, take a few minutes to browse our headshot gallery, and you’ll see some great examples of good wardrobe options.
Eyeglasses and lens glare can be tricky. For more information about eyeglasses, take a look at our post with eyeglass tips. If you normally wear glasses, plan to wear them for your picture. It’s ideal if they have a non-glare coating, but if they don’t, consider borrowing a pair of glassless frames for your session; otherwise, we can remove the glass glare in post-production for an additional charge.
Wearing glasses or corrective lenses is not unusual but eyeglasses can sometimes be a challenge with photography. There are, however, some things you can do before your headshot to make sure your final portrait is the absolute best. If you normally wear eyeglasses, you’ll want to wear them for your portrait. I want you to look as authentic as possible. And that means capturing you in a way that you are most often seen by colleagues, customers, and friends. Below are some things you can do to have the best headshot session with eyeglasses.
The best option starts long before your headshot session: with your optician. The solution is to buy glasses with an anti-reflective (AR) coating,
which means almost no light reflects off of the lens surface—the lens becomes nearly invisible. While you might save a few bucks not buying AR lenses, your eyewear can be a distraction and look unprofessional and unpolished. Take a look at the image at right: Laurel is wearing frames with standard lenses and the photo has not been edited or airbrushed so it makes it easy to see what glasses glare looks like.
A second option is to contact your optometrist before your photoshoot and ask to borrow a pair of your frames for the day or, if they don’t have a pair, have them pop out the lenses for the day
. This is a great way to get your authentic look without worrying about the glare of the lens.
But what if you aren’t buying new glasses, and you need a headshot? Your professional photographer can do some things to help you out. If they’re a pro, they should also be a Photoshop pro. Keep in mind that Photoshop is not a magician’s toolbox. It is a software program that takes lots of training and experience to master. But a professional photographer should be able to use their skills to adjust your image in post-production.
One way it is done is to shoot one image with and one without glasses
and then create a composite image. On the left is Laurel’s composite picture, which is also fully airbrushed.
It is not easy to capture the pictures in this way. Let’s face it: no two images are identical—people move around. Even more challenging is getting a similar expression in two images so that the face has the same position and laugh lines. So in those cases, I might need to fix the glare in postproduction.
Again, this takes some Photoshop finessing. Below are before and after photos of Eva. Even with more than 100 pictures of Eva, there just weren’t two that were similar enough to create a composite. So I needed to use