Getting Ready for Your New Headshot: A Checklist
It’s almost time for your big headshot session. Maybe it’s been a while since you had one done. Maybe it’s your first time. Either way, you want to make sure you have everything you need to look your best.
At Ground2Air Media, we understand that preparing for the perfect headshot can be quite a challenge. For this reason, we’ve created a handy checklist to ensure your headshot photography session goes as smoothly as possible. Use our checklist to make the most of your shoot!
1. Pick the right wardrobe
Even if you intend to have a closeup headshot done, that shows very little of what you are wearing, the clothes you choose for a headshot session are still incredibly important. What you wear affects how you hold your body and how you feel.
2. Fit is key
Wear something that fits you well, neither too tight nor too baggy. Your shirt should fit closely around your neck but not tight, especially if you plan to wear a tie. The same goes for your suit coat or sport coat if you plan to wear one. Try on your outfit and check yourself in a mirror, turning around to see it from all angles. If you feel uncomfortable in it, that feeling will translate to your photos. Wear something that looks not only good but also feels good. Make sure you can move in it, and there isn’t anything restricting.
3. Choose the right colors and patterns
Plain colors are your best choice for your photos. Patterns distract and could date your photo. If black and/or white are your “go-to” wardrobe choices, feel free to wear them, but be aware that photographically, black or white can be challenging. So, if you love wearing black or white, by all means, bring it along, but also bring along another color option. If white shirts are your signature look, accentuate it with an interesting tie. Please, no all-black suit coats or sports coats unless they have obvious texture. Charcoal grey is a great choice for anything with color or texture. Whatever you bring, make sure you feel good wearing it. If you feel good, you’ll look good.
4. Decide on a style
If you’re going business casual (specifically, no tie), bring a sports coat. A sport coat without a tie is an intentional wardrobe choice. But if you wear a suit coat without a tie, it gives the impression that you are dressing “down.” Button-down collars rarely lay nicely in a photo. Avoid button-down collars unless it’s an intentional style choice for you.
1. Wear a higher neckline
Keep in mind that headshots are typically cropped closely around your head and face. Cropping closer to the face with a low neckline top may give a different appearance than intended in professional headshots. Also, turtlenecks do not always photograph well, so please consider other options.
2. Stick with simple jewelry
Wear what represents you, but don’t go overboard with too much or too big. For this reason, simple jewelry is a better choice for professional headshots, especially if your headshot will be cropped close to your face (as most are).
Jewelry should just be a “finishing touch.” For necklaces, make sure the pendant is visible in the photo, so short chains are better. For earrings, stick with simple metallic or gemstone studs so that they do not distract attention. Hoop earrings and anything that dangle tends to be distracting or get lost in the photo.
3. Colors versus patterns
Although many people love to wear black, it tends to be a clothing color that can be hard to photograph as it can fall flat in pictures. Consider elegant alternatives like navy, grey, or eggplant. A color that closely resembles your skin tone should also be avoided, as you won’t get those contrasting lines between you and your clothing. Avoid bright colors, shiny fabrics, and distracting patterns. You want people to first see you when they look at the photo, not your clothes.
Preparing for a headshot photo session
The night before the photoshoot, you should do the following:
- Wash your face with a gentle cleanser.
- Massage your face with a gentle exfoliator and rinse.
- Rinse your face with warm water (not hot or cold!) and gently pat your face with a towel.
- Apply lip balm or petroleum jelly to your lips.
- Use a face moisturizer on your face and neck.
- Drink plenty of fluids the night before and the day of the shoot.
On the morning of the photoshoot, you should do the following:
- Wash your face with a gentle face cleanser.
- Apply eye cream and face moisturizer.
a. Hair and makeup
You should get your haircut and color it several days before the shoot.
Makeup should be fresh and natural; you don’t need more makeup than you would normally wear.
The emphasis will be on your eyes and mouth, so pay particular attention to these features. Make sure mascara is applied evenly, eyeliner isn’t running or smudged, and your lips are always hydrated. Bring chapstick and extra lipstick to apply as you go.
Wear a matte foundation and bring a blotter or translucent powder to eliminate any shine while on the shoot.
While it is obvious that a good night’s sleep is always important for doing whatever you do the following day, a good night’s sleep for a photography session has added benefits. When you get a good night’s sleep before a photography session, you can reduce those dark circles under your eyes. It also increases your ability to focus on the photographer’s posing instructions. Additionally, you will feel more positive about yourself and the photography shoot.
Having hydrated skin is an important part of getting a good headshot. There are a few things you can do prior to the headshot session to make sure you have good skin hydration.
Make sure your clothes are freshly cleaned and pressed and fit well. Don’t wear your portrait wardrobe to the photography session because they tend to wrinkle, and there is a potential to stain them as well. Clothes that fit well not only make you feel good at the photo session but also show your attention to detail which will help to project professionalism and confidence in your shot. Instead, bring your clean, neatly pressed pieces to the session on hangers. Bring several clothing options to ensure you have options for the shoot. If all you are getting are headshots, then we only need above the waist for headshots. But if you want a shot that is half to full body, then bring the pants and shoes you want in the picture as well.
e. Posing practice
Yes, and it’s actually a good idea to do so before the day of the shoot. Spend some time looking at yourself in the mirror and practicing different poses. Most people have a side of their face that looks better than the other, which can be highlighted during the session. It’s also a good idea to try different expressions in the mirror. You might prefer just a simple smile for a professional headshot, but it helps to know other emotions you can display through your expressions.
If you’re looking for photographers, videographers, and video producers, reach out to us at Ground2Air Media. We are a leading photographer and videographer in Brantford, ON, for your real estate marketing needs. We work as a digital marketing agency that specializes in real estate video tours, real estate photography, and social media management.
Our services include real estate photography and videography, social media management, and custom video production.
Get in touch with us today!