Tips for getting an authentic Headshot Portrait

Tip#1. What to wear.

I think it probably goes without saying that your clothing choice is important. That doesn’t mean that picking clothing is easy though! I have some tips that will make the process of deciding what to wear easy and help you ensure that you look you’re very best.

When choosing what to wear for your professional headshots, it’s best to avoid complex patterns like stripes or checks. Horizontal lines can be difficult to look at in a photo and mixing patterns can make the photo feel busy. Vertical lines can have a slimming effect but should be minimal. It’s best to opt for solid colors whenever possible. Dark clothing is less distracting and put the focus on your face and eyes. This will not only give the headshot a more classic look but will be more visually pleasing several years from now when styles and trends have changed.

For men, choosing what to wear is often pretty simple. For a corporate headshot, a business suit is almost always a good choice. If you want a more casual look, you can forgo the blazer and wear a white shirt with a tie. For blazers, solid grey or navy are good choices for timeless portraits. You don’t want to choose clothing (or a hairstyle) that is too trendy as it can date the photograph. If you are wearing a tie, choose something classic. A simple pattern or bright color if you like but avoid anything too over the top.

For women, selecting the right clothing can feel more complicated but the rules are really the same. A classic business suit or simple blouse and skirt or pants are great options. Again, don’t wear anything too trendy or a pattern that’s busy. It’s best to choose something with a fall or winter look rather than a summer style.

The most important wardrobe tip I have to offer is to wear something that you like. Something that makes you feel good. The confidence that comes from knowing that you look good along with a warm smile will result in an image that you love and will help you achieve your marketing goals. Headshots are supposed to convey that you are a confident and polished professional so take the time to choose clothes that convey that message.

Tip #2 Makeup, Hair, and Nails

Figuring out what to wear is only the first step in preparing for your headshot session. You’ll also want to pay special attention to your hair.

I can’t stress the importance of well-groomed hair in your headshot enough. Bad hair can ruin your whole session! Play it safe and go to the hairdresser or barber right before the session. You’ll probably use your headshot for at least a year. You don’t want to wish that you’d gotten a trim every time you see it! Don’t style your hair in an unusual way. You want to look like you normally look. Men who have a heavy bread, shave right before your arrival for the headshot.

Please don’t forget the importance of your hands in your portraits. Whether you choose to do your nails yourself or have them manicured, keep them clean, and if you wear nail polish use coordinating colors. Ladies, if you are wearing an open-toe shoe, make sure your toes are ready to be photographed. Sometimes the photographer will take full-body photos and your feet will show.

Do not overdo the sun for a headshot photo. While a tan can look great, too much of a good thing can ruin your photos. Sunburn can be an expensive problem. It causes facial shine, red noses and cheeks, strap marks, hat lines and peeling, which the photographer may be able to retouch, but it will cost extra.

Many people choose to have their makeup done professionally for their headshots. It’s a good idea! A professional makeup artist will know how to make you look your best for the camera. If you’re doing your makeup yourself, keep it natural.

To Recap

  1. Don’t get a new haircut just before the session. Give it a week.
  2. Don’t wear something that might “clash” with the background.
  3. Don’t wear white unless you are wearing layers and it is underneath.
  4. Don’t wear jewelry that will distract from your face or that is very trendy and might look dated down the road.
  5. Don’t overdress. Don’t wear “big” jewelry, big scarves, big hair.
  6. Don’t wear loud stripes or checks. Avoid herringbone. No short sleeve shirts, please.
  7. Don’t wear a turtleneck (unless it is a very good look for you). In general, a v-neck style will be more attractive.
  8. Don’t wear a jacket you cannot button, or you have to stretch to be able to button. It will not look good and you will not feel good about it. Bring something that fits properly.
  9. Don’t overdo your makeup. And I don’t mean the “style” of your makeup, I mean the thickness and amount of application on your skin.
  10. Don’t get too much sun or sunburn as it can be difficult and expensive to edit, and sometimes impossible.
  11. Get plenty of sleep the night before and drink plenty of water as it will help you look refreshed.
  12. Brush your teeth before you arrive for your session.

That’s it! Getting a professional and polished headshot that represents you and your business is pretty simple if you follow these tips and hire an expert. Don’t be afraid to ASK me / CALL me about any of these BEFORE you arrive.

Laura Meyer PHotography

Serving Oak Brook