So, you’ve booked your photographer, chosen the style of shots you want, and picked a location. Now what? A few days before your shoot you’ll want to start getting prepared. If you’re properly prepared for the shoot you’ll not only have an easier and stress-free time during the shoot and the resulting images will look a ton better than if you just winged it.
Clothing is a form of expression and the clothes that you pick to wear will reflect your personality in the images. My best piece of advice when choosing clothes is the simpler the better.
- Solid colors look great in headshots. Black, white and gray are always going to photograph well. However, my favorite colors that I think look the best would be preferably, muted or dark tone.
- If going with a pattern keep it simple. Patterns can be distracting. Please stay away from any large logo's or brand names. Unless is a company logo.
- Start with a simple shirt or blouse and slowly add layers.
- Long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves look very professional. But you can always do with shorter sleeves, just make sure to bring something to wear on top should you decide.
- Bring a few changes of clothes to the shoot with multiple colors. I have had my clients sometimes bring a suitcase! Since I work with you on each and every outfit you can see how you look in the photos as we take them and we can always adjust as needed. Ask your photographer if they offer this option.
- Make sure that ALL clothes are ironed and pressed before the shoot. Wrinkles in clothes are difficult to Photoshop out. Please, don’t expect the photographer to do this.
- Bring a lint brush or roller with you.
- Avoid really low neck lines that you will keep trying to adjust. Ideally V neck, boat or crew necklines work well.
- Don’t worry about shoes if just shooting headshots. Be comfortable.
- Bring a brush and some hair product (gel/hairspray) with you to the shoot to help calm fly-aways.
- Start with your hair down and towards the end of the shoot put it up in a ponytail for a more casual look.
- If you can afford it hire a hair stylist for the morning of the shoot.
3. Makeup and Face
- Start natural. Just enough to cover up any blemishes.
- Build up the makeup as you go. Add eyeshadow and darker lipstick later in the shoot.
- Try not to use matte styles of makeup. It will dry out your skin.
- Bring your makeup and moisturizer with you to the shoot in case your skin does get dry or you need touchups.
- Bring lip balm or lip gloss with you to help keep lips looking soft.
- The night before brush your lips with your toothbrush to help get rid of any dead skin.
- Don’t do any extreme beauty regimens right before your shoot, like facial peels, tanning or extensive exfoliating. Your skin can look very irritated.
- Get rid of any unwanted hair a few days before your shoot. Clean up brows and upper lip hair.
- FOR MEN. Shave right before you leave for a shoot. A 5 o clock shadow can’t be Photoshopped easily. Use cooling gel or aftershave to help with skin irritation.
- Bring some oil absorbing sheets to soak up any oil or sweat that might build up during the shoot. The studio lights can get pretty hot. Some great sheets are the Clean and Clear: Oil Absorbing Sheets. You can find them at any Wal-mart or local drug store.
- Leave your colored contacts at home and bring clear contacts with you. Colored contacts can look very fake in photographs. Bring eyedrops with you.
- If you can afford it, hire a Makeup artist to do your makeup and stay with you during the shoot for touchups.
4. Practice makes Perfect
- Before the shoot look at your face in the mirror and see what side you like better. Everyone has a good side, find yours. Remember though, a mirror will flip your face and the camera won’t so the images might look a little different than you were expecting.
- If you have one eye that is visibly smaller than the other bring the side of your face with the smaller eye towards the camera. It will help reduce the difference between the two.
- Try different expressions in the mirror. Do you look better stoic or perky? A good photographer will get different expressions from you during the shoot.
5. during the shoot
- Follow the photographer’s direction. Even if it sounds a little silly. We know the best posing on headshots and the best way to shape your face. You may feel a little funny posing differently, but trust me the photos will look great.
- Relax a little. Headshot sessions should be fun. Don’t be afraid to let your guard down.
- Don’t force your smile. It will look awkward in the images and your cheeks will be sore after the shoot. A good tip is to leave a little space between your teeth when smiling, enough to put the tip of your pinky in between. Your smile will look more genuine.
- Squint, Squint, Squint!!! Squinting your eyes just a little will also help the shots look more confident and natural.
- Relax after a few shots and take a breather. Take a sip of water and step away from the lights every so often.
6. After the Shoot
Not only do photographers have different shooting styles, but editing styles, as well. Let them know how you want the photos to be edited.
- Do you want any imperfections Photoshopped out? Some people like everything to be cleaned up in their headshots. (Freckles, moles, scars ect…) While actors and actresses need to be mindful that casting directors want to see any imperfections or distinguishing marks you may have. This shouldn’t be confused with blemishes or acne. This is something that should be discussed with your photographer. If he/she doesn’t bring it up, then you bring it up. Don’t feel awkward asking or being asked about this, if they’re truly a professional, then they’ll expect this.
- Everyone asks ‘Can you Photoshop this… or this… I have a double chin, can you get rid of that? Can you make my eyes bigger?’ Well, that depends. Sometimes we can, sometimes we can’t. Every image is different and Photoshop can be a beast when editing. We will try our best to make you look amazing. If you don’t want any alterations done, please let us know beforehand.
- If you do want any major editing done, please keep in mind that it may cost extra.
- Do keep in mind that as photographers we spend more time editing than shooting. Please give us a realistic time frame to deliver your photos. If you want major editing to be done, except that it may take a little longer for them to be finished.