Professional Headshot Tips
Most people don’t love being in front of the camera.
It’s the thing I hear the most in my line of work, how much people hate having their photos taken.
I totally get it. I’m the same way for snapshots. For some reason, I pull my head back and instantly add a third chin. It’s not cute.
You’d think, as a professional photographer, the tips and tricks I know so well would make it so I look great in photos. I get caught in those snaps too where you think gah, why did they post that! I look horrible.
Most people have their photos snapped quickly by a friend or family. This friend is doing it to capture the moment, and not aware of everyone looks the best they can. Most people don’t know how to tell someone to make slight changes in their stance to make them look great. It doesn’t even occur to them.
That is the exact opposite of what you should feel with your headshots.
A good headshot should create confidence and represents you in the best light!
The entire goal of a headshot session is to create an image that you are proud of, that looks like you at your best. It’s your first impression in this online world, so let’s make sure it’s a great impression.
All that aside, you want to know what to expect when walking into a headshot session, so here are my favorite tips.
My Best Headshot Tips
Your photos will only project confidence if you are projecting it yourself. And if you want to be taken seriously, you need to show you are confident in your skin.
Trust that I will guide you to change position if you don’t look the best. The moment you start wondering in your head “am I doing this right?” “does this look dumb?” or anything like that, the thoughts come pouring out of your eyes and your expression. This is the fastest way to make an image fall flat.
Think to yourself that you look great, you are doing great, and that you are having fun. The eyes are the window to your soul, as cheesy as that saying is. If you are thinking confident thoughts, it will come across in your eyes and your expression.
I am a big fan of letting you know what I am thinking while I’m shooting. It will never be quiet when you are sitting there wondering if you are doing the right thing. I will enthusiastically let you know when you look great and tell you when to make small changes.
Remember to Breathe
People laugh, but I tell them to stop and breath all the time while shooting. It’s so easy to get into our heads and stop moving. Movement is key to looking natural, because a pose held too long always looks off. Just simply breathing helps you relax and look great!
If you have glasses, I pay extra attention to taking the photo. With glasses, we may take more photos per pose to ensure we have the best image.
Problems that arise with glasses are:
- the frame blocking your eye
- transitional that go dark,
- or bifocals creating a horizontal line through your eye.
Let me know before your shoot if you have glasses so that we can take the extra steps and little bit of extra time ensuring you look great.
Whenever possible, if you have nontransitional, please wear those!
If you wear your glasses part-time, we will do some photos with glasses and some without so you have more to choose from.
Professional Hair and Makeup
Having your hair and makeup done for your headshot is always a great idea. Every day makeup doesn’t show up very well in camera. So this is why having slightly heavier makeup for photo shoots is recommended. Having a professional apply your makeup ensures you look good on camera, but not enough to make it look like you are wearing alot
Haircuts and Facial hair
We look our best when we have our hair done and usually, it’s looking the best when it’s been cut recently. Whether male or female, you don’t want to look shaggy. Short hair should be trimmed and looking good, and for long hair make sure you don’t have split ends. It does show in the photos!
Facial hair should be trimmed, and beards should also be tailored. You don’t need to be shaved clean if that is not your personal style, but you should definitely look groomed.
For the gents who tend to have more hair, take a look at your nose hair and ear hair as well.
Know your Best Side
Many people have a specific side they like better than the other. Whether your hair parts better on one side, or you have a dimple you like only on the cheek, let me know. With that knowledge, I can easily make sure we capture that best side!
What to Wear
What you wear is a big topic. I wrote another post on it, which you can read here:
What to Wear for your Professional Headshots.