Headshot Session Preparation

When it comes to your upcoming business or actor headshot photo session, there are a number of ways you can prepare in advance to make sure you have the most successful and positive photo experience. Every shoot is different, so what you’ll need to prepare might change based on your unique photography needs, but overall, these are my top headshot photo session tips to ensure you look and feel your best during your photo session.



  • Drink plenty of water
  • Try to eat healthy foods, as fried and salty foods cause bloating and water retention
  • Avoid sun exposure, which can make you look tired and leave your skin irritated
  • Avoid fake tan, but if you really want to – apply it 3-4 days before the shoot
  • If you wish to, wax and manicure your eyebrows and remove facial fuzz 3-4 days prior to your photo shoot just in case you have a skin reaction.
  • The night before brush your lips with your toothbrush to help get rid of any dead skin
    Get plenty of sleep!

Your Smile

Your smile is the most important business tool and I’ll encourage you to laugh and smile naturally during your session. Research by Reading University has also proved that people look longer at a smiling face than one that isn’t.

Try to avoid eating or drinking anything that will stain your teeth leading up to the shoot or just before.

You may want to bring your toothbrush and toothpaste to have a quick clean before having your photos.



  • Solid colours look great in headshots.
  • If going with a pattern keep it simple.
  • Start with a simple shirt or blouse and slowly add layers.
  • Fitted and tailored clothing works best. Loose or baggy tops will make you look larger than you desire.
  • Try on your top(s) with your bra in front of bright light and mirror to check for transparency. Studio lights may shine through thin fabrics.
  • If you love your arms, tank tops can work nicely. However, long sleeves often work better than short sleeves.
  • Avoid busy patterns, plaids or stripes, shiny fabrics like silk or satin, pastels – the light colour washes out in studio light.
  • Bring a few changes of clothes, just in case something happens
  • Make sure that ALL clothes are ironed and pressed ready to go a day or two before the shoot to ease the potential stress of finding an outfit
  • Don’t worry about shoes if just shooting headshots. Be comfortable.


Ladies Hair & Make-up

Hair is such a personal thing so it’s best that you feel like you in your pictures. Feel free to bring whatever styling products you need in order to create your look.

If you are planning on making an appointment with your hairdresser please arrange this for the day prior or even the morning of the shoot. It is a good idea to get these booked and in the diary now.

Makeup should be simple but well done so your natural assets stand out on their own. This means that makeup should help the viewer focus on the eyes and the mouth, which are the essence of the headshot. Our main concern is shine so we do advise bringing along some translucent powder.

However, don’t wear too much face powder over foundation – the camera pick up all the detail and too much powder will show and be impossible to retouch.


Your hands may end up in some of our shots (for actor headshots), so get a manicure for your nails. For ladies choose a neutral, skin tone polish, or a clear coat, so as not to distract from your face. For men a clean trim is enough.



Shave right before you leave for a shoot. A 5 o clock shadow can’t be Photoshopped easily. Use cooling gel or aftershave to help with skin irritation.

I recommend that you get your haircut 3 to 5 days prior to the shoot so it doesn’t have that “freshly cut” look.


Wrinkles, laughter lines & spots…

We can never escape the ageing process totally but we can help reduce the visible signs. Generally, I use soft wrap-around lighting which helps to naturally smooth lines. I do have another not so secret weapon called “Photoshop” and although I never remove lines completely as it looks too false, I can help to reduce them further should you feel the need. Spots on the other hand, which seem to have a strange habit of appearing on the morning of your shoot, can be zapped out with no problem at all.



If you normally wear glasses and have a strong prescription or glasses with no anti-reflection coating, I advise that you visit your opticians and either borrow a pair of blank frames or get them to remove your lenses for the shoot. As we can have problems with reflection and refraction. Invariably we’ll shoot some shots with and some without glasses. You might like to bring along a couple of pairs of frames.


Above all, Enjoy yourself!

Although you will be working hard during your shoot it will also a fun and enjoyable experience. I fully understand that some people hate having their photo taken or think they are un-photogenic. This is an area I specialise in so please do let us know if you have any worries or concerns about being photographed.


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