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  • Writer's picturebonniejheath

10 Tips for the best headshot photos

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

I’ve compiled a list of tips for getting the best results from your session. If you like more comprehensive instructions about what to wear, please download my style guide at the bottom of the front page of my website.

1. Let me know about any requirements you have for the headshots (before you arrive at the studio!) Is your company asking for a specific look with the lighting or a particular crop? Background color? Send me inspiration images that help determine the style you are looking for. I need this information before your session, so that I can set up before you arrive.

2. Consider investing professional hair and makeup. I work with several different professional hair and make up artists, and they are worth every penny. When my clients invest in professional hair and makeup I see a big improvement in how much more confident they feel in the photos, and how happy my clients are with the final product. For my clients who prefer not to have professional hair and makeup, here's a link to a blog post with some tips for doing your own styling in photos.

If your hair is dyed or colored, make an appointment to have your roots touched up a few days before your session. Fixing and blending roots in Photoshop is a very difficult task.

3. Think of three key words you’d like to project in your photos. Want to look confident, strong and brave? Or, approachable, trustworthy and patient? Communicating the way you’d like to appear in your photos will help with lighting, posing and style.

4. Wear solid colors. Stripes and patterns can be distracting in photos. The emphasis needs to be on your face and eyes. I recommend that you skip jewelry, or pick understated pieces for the same reason. For longer sessions, you can bring a couple of outfits to the studio, and I’ll help you pick. For 15 min sessions, please arrive in the outfit you would like to be photographed in. You can change jackets or other accessories for a second look.

For a more robust list of wardrobe suggestions, I have a full Style Guide on the front page of my site.

5. Avoid white tops. If you are not wearing a jacket, steer away from white or light pink. White tends to stand out a lot in a photo. We want your eyes and smile to be the most eye catching part of the photo.

6. Wear clothes that fit you. Be sure that your tops are fitted, and no "flowing" blouses. If you have lost weight or gained weight since you last wore your suit, get fitted for a new shirt and jacket. Try on everything before bringing it to the studio. Avoid capped sleeves, as they will sometimes make your shoulders look much larger than they are in photos.

7. Drink plenty of water and moisturize your skin in the days leading up to your shoot. Hydration will help your skin look it’s very best. Don't worry about blemishes, we can take fix them with retouching. Blemish removal, taming stray hair, softening under eyes and teeth whitening are included in all packages. Requests for clothing retouches will incur additional costs. We have a steamer at the studio, in case items get a bit wrinkled between home and our location.

8. Wear the correct bras and/or undershirts. If you bring a tank top or a strapless dress for your photos, be sure also bring a strapless bra. If you are not wearing a tie for your photos, bring a v-neck undershirt so that your t-shirt will not be visible in your pictures.

9. Transitioning glasses. If you wear transitions lenses and you have booked an outdoor session, it is important to bring an older pair of non-transitions glasses. If you don't have non-transitioning glasses, bring an old pair and we can pop the lenses out of them for your session.

10. Please arrive on time (and not too early!) for your session. If you are more than 15 minutes late, we may have to reschedule your photos. If you are more than 10 minutes early, please wait in your car for a few minutes and text me to let me know you have arrived. Cancellations or rescheduling (for any reason other than illness or emergencies) will result in a reschedule fee.

Bonus tip: Bring a positive attitude.

Relax, the photo session is the fun part of the process!

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Bonnie Heath, photographer, Atlanta


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