When it comes to your upcoming business or actor headshot photo session, there are a number of ways you can prepare in advance to make sure you have the most successful and positive photo experience. Every shoot is different, so what you’ll need to prepare might change based on your unique photography needs and depending on the culture of your company, but overall, these are my top headshot photo session tips for women to ensure you look and feel your best during your photo session.
Remember the focus for the business headshot is your face. Everything – the background, lighting, and clothing – should be kept simple to frame your face. Keep it simple.
- In general, neutral solids are better than patterns.
- Please take into consideration your company politics or if you need to wear a uniform or specific colors for your headshots.
- Fitted and tailored clothing works best. Loose or baggy tops will make you look larger than you desire.
- Make sure that the buttons on your jacket close, or else you will look WIDE!
- Try on your top(s) with your bra in front of bright light and mirror to check for transparency. Studio lights may shine through thin fabrics.
- Model your tops for a friend and take some quick photos with your phone so you can see yourself in your tops.
- If you love your arms, tank tops can work nicely. However, long sleeves often work better than short sleeves, and showing less skin is seen as more professional. Anyway, I recommend you bring a second option just in case.
- If you have long dark brown or black hair, your hair may blend into darker clothing, so consider wearing a lighter colored top.
- As we age, lighter colored tops may be more flattering and fresh.
- f you are shooting on a white or light background, think contrast. Stay away from white or light colors, like pastel colors. Consider jewel tones like emerald or sapphire blue, purple or green; red or orange can work well too. If you want something more neutral, a medium to dark gray can work.
- Busy patterns, plaids, or stripes. Keep the viewer focus on your face, not your wardrobe.
- Short-sleeved tops where the sleeve is loose on the arm.
- Avoid very low necklines that show your cleavage.
- Shiny fabrics like silk or satin.
- Loose or baggy tops. Or jackets that are too small and do not button!
- Avoid busy or trendy patterns or plaids
- Pastels – the light color washes out in studio light.
- Avoid wearing tops in flesh tones (cream, beige, pastels, peach, or yellow) as they will blend your face into your clothes.
- Choose simple earrings and necklaces.
- Keep jewelry to a minimum (unless it is your signature look).
- 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.
- Plan ahead and stay true to yourself.
- No major contouring, studio lights can make it look very over the top.
- Lips, matte colors can make your lips with no-dimension or flat. So, I recommend using lip color with some shine. The color of the lips should be darker than your natural color.
- Bring different shades of lipstick with different color intensities in case we need to make changes
- A heavy under-eye liner can make you look older on camera. Keep the application light and soft with a pencil or shadow powder instead of liquid liner.
- Neutral eyeshadows look best for professional headshots. If you want to try a smoky eye or colored shadow for some of your shots, it is best to add this midway through your session so you can try a variety of looks. It is easier to add color than to take it away.
- Makeup with an SPF is typically too reflective for studio lights. Avoid products with sun protection for your shoot.
- Shimmery makeup can reflect camera lighting in an unflattering way. Avoid any kind of bronzer, blush, eye shadow, or lipstick with a glittery or shimmery finish.
- You can hire a professional to do your makeup before the shoot. Make sure to tell your makeup artist that you need an application suited to studio lighting if you are having your headshot taken indoors and share this information with him/her.
- Your hair also needs to look its absolute best in your headshot or it will be distracting.
- If you have straight or curly hair, I strongly recommend doing a blowout and then using an anti-freeze product. If the volume of your hair is a concern for you, you can add volume during the blowout, a hairstylist can help you with that.
- Don’t be afraid to use anti-frizz products. It is easier to add volume to your hair during the editing process than to hide the flyaways!
- Consider your hands may be in the portrait, so get that manicure before your appointment. Also, make sure to bring your moisturizing lotion so your skin can look healthy.
- At the end of the day, the key to a wonderful business headshot is your smile. Make sure your teeth are clean.
- It might take you a few moments to relax in front of the camera. So, relax, and think of someone you love. That feeling shows up as a beautiful smile on your mouth and your eyes.