August 24, 2021

Tips to Prepare You for Your Headshots

If you’re reading this, you may be a pro at having headshots taken or you may be wondering how to prepare; or you may be a photographer looking for help. Here are tips to prepare you for your headshot, which both a headshot subject and headshot photographer could find useful.


  • Avoid logos, words, or graphics
  • Think about the color wheel
    • Warm colors like reds, oranges, and yellows, tend to be more inviting and make you look vibrant
    • Cool colors like blues, purples, and greens aren’t a bad idea, but they do communicate a little different feeling
  • Black or darker colors are good choices, which present a no-nonsense attitude, power, and sophistication
  • Avoid white or off-white, unless a jacket or sweater is worn over it
  • Whether choosing solid colored clothing or patterned is up to you
    • Some photographers will tell you to avoid patterns, but I think that’s a personal choice
  • Get your clothes and accessories together several days in advance
    • If you’re unable to find what you planned, you’ll have time to come up with an alternative without stress
  • Iron your clothes if you want them wrinkle-free (eliminating wrinkles-a difficult problem to fix in post-production)
  • Have a second shirt option and take it with you just in case something happens during your car ride like:
    • wrinkles, a spilled drink, or deodorant rings under arms

Indoors or Outdoors

    • The choice to photograph indoors or outdoors may be yours (depending on your photographer) but will be weather dependent
    • Discuss your background options to help you decide
    • If you think you’d like to be photographed outdoors, avoid variations of green, if being photographed among trees wearing a solid-colored shirt
      • If wearing a patterned shirt, it could be nice to have green in the pattern


  • They can be nice additions to photos
  • The number of accessories depends on your personality and what your end goal is for having new headshots
    • If the photos are for acting or modeling, or to use in your professional life, you probably don’t want anything distracting and should keep it clean and simple
    • If your goal is to update your social media profile or to use on a dating site, then you might want to show off your personality a little more
  • Some may consider glasses accessories and others find them essential to daily life
    • If you wear glasses, and you don’t feel like yourself without them, then by all means, wear them
    • If you don’t wear them all the time and you’re up for it, take some photos with them and some without
    • Clean your glasses before the shoot because smudges, fingerprints, etc. will show up in the photos


Miscellaneous but Still Important

  • Get rest the night before
  • Avoid salty foods and alcohol the day before
  • Drink a lot of water the day before
  • Check the address the day before to know exactly where you’re going
  • Don’t apply lotion or shiny makeup to your face before the session; the camera will accentuate it
  • Give your hands and nails a little extra attention in preparation
    • After the traditional headshots are taken, some more casual ones might include your arms and hands
  • Practice “your look” in front of the mirror several days before the session
    • In full dress as if you’re about to be photographed
    • Different smiles, some with teeth and without
    • Soft, pleasant expressions without smiling
    • Try squinting slightly (sometimes known as smizing) because it surprisingly looks confident
  • Be five minutes early for your appointment
  • Five minutes before your appointment time, check yourself in a mirror or your phone
    • Look for stray hairs
    • Check your teeth for food and/or lipstick
    • Make sure your collar is laying the way you want it
    • If you’re wearing a necklace, check to see if the clasp is at the back of your neck, and if there’s a pendant, if it’s centered
    • Make sure there are no unwanted straps showing from underneath clothing
  • Try to relax, it’s only ten minutes; you can survive anything for ten minutes, LOL
    • If it makes you feel any better, I’m incredibly awkward when being photographed, which is why most of the photos you see of me are self-portraits


What to Expect from Your Photographer, Bang Images

  • I’m short and I’ll have a step stool if needed
  • I’ll ask you to project your forehead toward the camera
    • If you’re worried about your neck or chin, you’ll like this
  • We’ll photograph for only a few minutes, but I’ll take more photos than you need
  • I’ll cull your images and provide you with the best for you to choose from
  • I’ll edit them, tweaking color and contrast slightly
  • I’ll apply a softening filter to the final images unless you ask that I don’t
    • More extensive retouching can be requested at additional cost, but is at my discretion since final images reflect the brand of Bang Images
  • You’ll receive a link to your gallery via email during the week after your headshot session
  • You’ll mark your favorite images
    • More info will be provided on this when you receive a link to your gallery of images
  • You’re welcome to purchase printed images, digital files, and/or an album
  • You’ll send me an email to discuss your choices
    • If digital files are purchased, I’ll prepare them for downloading
      • You’ll receive a link to download your high resolution jpeg files within 24 hours after you’ve alerted me to having made your final choices
    • If printed images are purchased, I’ll order them and it will take approximately 3 weeks to print and deliver
    • If an album is ordered, it takes one month from the time you place your order to have it created, printed, and delivered

With all this said, these are your photos. You aren’t required to follow any of my advice. Personally, I love being informed and prepared, especially for something new so sharing this information with you felt important.

Contact me to schedule your next headshot!

Photographers, here’s a great article published by Adorama for you when considering photographing headshots.

If you’re an actor, I think you’ll find this article beneficial.


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