Avoiding Headshot Heartache

Being so early into the new year, it’s a great time to update your head shot.  Here are some tips to like your photo … and even enjoy yourself doing it.



1.  Come as you are

Dress in what you wear to work.  Whether you wear a three-piece suit to work or a polo shirt with your logo, wear that to your session.

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A little bit of shadow keeps your portrait from looking flat.

Your head shot could be a client’s first impression of you, so don’t dress in a t-shirt when you’re typically found in formal clothes at work.

That being said, you’ll want to avoid heavy patterns as they can be less than flattering when you are getting your photo done.  Something with longer sleeves tends to work as well.  We encourage people to bring in a second outfit, sometimes a little mix and match can do the trick.


2.  Makeup

Ladies, when you’re planning on getting your photo taken, be sure to apply more makeup than normal.  The lighting in a portrait session may wash out the color, so adding a bit more will counter act that.


3.  Bling it up

This can go for the ladies and the men.  A little bit of jewelry can go a long way.  A nice watch, or necklace

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A little bit of jewelry goes a long way towards adding interest to a picture.

can bring a nice bit of sparkle to your portrait and add an element of interest as well.  Ladies, this also includes earrings.


4.  Do your homework!

One beautiful thing about the internet is the access to millions of photos at your fingertips.  Find something you like, be it a pose or location and talk to your photographer.  It is always a treat when a client walks in with a clear idea in mind.  You may not get a perfect copy of the image you bring in, but hashing it out with your photographer is a great way to get on the same page.

If you work for a company with a marketing department, consult with them before your session.  They may have requirements on sizing or background color and that sort of information is crucial to your photographer.


5.  Be yourself (Sometimes that means props.)

If you aren’t a person who smiles all the time, don’t try to force it.  If a pose feels uncomfortable, say so.  Awkwardness and tension come through clearly in photos, so take a deep breath and relax.

Some time ago, we had a real estate agent who wanted her photos done in her car, as she was always on the

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A big prop, to be sure, but definitively effective.

road.  That was how people knew her and that was how she felt comfortable.  People have brought in their dogs, or guitars, (in my case, I have a camera.)   Bringing in a tool of your trade can not only give you a prop to interact with, but it also gives your clients a sense of what you do.



Ultimately, the key to a great head shot is to be yourself.  Don’t worry about a single hair out of place or a crooked tie – those things can be fixed.  Instead, focus on the image you want to present to your client.  Ultimately, the key to a successful head shot is much like having a successful business:  Be confident, be relaxed… be yourself.