top of page

How to prepare for your headshot session

Updated: Jul 6, 2020

Booking a head shot session is exciting . . . and a little scary (because I understand how you feel about having photos)!

But congratulations for making the decision to invest in yourself and the image you portray to the world before people have even met you.

A woman naturally and casually posed in a chair laughing for the camera during a headshot and personal branding photoshoot.
The most important factors for headshot and personal branding sessions are to be yourself and bring your smile!

Make that first impression count: 7 tips for photoshoot success

As the saying goes: You never get a second chance to make a first impression!

The first thing I want to tell you is to breathe.

Even if you ‘hate having your photo taken’, feel like you ‘never take a good photo’ or that you’re ‘not photogenic’ there’s a lot of things that you can do to prepare for your shoot that are going to help you feel more confident.

Here’s my seven favourite tips for photoshoot success.

1. bring your smile (even if you hate having your photo taken)

Your smile is your most important business tool.

Research shows that people are more attracted to smiling faces and spend more time looking at a picture of a smiling face than a non-smiling face.

In my experience, when it comes to selecting which pictures they want from their shoot people always choose the images where they have a natural smile and laughter.

Don’t let the mention of the word natural worry you. I’m there to help you relax and enjoy the experience as much as possible. I know how to give you the right direction that will result in natural-looking images.

You just need to bring the right attitude.

Try this affirmation: If you practice daily affirmations in your business or life, then add in ‘I am going to enjoy my photoshoot, have fun and get some great images’!

"Edith was very good at making me comfortable in front of the camera. I really enjoyed my photo session." Kirsten Andreae

2. choose your clothes with care

Rule number 1: You have to love it!

Be yourself with your style. The clothing you choose is your chance to put a little bit of your personality into your headshot.

Remember if you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing it’s going to show in your images.

Rule number 2: Bring different outfits and changes with you - more than you think you will need!

It’s a good idea to bring lots of different tops and layers.

Once we start shooting it’s good to have options to find what looks good on you, what photographs well and what is appropriate for the image you want to convey.

Often simple adjustments like adding a cardy or switching for a higher neckline can make a big difference.

Remember if you don’t have it we can’t shoot it.

Rule number 3: Make sure your clothes are clean, neat and wrinkle-free.

It goes without saying really, but remember, retouching out wrinkles in clothing is an expensive exercise!

3. keep any jewelry simple

Go for simple and understated: You want the focus to be on your face not your bling, so select jewelry to add some of your own personality, but keep it simple and understated.

For your head and shoulders shot it's best to go with either a necklace or earrings, not both.

Remember to bring some different options with you to the shoot.

4. stick to your personal preferences with hair & make-up

Be yourself: I don't know if I can say this one enough - always be yourself and stick to your own personal preference and style!

If you don’t normally wear make-up don’t worry about it or keep it super simple and understated.

If good make-up and hair styling fills you with confidence book it in to have it professionally done before your shoot.

Hot tips:

  • Book haircuts for a few days to a week before the shoot so it has time to settle in.

  • Book eyebrow shaping in a week beforehand (if that's your thing)

  • Guys - check for unwanted facial, nose and ear hair

  • Check your nails - they may end up in the picture

  • Avoid make-up with glitter, shimmer or excess sparkle and shine

Remember to be yourself!

5. don't get hung up about wrinkles, laughter lines and spots

None of us can beat the ageing process but the right light and a little professional retouching go a long way to making sure you put your best face forward.

Step 1: The first step is to shoot with soft, flattering light. It makes a huge difference!

Step 2: The second, not so secret weapon, is photoshop! Those pesky spots and blemishes that always pop up just when you don’t want them are easily dealt to.

A high end retouch will even out your skin tones and give your images that professional finish.

6. cut out reflections in glasses

You don’t want your eyes to be hidden behind reflections and refractions. If you wear glasses it's likely we will spend some time messing about with lighting and angles to minimise those reflections.

Hot tip: If you have strong prescription glasses or glasses with no anti-reflective coating consider visiting your optician to either borrow a pair of blank frames or to have the lenses removed for the shoot.

7. practice, yes practice!

Get in front of the mirror: Practicing a few poses and expressions in front of the mirror won’t do any harm (even if you do feel silly doing it)!

At the very least you will know what you like best, e.g. teeth or no teeth in your smile.

Check out my blog post, how to look good in photos, for some tips and tricks and what body positions to experiment with.

Ready to level up your online appearance?

Would you like to find out more about booking in your own headshot session?

I would love to chat with you and hear more about your business or where your career is headed. You can schedule 15 minutes in my calender right here.

Talk soon! Edith



bottom of page