This securities brokerage executive nailed her headshot in under fifteen minutes. As the headshot photographer, I had the lighting and the space prepared — but she was confident, relaxed, and someone who clearly is comfortable in her own skin.  She hit her mark, we did a test shot or two, she turned this way, then that way, and we were done.

Female-executive-headshot

This is not, of course, often or even usually the case.  In general, unless you’re under five or have a profession that requires you to be in front of a camera, you may be anxious when you show up.  Since the camera picks up instantly on tension, which is the opposite of what you want to convey in your headshot, I generally recommend a minimum of thirty minutes for an executive headshot session — and an hour or two for actor headshots or C-suite portraits, since those generally require wardrobe changes and/or multiple settings. That gives you enough time to relax into the situation and to remember that you’re facing not a judgmental camera but a human photographer (me!) who understands jitters and insecurities and still manages to find and capture a hint of that special something-something that you bring into the world every day. 

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