First impressions can be long-lasting. In today’s digital age, it’s essential to have a professional headshot for various purposes, including your business website, LinkedIn profile, or model portfolio.  I often get asked how often you should update your headshot and that can depend on a number of factors but generally every 2 years is a good guideline, unless there are significant changes in your look or branding that would require more regular intervals.

The thought of being in front of the camera can be daunting for many people. I’ve put together some tips to help you prepare for your professional headshot session and give you some confidence in what to expect.

  1. What to wear:
  • The choice of clothing needs to be appropriate to your industry.  For example, if you work in a corporate environment, you may want to wear a suit or a business dress. A solid color shirt or blouse in a neutral color such as navy, black, or white usually works best.  Try to avoid white or light colours if a light coloured background is used as it may look too washed-out.
  • If the photos are being taken as part of a work team it is best to check to see if there are any brand guidelines to be aware of, such as particular colours or work-branded clothing.
  • Avoid busy patterns and stripes, as they can be distracting in a headshot. Keep your jewellery and accessories minimal and tasteful.
  • If you work in a creative field, you can be more playful with your outfit choices.
  1. Hair and Makeup:
  • Consider your hairstyle and makeup choices, as you want to look yourself, but with a polished look to boost your confidence.
  • Ensure you have a neat and tidy hairstyle, a fresh shave (where applicable), and make sure your skin is clean and moisturized. If you wear makeup, keep it natural and subtle. Consider using a professional makeup artist for a flawless look.
  •  If you plan to do a fake tan, be cautious as skin colours can sometimes look unnatural in photos.
  1. Location & Props
  • Consider the location and background for your headshot and make it relevant to portray your own personality. Eg. a florist may choose a garden or park, whereas an architect would be better placed with elements of a building in the background.
  • A plain backdrop can often be the choice of companies to create a consistent theme for all employees
  • There may be options in the post processing of images to replace backgrounds but be aware this will generally incur additional costs.
  • Are there any particular props that may ‘add’ to your image to show your personality or what you are portraying?  Eg. a mine worker may wear a hard hat, a doctor may wear a stethoscope.  Keep it simple though.
  1. Posing and smiling
  • When it comes to posing, try to relax with a confident and natural look.
  • The key to a good pose is all about communication.  What style are you looking for? Serious, approachable, playful, dramatic?  Let your photographer know if there is a particular mood you are trying to portray.
  • Your photographer will guide you through different poses, but make sure to communicate if you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious.
  • Practise your smile in front of a mirror and see how little things can make big difference. For a natural smile without showing your teeth, say ‘MMM’ and lift the corners of your mouth and watch your eyes really light up.  To create a great smile showing your teeth try saying ‘YES’ or ‘HEY’ with a smiling expression.  There’s lots of different words that can work so find something that you’re comfortable saying.
  • Ask the photographer if you can check your images during the shoot. This will give you reassurance about how you look and a good guide to what poses work best for your intended look. Discuss what you like or don’t like about any particular images.
  1. Choose a professional photographer:
  • Find a photographer who has experience in taking headshots and is able to make you feel comfortable in front of the camera. A professional photographer will also know how to light and position you to ensure the best results.
  • It is totally normal to feel a little nervous or unsure, but if there is a particular aspect that is causing concern it is best to call your photographer before the photo shoot and talk through any details to give you more confidence and reassurance on the day.  Don’t spend time worrying about something that could be a really simple solution and an experienced photographer will always be happy to discuss even the smallest of concerns to make you feel confident for the session.
  1. Get a good night’s sleep:
  • Being well-rested will help you look fresh and alert in your headshot.   This is sometimes easier said than done, especially for busy working parents, but an important consideration to try to plan around.
  • If there is a choice for when to schedule the photos, it is often best to choose a morning time when you look the freshest.
  1. Relax and enjoy the experience
  • The headshot session is your time to shine!  Don’t overthink it and put your trust in your photographer to make you look your best.
  • Communicate with your photographer, relax, take a few deep breaths if needed before you start.  Try to enjoy the experience and be confident that your headshot will reflect the best version of yourself and help you make a great first impression.





Recent Articles