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How to Have an Awesome Headshot Session

I get it, putting yourself in front of the camera is tough to do for many professionals. As a photographer, I’m usually behind the camera. When it came time for my headshot session, I dreaded it for days! But in our visual, digital age, headshots are so important to your professional image. Some would argue your headshot is even more important than your business card!

As overwhelming as they can be, your headshot is your clients’ first introduction to you and should reflect your personality and be the image you want people to think of when they recall your name. Even if your photo just sits on your LinkedIn profile, you want people’s impression of you to accurately reflect all that you do and all that you are.

Here are my favourite tips I tell my clients before they come in for their first headshot

Choose a Look That’s You!

Before your session, take a look at some head shot photos to get an idea of the style you like. Ask me to see a portfolio of my head shots to see the various areas of my studio that we can use in your shoot and let me know what resonates with you. Whether you want a professional look or a casual look, I can adapt the setting to suit your personal preference.

Raid Your Closet

The clothing you wear in your headshot session will have a huge impact on the image that your photo projects. I recommend my clients choose solid colours or simple patterns that complement their skin tone or features. A blue shirt that brings out your blue eyes, for example. Remember, in a headshot, YOU are the focus. Your smile and eyes should be the things someone sees first, not your flashy jewelry or distracting clothing. Black is a great one-size-fits-all type solution and is a great colour choice for a professional look but may be too harsh if you’re going for a casual, approachable look. Make sure the outfit you select is something that you feel comfortable in. Remember, your headshot should be a reflection of YOU. If you wouldn’t normally wear it, leave it buried in the back of your closet. To allow for some versatility, I recommend that my clients bring a few changes of clothes to the shoot. Not your entire wardrobe; but two or three outfits are ideal. Make sure that your clothes are ironed or steamed before the shoot as wrinkles are very noticeable in photos and are difficult to remove in photoshop.

Prepare the Night Before

As nerve-wracking as it may be to step into your headshot session, this should also be an exciting session; one entirely focused on YOU! Get excited for your session. Practice your poses in front of the mirror to see what angles you like.

Get a good night’s sleep so you look and feel rested in the morning. Trust me, those bright, wide-awake eyes will make a huge difference in front of the lens!

Hair and Makeup

Be sure to let me know in advance if you would like to book a hair and makeup artist for your session.

A makeup artist can provide you with a look that matches the feeling you’re trying to convey in your photos. Avoid doing any extreme beauty regimens such as a facial peel or tanning right before your headshot session. If you have very oily skin, you may want to bring some oil absorbing sheets or just some Kleenex to soak up any oil that builds up during the shoot.

Creating Your Ideal Environment

Your headshot should be a reflection of your personality. I’ll do whatever it takes to help bring out your personality through the lens. Need some music to motivate you and release some tension? I personally like 90’s hip hop, but I’ll play whatever style of tunes you prefer as long as it isn’t country – haha just kidding.

Head shots are best when you are relaxed. Forced, frozen smiles look oh so awkward in photos. I’ll try my best to find your key word; the one that makes you laugh to bring out that natural smile. You can help by conjuring up a memory that makes you laugh. Tell me about it so we can laugh together! That natural smile and laugh will come out looking great in your photo!

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