How to prepare for a headshot session

Congratulations – you’ve booked your headshot session! You’re investing in yourself, and you deserve it!

Let’s maximize your investment, and make sure you’re prepared.  Here is what you need to do to get ready:

1-3 Weeks Before The Session:

  • Choose what’s comfortable.  Start thinking about the clothes you want to bring as soon as you book, hopefully at least a couple weeks before the session. Solid, muted colors are best, but some simple patterns work, too. Different textures can add interest. Think about what you already like to wear and is comfortable. That’s probably a great choice to start with.
  • Try it on.  If you pick an outfit you’ve not worn in a while, try it on to make sure it still fits and is comfortable. I have seen guys bring in their only button-down shirt and tie and discover they can’t close the top button.
  • Make sure the clothes look fresh. Your favorite sweater might be super comfortable, but if it’s covered in pills and looking a little threadbare, it’s probably best to leave it home.  Don’t leave pressing or dry-cleaning to the last minute.
  • Don’t stress. If you don’t find anything you like in your closet and want to stay on budget, then you might try exploring one of the many excellent thrift shops in Manhattan or a site like ThredUP to find some new looks. Once you land the new job you’re looking for, you’ll want some new things to wear so consider this a head start.
  • Bring as many outfits as you can. At least three options are good, but more is always better. We may not use everything, but it’s great to have options to try.
  • You don’t need jewelry. Stud earrings are suitable, but it’s best to avoid distracting items like dangling earrings and necklaces.
  • If you need a haircut: Schedule one a week or so before the session. This gives the hair time to look natural again after the cut and also lets any tan lines fill in a bit.

The Night Before The Session:

  • Get a good night’s sleep. It’s difficult to make a great impression when you are not well-rested, so get as much sleep as you can. My colleague Greg pointed out to me that sleeplessness is a sign of stress, and we certainly don’t want to convey stress in your headshot.
  • Don’t overindulge. I shouldn’t have to say avoid hangovers, but yeah, that’s happened, and it’s not your best look. 

The Morning Of The Session:

  • Relax.  If you look in the mirror the morning of your session and discover you’ve broken out overnight – don’t panic! Our expert retouchers will make that, and other blemishes disappear. Don’t worry about covering it up with a concealer that could end up looking worse in the photo than the magic the retoucher will do.
  • With makeup, the goal is healthy-looking skin.  If you choose to wear makeup and do your own, start natural and light, especially around the eyes. You can always add more during the session if you want more, but it’s best to start light and go for subtle definition. Less is more.
  • For those opting for no makeup, use moisturizer.  Even if it’s not part of your usual routine, moisturizer will help your skin look healthier and more vibrant. For men who can grow stubble, go ahead and come in with a bit of stubble to start with. Bring your razor so we can get some clean shots, too.

If you read this much, then you are already well on your way to being prepared for getting the best shot of yourself you’ve ever seen. I’m looking forward to seeing you in the studio!

One Response

  1. Great website Bob. I love your suggestions about how to prepare for the session. I hope you get lots of business out of this! And, once this Covid is over I’d love to be able to see you all!!

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