How to Prepare for Professional Headshots

by | Oct 1, 2020

Success in headshot photography is 50% preparation and 50% photography. We will do everything humanly possible to make sure you love your headshot, but your preparation is key. 

If you’re feeling unsure about how to prep for your photo shoot, here’s a list of some key ways to prep for your Headshot session.

Professional Headshot Checklist:

The Week Before:

Plan Your Day: While planning your day a week ahead of time can be difficult, make sure that you don’t have any appointments or other scheduling conflicts in the minutes leading up to your session. You want to be focused during your shoot.

The Day Before:

Get 8 Hours of Sleep: As much as possible, try to get some rest in the days leading up to your shoot. Our editing process will help with dark circles under eyes, but prioritizing sleep the night before your shoot is the most effective method for looking rested! 

Know Thyself: Look back at past photos of yourself that you’ve liked. Were you wearing a specific color? Did you have a specific hairstyle? Was the photo taken from a specific angle? Do you have a favorite side? Make sure to plan appropriately and/or communicate your preferences to the photographer.

The Morning Of:

Dress For the Job You Want: Stick with solid colored tops. They’re more flattering and less distracting. Jackets and collared shirts are highly recommended. Depending on your industry, you may be tempted to wear casual attire. But, based on our experience, we recommend you dress up for your professional photos.

Try to avoid any large pieces of jewelry or excessive makeup. Avoid logos or badges on either your shirt and your jacket – or you risk looking like an advertisement.

For guys, unless you have a strong preference, try not to wear an undershirt with your dress shirt. If you do, wear a white undershirt – not a black or grey undershirt.

In general, you want solid-color and high-contrast outfits. For example, white shirt and dark blue blazer, white shirt and black blazer, or light blue shirt and black blazer etc. 

Make sure your clothes are ironed and/or without wrinkles. If you have a lint roller, use it the night before. 

Shave: If you have facial hair, either cleanly shave or maintain a trimmed beard. Anything in the middle looks sloppy. When in doubt, shave. However, do not shave immediately before your shoot – as razor bumps and discoloration will become more apparent.

5-Minutes Before:

Check Your Hair: A little water goes a long way. Make sure you don’t have hair sprouting in all directions. Our editing team can easily remove single strands of hair, but clumps of hair are much more difficult.

Check For Shine: In a photo shoot, the flash on the studio lighting reflects off any sweaty or dry spots, making portions of your face look shiny.

If you have a dry face, do NOT apply lotion to your face within 4 hours before your shoot…If you need to, do this in the week before your headshots shoot.

If you’re not wearing makeup, simply splash some cold water on your face and pat dry with a paper towel.

Check Your Glasses: Dirty glasses stick out like a sore thumb. Try not to wear glasses that have “transition lenses”, as they will look like sunglasses in your photo. If you can, make sure your glasses are glare resistant, or lighting will interfere with the quality of your portrait.

Relax: You’re going to look great! Stress and anxiety will show up in photos, so get yourself in a good mood. Listen to your favorite song and do a little dance at your desk before your session.

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, please email us at

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