Preparing for your session
Having photographed over 300 headshots in my life, this process has become second nature to me. I won't lie, the first 50 weren't very good. I was handed a camera while working as a production artist and told to run with it. And run I did–clumsily for a while. But anything worth doing is worth mastering. A good headshot requires good lighting and a good pose. A great headshot requires honesty and trust on the part of the subject.
The best advice I can give clients about preparing for their headshots is to be honest about what they want to walk away with, communicate that goal to me, and trust that I can deliver.
What to expect
I start every headshot session with a conversation. We can sit down, and you can forget for a minute that I have a camera. This is the most important part of the session. This is when we review what you want from your images and when I assess what kind of approach will be best for you.
Once we get started, you will feel awkward. That's ok.
You will probably never see the first 5 frames I take during the session. That's intentional. The first few minutes of any session is a warm up. Being in front of a camera is a performance, and all good performances start with a warm up.
Posing will feel unnatural. Unless you're a model or an actor, you probably don't spend a lot of time in front of a lens.
How to prepare
Relax. Don't overthink it.
There are a few helpful tips that apply to every headshot:
- Don't make dramatic cosmetic changes the week before (new hair style/cut/color, sunburn, bronzer).
- Style hair and makeup in a way that fits the occasion and is true to your usual style & personality. (you can add on-site professional hair and makeup to your portrait package if you'd like. Prices range from $75-$200. Please let me know as soon as possible if you want to add this service.)
- Wear solid or very subtly patterned clothing, or keep patterned clothing under more subdued layers (floral shirt under a cardigan or blazer).
- Choose wardrobe colors and accessories that won't distract from your face (white/black, muted colors).
- Dress for the purpose of your headshot. If you're going for business professional, wear a tailored suit, not something off the rack. If you're going for creative entrepreneur, wear something that fits with your craft but is still put together and distinguished.
- Bring 2-4 wardrobe options. It's better to have options you don't use than to be stuck with something that isn't working.
- Get a good night's sleep. Leave the extended happy hour for after the headshot.
Trust me. Be honest. And your photos will be amazing.