Whether you’re a corporate professional, public figure or business owner, follow these tips to prepare for your headshot session.

Most people get a little anxious about getting their photo taken! Even if you like the limelight, choosing your clothes and make-up while perfecting a radiant smile with a natural pose can be challenging.

But, there are a few simple things that you can do to prepare for your headshot session that’ll make the experience easier and more stress-free while ensuring your final images are even better than you imagined.


SELECT A SPECIALIST: There are several kinds of photography styles like documentary, fashion, lifestyle, panoramic, aviation, food photography, medical photography, wedding photography, portraiture, fine arts and many more.

Photographers like all other professions have generalists and specialists. Your headshot is an investment and needs to be treated as such. So if your budget allows you should seek out a headshot specialist to invest in.

It’s true that everyone with a camera or phone can take a headshot of you. A professional and more importantly a specialist will be able to direct and pose you, to flatter you and make you look confident and approachable.

RESEARCH: When doing your research pay attention to the types of photos they have on their website, do they have landscapes, houses, dogs, babies or weddings?

If so, they’re probably a generalist or headshots or headshots are a secondary income source for them.

Sure they will be able to take your picture but do they understand of the little nuances involved in capturing expressions that tell your story?

Have they spent countless hours practising and honing their craft to capture facial expressions for hundreds of people?

You should first look at their work and decide if their style suits you and the look you want.

Once you have decided on a few, figure out your budget. The reason you should do this after you have selected a  few is so you don’t let price influence your decision as there will ALWAYS be someone cheaper!

COST: Prices can vary dramatically from photographer to photographer, your location, what they offer and their level of skill all play a factor.



Choose a wardrobe that accurately reflects your profession. Actors may prefer more casual clothing while the best corporate headshots are usually taken in a suit or work-style dress.

Wear solid colours and avoid bold patterns and colours that may date and distracted from the main subject, your face.

Aim for darker clothing. Black, navy and charcoal usually photograph well. More import is to wear a colour that you love.

Try to avoid wearing white as it may make you look washed out. If you do want to wear white, throw a jacket or jumper over it.

Bring a couple of different clothing options including layers like cardigans and blazers so we can find what works best.

Wear comfortable pants and don’t worry about what they’re like unless you’ve opted for a full-body shoot.

Make sure your clothes fit well, bulky clothes will make you look heavier and are distracting to the viewer.

Try to avoid wearing too much jewellery that could distract from your face. Keep it simple.

If possible avoid wearing transition lenses if your shoot is outside. Remember it’s a headshot so the main/only focus is your face.

Consider wearing a singlet underneath your clothes to make changing easy if you have more than one outfit.

Above all, choose an outfit that you feel comfortable in so you can be more confident.



Men, get a haircut a day or two before your shoot so that it looks neat and tidy. Always shave or trim your facial hair on the morning of your shoot.

Women, get a haircut a week or two before your shoot and don’t forget to touch up any colour.

Avoid making drastic changes to your hair or make-up before the session. The last thing you want is to be unhappy with how you look in front of the camera.

Use hairspray to tame any flyaways and to keep your hairstyle neat throughout the session.

Avoid using any new skincare or makeup products during the week before your session. These can cause breakouts.

If you wear makeup, do it as you normally would. Natural, clean makeup usually looks the best.

Consider getting your hair and makeup professionally done if you’re not confident applying it yourself.

Both men and women, exfoliate your lips with a scrub or your toothbrush and apply a clear moisturising lip balm before the shoot.

Bring blotting paper with you on the day if your skin gets oily quickly.


Practice smiling for a few minutes each day at least a week before your session. Try both open and closed mouth smiles with a range of expressions and take note of how your favourite smiles feel as you won’t be able to see your face during the session.

Don’t forget to use your eyes too! A good way to do that is by thinking of something that makes you happy. Keep in mind that not every photo requires a smile, a calculated smirk and squinch of your eyes can portray confidence.

Avoid alcohol as well as processed and greasy foods. Everything that goes into your mouth leading up to your photoshoot will affect the way your skin, hair and teeth look. Be sure to drink lots of water too!

Get a full night’s sleep in the week leading up to your shoot.

Choose your wardrobe well in advance of your shoot. Make sure everything has been freshly washed, ironed and lint rolled.


Eat something light 30 minutes or so before your session so you’re not hungry.

Give yourself plenty of time to get to your shoot so that you can arrive relaxed and sweat-free.

Lastly, stop worrying about how to prepare for a headshot session, be yourself and enjoy your photoshoot! Trust that your photographer knows how to highlight your best features to create a professional and flattering headshot.

If you would like to find out more about having some portrait photography images for you or your business please email me call me on 0405 190 951.

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