Headshots: Tips for Feeling and Looking Great

posted in: Portraits, Tips | 0

Headshots used to be a thing only for actors and models. Now that the world has moved digital, and every kind of business owner, entrepreneur, salesperson, job seeker, college student, and high school senior knows they need a nice, high-quality headshot.

We still use the term “headshot,” by the way, but what most people really mean is what I call a “business portrait.” Less glamorous that a traditional actor’s headshot, perhaps, but the same care still taken to hair, clothing, makeup, accessories, background, and posing.

One of the differences between traditional actor’s headshots and today’s business portraits is that a business portrait should tell a little story about you, not only show what you look like. It’s a tool in your marketing toolbox, and can be used to communicate your brand as well as any other piece of collateral you might produce. For this reason, we may choose to make your photo at a location like your office rather than on a plain backdrop in a studio. Even though the background plays a small role in your final headshots, it is there enough to impact the look and feel of the photo.

And what happens if you’re someone who isn’t comfortable being photographed? How do you get a business portrait that feels authentic to you AND communicates your brand? Well, you hire a professional of course. And then you follow these tips for looking and feeling comfortable for your business portrait.

1. Pick comfortable clothing that represents you and your brand.

For most industries, the suit-and-tie corporate look has given way to a relaxed and approachable style. Wear what is appropriate for your industry. I advise clients to wear what they would wear to meet with a customer of their own. That is how you want your prospective clients to see you online. And beyond that, choose clothing that feels like “you.” Wear what makes you feel your most powerful and confident. Make sure it fits well, falls right, is clean and ironed. Easy does it on the patters – we don’t want your clothing or jewelry to take the focus off of your face.

2. Schedule your headshot session when you have the time and energy to focus on it.

Most people will need at least 30 minutes in the studio to get a photo that they’re 100% happy with. We might want to try different clothing, different poses, and different backgrounds. If you’re rushed, preoccupied by a big project at work, or just got off an airplane, you won’t be able to settle in and focus on your image. Be realistic with the timeframe.

3. Haircuts and coloring should be at least a few days before.

Hair styling, however, should be the morning of your photo shoot. Maybe the day before, depending on the style. Schedule your session around the hair stylist’s schedule. We want you to look and feel confident for your photo, and feeling good about your hair style will help!

4. Consider hiring a makeup artist.

If you have any qualms about wearing makeup, don’t know how to apply it, or don’t typically wear it, then investing in professionally applied makeup could be a big help. Makeup artists are talented at applying makeup that looks very natural and not too heavy. Just ask for what you want. If you need recommendations, I can certainly provide them.

5. If you’re sick, overly tired, or hungover on the day of your session, please reschedule.

Enough said, right? Drink water in the days leading up to your session and try to get a good night’s sleep. Rest and hydration will do wonders for your skin and hair.

If you’re ready for professional headshots that are natural and authentic, get in touch!

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