Getting ready for your headshot
Get plenty of rest: Aim to have a good night’s sleep before the shoot to ensure you look refreshed and vibrant.
Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water in the days leading up to the session to keep your skin looking healthy and vibrant.
Prepare your skin: Exfoliate and moisturize your face in the days leading up to the shoot to ensure a smooth complexion.
Keep your makeup natural and well-blended, enhancing your features without appearing too heavy.
Opt for neutral shades that complement your skin tone.
Ensure your foundation matches your skin colour and consider using a primer for a smooth complexion.
Highlight your eyes with a touch of mascara and a neutral eyeshadow, avoiding overly dramatic or glittery looks.
Softly define your brows and choose a lipstick or lip gloss in a shade that enhances your natural lip colour.
Style your hair in a way that makes you feel confident and comfortable.
Avoid any drastic hairstyle changes before the shoot to ensure you feel like yourself.
Males, if possible, please allow at least 5 days of growth from a haircut before your session.
Working out your style / what to wear
When choosing what to wear for a headshot, it’s important to consider various factors, such as your industry, personal style, and the image you want to convey.
Here are some ideas, along with descriptions of what you can aim for.
Classic Professional Look:
A tailored navy blue suit with a crisp white dress shirt and a solid-coloured tie for men.
A well-fitted black blazer paired with a white blouse and tailored pants for women.
Relaxed Business Casual:
A smart-casual outfit consisting of a light-coloured button-down shirt and khaki pants for men.
A stylish blouse paired with well-fitted trousers or a knee-length skirt for women.
Creative and Colorful:
A vibrant, patterned shirt or blouse paired with dark-coloured pants or a skirt for a pop of personality.
A colourful dress or a unique statement piece that reflects your individual style.
Professional and Approachable:
A dark-coloured blazer layered over a neutral-toned sweater or shirt for men.
A tailored dress or blouse with a structured blazer for women accessorized with simple jewellery.
Construction/Trade Professional: High-visibility workwear or a uniform representing your trade.
Creative Industry (e.g., artist, designer): Fashion-forward attire that showcases your unique style and creativity.
Tips on what to avoid
In all my experience, the what to avoid part is much more important than the what to wear part of this page.
- Avoid oversized or baggy clothing: Loose-fitting garments can add unnecessary bulk to your frame and hide your natural shape. Opt for well-fitted clothing that accentuates your figure.
Steer clear of horizontal stripes: Horizontal stripes have the potential to make you appear wider. Instead, consider vertical stripes or solid colors, which can create a lengthening effect.
Be mindful of patterns: Large, bold patterns can sometimes be overwhelming and draw attention away from your face. Opt for smaller, more subtle patterns or solid colors to maintain focus on your expression.
Beware of garments that add volume: Avoid overly puffy sleeves, ruffles, or excessive layers, as they can make you look larger than you are. Opt for sleek and streamlined styles that create a more streamlined silhouette.
Choose the right length: Be mindful of skirt or dress lengths that cut off at the widest part of your calves, as this can create a boxy appearance. Aim for hemlines that hit at flattering points, such as just above or below the knee.
Avoid heavy or chunky accessories: While accessories can add interest to your outfit, be cautious of pieces that are too heavy or chunky. Delicate jewelry or accessories can create a more balanced and streamlined look.
Avoid unflattering fabrics: Shiny or clingy fabrics can draw attention to areas you may want to minimize. Opt for fabrics with some structure that skim over your body rather than cling to it.
Avoid ill-fitting undergarments: Wearing undergarments that don’t fit properly can impact the overall look and fit of your clothing. Invest in well-fitted bras and underwear that provide support and create a smooth foundation.
Avoid ill-fitting clothing: Avoid wearing clothes that are too loose or too tight. Opt for well-fitted garments that complement your body shape and provide a tailored and polished look.
Steer clear of wrinkled or rumpled clothing: Wrinkled or creased clothing can give off a sloppy and unprofessional impression. Make sure your clothes are clean, pressed, and free from wrinkles.
Say no to loud patterns or graphics: Avoid wearing clothing with bold or distracting patterns, large logos, or excessive graphics. These elements can divert attention away from your face and detract from the overall focus of the portrait.
Skip the casual attire: Depending on the context of the portrait, it’s best to avoid overly casual clothing such as t-shirts, shorts, or athletic wear. Opt for more formal or business-appropriate attire that aligns with the purpose of the portrait.
Avoid mismatched or clashing colors: While incorporating color into your outfit can be visually appealing, be cautious of clashing colors or wearing too many vibrant hues at once. Choose complementary colors that enhance your complexion and create a cohesive look.
Don’t overdo accessories: Excessive accessories can be distracting and take away from the main focus, which is your face. Keep accessories minimal and purposeful, such as a simple tie, a classic watch, or understated cufflinks.
Avoid outdated or overly trendy styles: Fashion trends come and go, so it’s best to avoid clothing that is overly trendy or outdated. Opt for classic and timeless pieces that will remain stylish for years to come.
Skip worn-out or shabby clothing: Wearing clothing that is faded, worn-out, or has visible signs of wear and tear can diminish the overall impact of the portrait. Choose garments that are in good condition and reflect a well-groomed appearance.
What to bring to your session
When attending a headshot session, it’s important to come prepared to ensure a successful and productive experience. Here are five essential things people should bring:
Multiple outfit options: Bringing a variety of outfit options allows you to have different looks and styles captured during the session. Choose clothing that aligns with your professional image and personal brand, ensuring they are clean, wrinkle-free, and well-fitted.
Grooming essentials: Carry a small bag with grooming essentials to freshen up during the session. Include items such as a comb or brush, hair products for touch-ups, a compact mirror, tissues or blotting paper, and any necessary touch-up makeup or skincare products.
Comfortable shoes: While the focus of a headshot session is on your upper body and face, it’s still important to consider footwear. Wear comfortable shoes that complement your chosen outfits and allow you to move around easily during the shoot.
Props or work-related items: Depending on the purpose of your headshots, consider bringing relevant props or work-related items that represent your profession or personal brand. This could be a laptop, a notebook, specific tools, or anything that adds a personal touch to the photos and enhances your story.
Positive attitude and confidence: While not a physical item, bringing a positive attitude and confidence to the session is crucial. It will help you relax, project authenticity, and allow the photographer to capture your best self. Trust in your preparation, be open to direction, and embrace the experience.