DON’T WEAR CRAZY COLORS LIKE NEONS OR MULTIPLE BRIGHT COLORS
Not only will they reflect those colors onto your skin, but the focus of the image will no longer be on you.
DON’T GET ANY SORT OF FAKE TAN
Good lighting will help show your natural skin tone. Getting a good night’s sleep and being well hydrated will help your skin in the most natural way. If you feel you must get some additional color, try it out months before your headshot and see if you like it. However, I have never, ever photographed someone and thought they needed a tan.
DON’T WEAR ANY MAKEUP WITH SPF OR SHIMMER
Although some shine might be fun for a night out, it doesn’t play well with photography lights.
DON’T GO HEAVY ON THE BLUSH
Cameras often accentuate color. Remember you can always apply more, and keep in mind you are applying makeup for closeups, not the theatre.
DON’T WORRY IF YOU GET ONE PIMPLE
A standalone pimple is easy to remove from the image, and that retouching is included with your image purchase. It will actually be more difficult if you apply a lot of concealer to the area.
YOU DON’T NEED TO WHITEN YOUR TEETH FOR YOUR SESSION
I can whiten teeth in images easily, and that retouching is included with your image purchase.
PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Some “don’ts” can be broken more easily, but in general should be avoided.
BE CAREFUL WEARING PATTERNS
Tiny, repetitive details may cause strange patterns in your images. And you don’t want a pattern to compete with your face, the focus of the image. However, if you often wear vibrant florals or other patterns and that is part of your brand, of course you should wear something that represents you.
BE AWARE OF LOWCUT TOPS
If your neckline is too low, you may not be able to see your top when cropping closely, making you seem as if you don’t have a top on.
BE AWARE OF SHOULDER PADS
Some business jackets or blazers have shoulder pads. For most people, shoulder pads will make you look bulkier and shorten your neck. In headshots, this will be pronounced. Choose or purchase a simple jacket without shoulder pads unless you have a reason to add bulk.
BE CAREFUL WITH ACCESSORIES
Again, you don’t want to try and hide yourself with anything that competes with your face. In general, jewelry should be minimal or none at all. For ears, either nothing or simple small studs are perfect. However, if large jewelry is part of your trademark, choose something that will complement you and your outfit the best, and limit yourself to one signature piece that is classic and thoughtful.
WEAR CLASSIC PIECES IN SOLID COLORS THAT COMPLEMENT YOUR NATURAL COMPLEXION
Try them out in advance to make sure they fit well. If you are wearing a shirt and tie, make sure your collar is not too loose (no gaps), nor too tight (causing your neck to fold over the collar). Dress shirts that are too big for you will not lay flat on your chest.
WEAR NATURAL-LOOKING MAKEUP
You may want to consider purchasing a few new items specifically formulated for photography. My go-to makeup artist, Meredith Ehler (book directly with her), can help you navigate “camera-ready” makeup. Bring your makeup with you for touchups.
CARVE OUT ENOUGH TIME TO PREPARE YOUR HAIR
This means planning weeks in advance for making appointments and also making sure you have time to style the day of your photoshoot. It can make a big difference between you loving your photos or not.
If you plan to cut or color your hair, make sure it is done enough days in advance to let the cut or color settle in. Your hair care professional should advise you based on your exact services you need.
Bring your hairbrush with you to smooth out hair during the session.
SPEAKING OF HAIR…
Remove hair that you don’t want to show up on your headshot. This could include upper lip, nose, ear, chin, sideburns, etc. Also, if you don’t want chest hair showing, plan tops or your preparation accordingly.
DRINK LOTS OF WATER AND USE LIP BALM
Dry skin and lips won’t look good in photos, and a little prevention is much better than paying for advanced retouching.
GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
This will help with bags under eyes and puffiness.
Try Lumify Eye Drops. They can work miracles with redness. However, you may want to check with your eye doctor and try it out long before your session to ensure you don’t have any adverse reactions.
If you want some shots without glasses, I recommend not wearing them if possible before the session, so that you don’t have red indents on your nose (same goes for wearing sunglasses on your way). If you want some shots with glasses, bring all the glasses you have in case one works best (style, glare, etc.). Avoid transition lenses.
IRON YOUR CLOTHES IN ADVANCE
If you are wearing a dress shirt, please press your collar so it lies flat and the fold is crisp in the correct place. If your clothes are prone to wrinkling, carefully bring your outfit and change after arrival.
Not sure about outfits or accessories? Bring all your options. In my studio, I have a hanging rack for your clothes and a changing area, plus a bathroom close by. We can chat about your wardrobe based on the looks you are going for, and also try out multiple outfits.