Headshot Tips: How To Prepare Your Clients For a Portrait Shoot

Featured guest blog post by photographer and makeup artist, Simona Janek.

Photography sessions can induce discomfort or awkwardness, mostly to those who are not accustomed to having their photos taken by a professional photographer. Getting a headshot, in particular, may be daunting to many. 

Your clients, during headshot shoots, can get too anxious about how they look and may feel uncertain about their physical flaws – sadly, these negative emotions will reflect on their photos. To avoid this distressing situation, below are some tips to help your clients prepare for their headshot shoots.

If you are a corporate professional, an artist, a business owner, or a social media user on Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram – making good first impressions through your professional headshot puts you one step ahead of your career. A headshot is a powerful tool to help you in expressing yourself and in establishing a favorable perception towards you or your business. 

Connecting to your photographer

The first step in preparation for your shoot is to have a chat with your photographer. Communicate your plans and ask your photographer for some headshot style ideas.  

Your photographer can give sound pieces of advice once they know the essential details about your profession and what is the message you want to convey in your photo. 

Make time to establish a connection with your photographer, allow yourself to be comfortable around the person you’re going to work with. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and let them know your concerns (if there are any) for the upcoming shoot.

Get enough sleep and drink plenty of water

Have sufficient sleep before the day of your shoot. Lack of sleep can make you look tired, particularly your eyes which are highlighted in a headshot. Also, staying late at night can make you have acne breakouts and can mess up your complexion. Moreover, well-rested people are always alert and have elevated moods – being confident and cheery can help you a great deal on your shoot.

Drink plenty of water as it provides you with healthy and glowing skin – no camera filter and editing can make you look as vibrant if you have naturally good-looking skin. 

Choose the best outfit

Dress to impress. Though a headshot focuses chiefly on your face and your upper body, dressing up with your best outfit can make a significant distinction in your photo. For a corporate headshot, choose a professional-looking and well-fitting outfit – wear clothes as if you’re meeting a potential employer or a client for your business. 

Your headshot outfits ought not to be dull and too formal to depict professionalism; you may use your preferred style and may even subtly incorporate your business color or theme in your selection of clothes. Feel free to try various colors and patterns or add complementary accessories and jewelry. Just make sure your selected outfits match and will perfectly portray your professional branding to clients or employers. 

Ultimately, choose clothes that will make you feel confident, comfortable and allow your personality to shine through in your photo. 

 Hair and makeup

The night before your shoot, avoid any intense facial treatments like facial peels, extraction, or exfoliation – your skin will look red and irritated. Your results will show better if you schedule it at least a week before. Also, it is advisable to get cleared of unwanted facial hairs and clean up your brows. 

Wear light makeup where possible. Opt to look more natural and put just enough to cover blemishes on your face. Use foundation or a tinted moisturizer matching your skin tone. When it comes to styling your hair, keep it simple and neat. Bring along some hair clips and hair bands so you can have hairstyle options for your shoot. 

Practice your poses and facial expressions

The best way to overcome nerves and awkwardness on your headshot shoot is to practice your poses and facial expressions ahead. Knowing where your best angles are will help you be at ease in front of the camera. Search for posing guides and choose what you think works perfectly well for you. Practice in front of the mirror as it will provide you a good view of how your facial expressions and poses look like. Don’t be afraid to try out different poses and most importantly, practice your best smile. Trust what your photographer is seeing through the camera even though you may feel awkward at times. Relax and enjoy!

Relax and enjoy the shoot

There’s no better way to do your headshot but when you’re relaxed and enjoying the shoot. Be confident and show your personality. Your photographer will guide you with your poses and facial expressions so you don’t need to worry if you are doing it correctly. 

Simona Janek is a Sydney based portrait photographer and a makeup artist. She specialises in business headshots, maternity portraits, boudoir and fashion style portraits for women. Simona believes every woman deserves a beautiful portrait and is passionate about capturing  timeless images to treasure forever!