Guide:  How to Prepare for Your Headshot Session

#1: Consult with your photographer 

A pre-session phone or face-to-face consultation should cost zilch (if not, run the other way). Discuss who you are, what you do, what your great headshot should telegraph. This isn’t the time to say, oh, whatever you think. I think a lot of things–don’t get me started–but I’m meeting you for the first time. Share your story, headshots you like, recent photos of yourself — share, share, share.

#2: Put your best face forward

Well in advance: Guys, want pictures with facial hair? Figure in growth time. You can trim a beard beforehand, but it’s tough to sprout one the day before.  (And if you want a look with and without a beard, don’t forget to bring your razor to the shoot).

A few days ahead: Nothing brand new. Get all beauty treatments a few days ahead to allow them to settle in (haircut, color, eyebrows, tanning, etc.). On the other hand, if your image is highly stylized (you know who you are), then go for it! This is all about the authentic YOU.

72 hours before: Hydrate, baby. By which I mean water. Reduce alcohol (inflammation shows up as puffiness & reddish marks beneath your eyes) and super-salty foods (bloat). Stay out of the sun. Moisturize. 

Night before: Sweet dreams.

Day of: Wear or bring clean, pressed clothes (oh! what about those clothes?). If you’re using a makeup artist, come with face clean and product-free except for moisturizer.

#3: About that makeup

Women: Unless you’re experienced at applying makeup for photo shoots, studio lights, and outdoor scenarios, consider getting it done professionally for your headshot session. I can hook you up with makeup artists whose work I trust–they’ll know the makeup that looks fresh and natural on camera and will make you look your best.

Men: Unless you have the smooth skin of a prepubescent boy, skip the makeup or keep it minimal. Men usually have larger pores and more facial hair than women, so it can be difficult to get makeup to blend for a natural look.  A little powder or blotting paper can eliminate shine. On the other hand, if that’s your look, go for it!

#4: Practice makes perfect

What do you want your headshots to convey about you? Powerful, friendly, open, confident, humorous, intelligent? We’ll play around at your session with a variety of poses and expressions, but a little practice in front of the bathroom mirror goes a long way. You might feel silly, but it helps. Trust me. Vogue, baby, vogue. 

Want to learn more? Read my whole Guide to Great Headshots:

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