(For business photos, please see our page of headshot tips for business portraits)
Top three things to remember:
- Your headshot should look exactly like you
- Your photo has to sell your looks and personality
- What you see is what you get
Share your intentions for the photo session. Let us know what kind of look you want.
Do a dress rehearsal at home in front of a mirror. Practice poses and expressions (see below about characters).
If you're having trouble with expressions, watch your face in the mirror while running lines from a favorite scene.
Do not drink alcohol or take any drugs directly before or the night before your shoot. If possible, do not smoke cigarettes directly before your shoot.
Drink lots of water and be well rested (so your eyes will not have dark cirlces).
Arrive on time. Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes early (we may have other clients scheduled before you).
Actors: think about "characters" you might portray:
- The good guy/girl
- The popular guy/girl
- The guy/girl next door
- The bad guy/girl
- The professional guy/girl
Think about the subtext behind the character. Where is this character from? What is his/her disposition? What is his/her financial background (blue collar/white collar/middle)? These questions will help you decide what kind of wardrobe to bring.
What to wear:
- Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you look great
- Don't overdress
- Avoid logos or branding
- A simple black shirt/blouse/dress is often a good option
- Avoid white shirts unless you plan to wear it underneath something
- Darker clothes attract less attention and put the attention on your face and eyes
- Solid colors are great
- Avoid busy patterns and large lines or stripes
- No glitter
- Blue/green/turquoise clothing can help emphasize blue/green/hazel eyes
- Avoid red as a dominant color
- A suit or jacket are great for men wanting a more professional look
- Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new
- For multiple looks, bring a variety of clothing that emphasizes different roles/characters (professional, blue-collar worker, intellectual, sexy, etc...)
- Pay attention to details. Layers, ties, belts etc
- Different necklines will change the apparent shape of your face. Bring a variety different shirts/blouses to see what works best
- Turtlenecks are almost always a bad idea (since they crowd the face)
- Don't worry about shoes too much unless you specifically want a full-length look
- Don't only bring 3-4 same-style shirts in different colors. Bring variety of styles
- Bring a few extra oufits so we can choose what looks best on you at the shoot
REMEMBER: Select and wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Select something that makes you look good.
- Keep jewelry extremely simple - small is better
- Avoid jewelry that would distract from your face or that looks dated
- The picture is about your face not your jewelry
- Be prepared to remove facial piercings or multiple ear piercings
What to bring:
- Your previous headshots (so we can improve)
- Samples from magazines or other headshots to help communicate the look you want
- Favorite Music (CD or iPod/MP3 player)
- Various changes of clothing (see above)
- Good attitude
- Lip balm
- Hair brush/comb
- Makeup and hair products you prefer (especially if you have allergies)
- Hair styled and makeup already applied (if not using makeup artist)
- Nails manicured
- Already dressed in first outfit
Hair and Makeup Tips:
- Make-up should be clean and natural.
- Wear a heavy layer of translucent powder - your face will appear flawless in photos. Shine disappears, pores seem smaller, skin looks even, and blush is smoother.
- Men may need base, concealer, and powder for the shoot. It is best to obtain your own so it is specially matched to your skin tone.
- Line lips before applying matte lipstick, then reline. Don't overdo it. Dip a cotton bud in powder and run along lip line to prevent color from bleeding.
- Avoid shimmers or products with lots of sparkle or shine.
- Avoid frosts or garish colors.
- Don't get a new hair cut just before the shoot (you may want to let it grow-in a bit or get used to styling a new cut).
- Do not try/use any new product on your hair, face or body the day before or few days before your shoot.
- Avoid over-styling (soap opera hair looks too staged) or the latest fad such as pinning tresses with lots of tiny barrettes.
- If you are under 16-years old the only makeup you need is lip balm or lip gloss.