Shubha Gangal Photography | Professional Headshot Do and Don't

 

How to Prepare for a Professional Headshot Photo Shoot

 

Clothing for Men

Think classic. Pick your favorite suit that fits you well and is preferably a classic dark color like navy blue or gray. Choose a suit that doesn't bunch up when you button it or sit down in it and a shirt and tie that match each other and the suit.

Don't choose anything with bold, distracting patterns or colors. Clothing with tight grids or a small herringbone pattern can have a moiré pattern effect on camera, so stay away from grid-like patterns. Thin stripes that are a little further apart are okay. Ties look best when their tone lands between the suit and the shirt- so a light shirt, a dark suit, and a tie in a shade somewhere between them. Some ties are too shiny- try to stay away from really reflective, shiny silk ties.

If you don't wear a tie, then choose a non-white shirt if possible. And if you wear a button-down shirt, it's best to wear a jacket or sweater of some kind to layer the look. If not, choose a darker color shirt or something with pockets or details. Please make sure that the undershirt beneath the button-down shirt is not visible; wear a v-neck or no undershirt at all.

Think about the image you are trying to convey. What type of business are you in? What is your corporate or business culture? Look at other photos of those in your company for samples to compare.

Clothing for women

Choose a professional suit or outfit that has a classic look. Don’t choose anything with bold, distracting patterns or colors, unless you can layer a blazer or sweater over it so not much of the pattern is showing.

Clothing with tight grids or a small herringbone pattern can have a moiré pattern effect on camera, so stay away from grid-like patterns. Thin stripes are okay.

Try not to wear stark white unless it’s under something, such as a suit jacket, cardigan, or sweater. V-necks accentuate the neckline and generally look best on women. Just don’t choose something with too low of a neckline: no cleavage. No turtlenecks. They tend to make people look like they have no neck at all in photos.

Stay away from short sleeves or tank tops: executive headshots look better without bare arms.

Jewelry - No jewelry at all, or something small, classic, and not very reflective or flashy. Earrings shouldn’t dangle more than an inch from your earlobe.

Make-up - If you do your makeup yourself, do your makeup how you usually wear it for an average day, or possibly a nice dinner. Do not wear heavy makeup; a close headshot will show clumps of mascara or dark lipstick. Choose light to medium eyeliners, eye shadows, and lipsticks that are only a shade or two darker than your skin tones. Avoid caking on heavy foundation, or wearing shiny eye shadows or lip gloss: too much shine is distracting on camera and looks wet.

 

General Preparation

1.  Prepare for your headshot by taking care of yourself in the week leading up to your headshot. Avoid drinking alcohol or smoking, and drink plenty of water for a few days and on the day of your headshot. This will make your skin very hydrated to fill in lines and wrinkles, under eye circles, and give you a healthy glow. Get plenty of sleep the night before your photo so you're rested and ready to go.

2. Do not cut or dye your hair right before the shoot. Freshly colored hair can look too vibrant and unnatural on camera- drawing more attention to your hair than your face. A new haircut also looks its best after at least a week, and colored hair looks more natural after 1-2 weeks’ worth of shampooing.

3. If you have a beard, trim it evenly so it’s nicely groomed. If you’re going clean-shaven, get a good shave that morning. The best rule of thumb for facial hair is to commit to your look- either a beard, mustache, or nothing at all. Anything scruffy or stubbly in between is not advisable.

4. Think about the image you are trying to convey. What type of business are you in? What is your corporate or business culture? Look at other photos of those in your company for samples to compare.

5. And remember to have fun and not take it too seriously! A little difficult after all these do's and don'ts, I know... but I promise to make the experience as relaxing as possible!