Headshot Preparation


If you're wondering what you need to do in order to be ready for your headshot session, this is the email you've been waiting for.

There's a lot of information here, so read through it and if you have any questions at all, send them my way.

Know what you like and don’t
We dove into this a bit already, but know what you like and don’t like when you look at images of yourself. There are some tips and tricks I’ll go over below that you can practice before the session. But if there’s anything in particular that you want to highlight or minimize, we’ll discuss this before we starting the session. And make sure to show your previous headshots so you can easily communicate your expectations, likes, and dislikes.

Wardrobe selection
Rule number one here is to feel good in what you’re wearing. If you have chosen an outfit, look at yourself in the mirror while wearing it and think, “Damn, I look good,” you’re on the right track.

Do go overboard with patterns in your outfit. Some patterns are great. But if people get dizzy when they look at your shirt, you may want to leave that one at home. Go for a solid-colored shirt that elongates or features your neck. Try to stay away from turtlenecks. But if it's one of your "Damn, I look good" outfits, bring it. The same with solid black and solid white shirts. They can wash out your skin tone especially if you have a more fair complexion. Also, avoid clothing with large logos. We don't want anything to distract from your face and eyes.

The night before
Have your clothes wrinkle-free, stain-free, fur-free, and ready to go. Wrinkled clothing that is Photoshopped looks horribly fake. Make sure you’ve ironed/steamed them ahead of time and have them hung so they camera ready.

Your face
If you can, drink plenty of water in the week prior to your session. This will keep your skin looking good. Also, don’t tan (real, tanning bed, or spray) right before the session. The Oompa Loompa look isn’t very popular right now and fixing those issues in Photoshop will be noticeable. And be sure to get plenty of sleep to avoid dark circles under your eyes.

If your skin is on the oily side like my Greek skin gets, I have some oil-absorbing sheets.

Hair
Choose a haircut and hairstyle a week or two in advance, as fresh cuts may not lay down correctly and could cause you to mess with it during the session. Do go super extravagant on your hair unless you plan on doing that every day. Your headshot should resemble you. So find a day-to-day style that you feel good about.

Fix-it Kits
Bring a brush and some hair product (gel/hairspray) with you to the shoot to help tame those stray hairs and flyaways. Also any makeup, lotions, or other items to do touchups.

Glasses
We can work with people who wear glasses to avoid reflections in most instances. But if you have a strong prescription or glasses with the new blue-light coatings, we do advise that you visit your opticians and either borrow a pair of blank frames or get them to remove your lenses for the shoot. Once any light hits those lenses, they tend to do some funky things with color and reflections. We can also shoot some shots with and some without glasses.

Shaving or Going Burly
Gents, you need to prepare your facial hair for your headshots by trimming, plucking, and/or choosing a style for shaving facial hair in advance. To ensure you don't have a five o'clock shadow unless you want one for your shot, get the razor out an hour or two before we start taking pictures. And don't forget to slap on a little aftershave so your skin isn't red and irritated.

Practice, Practice, Practice
Do you have a side? If you don't know, now is the time to take a look in the mirror and start looking. You can also look at past photos you love of yourself and see which way you're turned.

A lot of people have an eye that's a bit smaller than the other. The easy fix for that is to put that tiny eye closer toward the camera. But what if you just did the "find your side" exercise and realized your tiny eye isn't on your good side? That's where will work with lighting, expression, and camera angles to find the balance.

How do you want to be perceived when people see your headshot image? Happy? Approachable? Serious? Goofy? Do you have a laugh that's contagious? These expressions come across well in headshots since it's just a nice, close picture of you. Determine how you want to come across in your image and that'll be our target for the session.

Here's an article that goes a little further into how to practice and find the look you want for your headshot.