Whether you are an actor, a professional model or a corporate executive, your headshot represents an investment and it’s critical that it helps you achieve the results you’re after. Together we can make a formidable team—and headshots are definitely a team effort! That’s why it’s important we both have a good understanding of the desired result and that everyone involved is able to work towards that outcome. To help in the process, here are a few notes that cover the three most frequently asked questions: What to wear? What to bring? What to do?
What to Wear
You’ll want to wear clothes that will help you achieve the look you are after. For example, character actors need to think about the roles they wish to pursue. An executive might look great in a baseball cap and T-shirt but it’s probably not the best look for a corporate website (See “What to bring”)
Wear clothes that look good and make you feel good. Nobody wants a headshot in which he looks stressed and uncomfortable
Keep things simple. The headshot is about you and the way you look. The clothes are not the focus; rather they should help you achieve the “look” you’re after and certainly not overwhelm you.
With simplicity in mind, it’s usually best to keep jewelry conservative. For actor headshots jewelry should be avoided unless it’s for a particular character
Avoid baggy or loose-fitting clothes. Fitted clothing tends to photograph much better and is more flattering
Solid colors work best. Try to avoid intricate patterns and plaids. Also, definitely avoid anything with a logo.
Darker colors tend to photograph well but, ultimately, you should wear the colors that you look best in
Colors that bring out your eyes work really well
Solid white can be difficult to work with, so it’s often best to break it up with another layer or an accessory
Layering clothing is a great idea. Think about combinations of shirts and different types of tops with a jacket
For women in particular, tops with an open neckline work better than, say, a turtleneck, so think about scoop necks and V-necks etc.
Depending on the type of photo shoot, your shoes may or may not be visible but wear something comfortable and definitely shoes that help you feel confident. For example, many women feel much more confident in heels
These clothing ”rules” are made to be broken so it’s best to bring several options and we can figure it out together
Bring the clothes in which you’ll be photographed (You’ll want to make sure your clothes look their best. This means fresh—pressed when appropriate). Also, bring clothes you might want to wear. For women, at least four different tops are recommended. It’s better to bring too many choices than not enough—having options will give you confidence
Make sure to bring a brush or a comb, and any grooming products or tools you may need. Even if you are working with a hair and makeup stylist, sometimes you just feel the need to adjust your hair yourself
Bring your own makeup even if you have a stylist. This way you will have your favorite shades of makeup available to you
If you intend to be photographed with props, such as musical instruments etc. make sure you bring them and that they are complete
A shoot may last several hours depending on what you have booked. Bring a snack and anything else you may need to maintain your energy levels. Bottled water is provided
I have an extensive music collection but I happily accept my taste isn’t for everyone! The studio has a Bluetooth music player that will connect to iPods and most phones. So please feel free bring your own music!
What to Do
Think about the reason for making the photograph(s), how you want them to look and the end result they need to achieve. As the photographer I can help you with that process and I’m available to have that conversation prior to the day of the photo shoot.
Get plenty of rest leading up to your shoot. You will certainly look better for it and the photo shoot—even a single-look corporate headshot—requires a surprising amount of effort
Avoid alcohol and salty or heavily processed foods for at least 24 hours before. These can make your face puffy, and your skin and, especially, your eyes lose their luster
Stay hydrated. You will definitely look and feel better if you keep your electrolytes in check. Think about bringing a sports drink
Try to avoid having your hair cut for at least a couple of days before the shoot to let your style settle in and to be sure you are used to managing it
Arrive on time. It is your photo session and it begins at the scheduled time so if you are late it is your time that is wasted. If you arrive very early, another client may be in the studio and you’ll be asked to come back
Arrive ready to have some fun and try to enjoy the process because it really shows in the photos. The opposite is also true so don’t get stressed out