Headshot Preparation Tips

Preparing For Your Session

Professional headshots are one of the best investments you can make in your career. Make sure you get the most out of your investment by considering these suggested tips to help you prepare for your session:

General Tips: What to do

• Get plenty of rest the night before your session.
• Keep your skin hydrated. Drink plenty of water during the week of your session.
• If getting your hair cut, plan it at least a week before your shoot. We want to make sure your hair has time to fill in.
• Do a little research to understand the kind of image you want, like and/or need for your unique purposes. If you want, create a Pinterest board or send me some images of shots that inspire you.
• On the day of the session try to avoid being in a rush. Prepare the night before and check the address on your GPS before the day of your shoot.
• Eat a meal at least an hour or two before your shoot so you have plenty of energy.
• For sessions over 30 minutes, bring a snack and bottle of water for an energy boost during your shoot.
• Bring a comb or hairbrush along with any emergency touch up items, such as: hairspray, pomade, hair clips/pins, extra makeup/face powder, etc.
• Bring your favorite tunes. Create a Spotify playlist or Pandora station of your favorite music that we can listen to during your session.
• Come ready to have fun! We’re going to have a great time getting to know each other and taking some awesome shots in the process.

Clothes: What To Wear

• Your face and eyes need to stand out most in your headshot, that’s why I suggest you bring clothes that have solid, neutral colors that complement your skin tones.
• For actors, consider what character you want to portray and how that character would dress. Make sure you go for a dramatic and more commercial look, which could be the difference between a t-shirt and a button down collared shirt.
• When selecting shirts, you can bring a variety of options. You can choose some that have a different vibe and different collars.
• To use our time most effectively think in terms of layers, like scarves, sweaters, suit or other jackets and even glasses.
• Don’t be afraid to bring too much, together we’ll pick what works best for your look. I would rather you bring too many options than too few.

Outdoor Shoots: What To Bring

• Make sure to wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes. You can always change your shoes for full body shots once we reach the shoot location.
• The weather in the northwest can be unpredictable, bring proper outdoor attire for the weather (jacket, umbrella, etc.)
• Bring water for warmer days.

What To Avoid

• Clothing with logos (little ones are ok, like that alligator guy).
• Busy patterns or distracting fabrics that take the attention away from your face.
• Overly bright clothing. Your color choices can reflect color on your skin.
• Accessories or jewelry that is distracting in shape or color. Remember, the focus is on you. Keep it simple.

Confidence and preparation are the key to getting great portraits. So come prepared to have fun and we’ll get some great shots with the time we have.


New York photographer, Peter Hurley, has two great instructional videos that teach you how to make your headshots stand out: the concept of the squinch and the jaw defining technique.

Practicing these techniques will really help you get the most from your shoot. Don’t worry about perfecting them beforehand, I’ll help you through it during our session.