Headshots aren’t just for actors anymore. A headshot (or professional portrait) is the way you present yourself to the world, potential employers, clients, friends and family, and beyond. Since the rise of social media, audiences are vast and your headshot is the first impression you give to the people that find you online.
If you don’t have a headshot that you are proud of, you need one.
Below are a few quick tips to consider for putting your best face forward:
1. Wear clothes you’re comfortable in.
A headshot session is not a fashion shoot or an opportunity to pretend you’re someone you’re not. It is important that your headshot is an authentic representation of who you really are. Your clothing choice should be appropriate for your profession, your business, your campaign or your potential workplace. Whatever the case, make sure your clothes fit! Especially in the arms, chest and shoulders. Watch for things like visible bra straps and pulling buttons. Choose clothing that compliments your skin tone. Also watch for lint and wrinkles.
Choosing the right clothing for your headshot can be an excuse to do some shopping and ask the opinion of a retail stylist, but it doesn’t mean you have to buy something new. Dig into your closet for the item you receive compliments in, ask a friend or a spouse to help.
2. Easy on the hair and makeup.
The day of or the days leading up to your photo session is really not the time for a fresh haircut. I would suggest avoiding any major changes to your hair in the week before your session. That way if anything goes wrong you have some time to fix it. That said, I do encourage having a professional style your hair before your session if possible. However please mind this very important tip: ONLY USE A STYLIST YOU ARE COMFORTABLE AND FAMILIAR WITH… and if possible, have a trial run.
My advice for makeup application is similar. If you can, have your makeup done professionally. Don’t risk it with a makeup artist you are unfamiliar with or that you’ve never used before. If possible, book a trial run with a new makeup artist before your session, or if you are more comfortable doing it yourself, that’s ok too. Keep things light and soft.
Overall, ask your stylists to keep your hair and makeup looking soft and natural… or you may find yourself thrust in front of the lens looking unexpectedly like a cross dressing Shirley Temple.
3. Sleep and H2O.
Alright, I know this is easier said than done. I have a teething 16 month old. But sleep is often overlooked before a headshot. Tiredness or hung-overedness will show in your images. Along with plenty of rest be sure to drink plenty of water before your session so you arrive looking fresh and well rested rather than like Lindsay Lohen on a Sunday morning.
4. Practice posing.
Close and lock the bathroom door. Stand in front of a mirror. Find your best expressions and angles. Move around. Talk to yourself. Get comfortable posing. You know yourself better than anyone else. If you work on getting comfortable with how you look, it will really shine in your photos.
5. Be prepared!
To steal the words from my favourite weathercaster Frankie MacDonald – BE PREPARED! Don’t wait until the last minute to choose your shirt or decide where to part your hair. Also, bring some quick fix items with you such as a hairbrush, powder, hand mirror, tide pen for touch ups during the session. When you arrive prepared with a clear vision of how you’d like to look, the session will. be. awesome.
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