5 Essential Tips to Taking Great Headshots

In studio acting modeling headshot portrait of blonde woman against white backdrop

So you’ve booked your Headshot session (hopefully with me!). What next? Here are 5 great tips to getting the most out of your headshot session.

Headshot Tip 1: Get Enough Rest

This may seem like a no-brainer, but getting rest will work wonders for the way we look. If you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, you will have bags under your eyes, and they will also be bloodshot. When it comes to a good professional headshot, the eyes are the most important aspect!


Headshot Tip 2: Don’t wear distracting prints or patterns

As we mentioned in the first tip, the eyes are the focal point of your headshot, so we don’t want to have anything compete with them. Wear solid colors, and leave the polka dot dresses and striped ties in the closet! This doesn’t mean you should stay away from prints or garments with interesting texture (like denim or leather). Just avoid anything gaudy or loud, and that especially goes for jewelry.


Headshot Tip 3 (for ladies): Wear makeup!

If you can afford it, book a session with a makeup artist, either through your photographer (I have a great one!), or at a salon. Makeup artists aren’t cheap (anywhere from $50-$100 here in Seattle). If you are on a budget, you can make a trip to the makeup counter at the mall, where they usually offer 15 minute sessions for free. Ask them for normal or “every day” eyes. Once again, eyes are the most important part of your headshot. Stay away from the smokey eye!

Although makeup is useful for men as well, they can get by without.


Headshot Tip 4: (for men): Shave!

Unless you are going for neatly trimmed, I suggest you shave the day of the shoot. You may not notice Stubble is fine. The stage in-between stubble and clean shaven isn’t. Your headshot should look as crisp as possible, and if you forget to shave, your future employer will certainly notice


Headshot Tip 5: Bring Variety!

It’s better to bring more than less. You need a minimum four changes of clothing, and try to vary the colors and styles. For actors, a range of different looks is very important. Ditto for business owners using different headshots for multiple pages on their websites. Also, what looks good at home may not photograph well in studio.

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