Updated: Mar 8
The moment you book a Headshot Session can feel exciting! But then you may ask...now what? Is there something you should do to prepare? Here's some easy tips to help you make the most of your upcoming headshot session.
How to Prepare for Headshots:
The Week Before the Shoot
Start preparing the week before your headshot session. If there's any little details you're unsure of, make sure you clear them up with your photographer. Common things to square away would be the hair and makeup arrangement, payment details, backdrop color, and studio location.
Next, if you're going to be getting a haircut, make sure you do it no earlier than a week before the session. Your hair may appear jagged in photos if it's too fresh, so give it some time to grow out and soften. This applies to other beauty treatments too, such as tans, eyebrow threading/waxing, etc.
This is also the time to start practicing your posing and expressions. What do you want your headshots to say about you? Confident, funny, friendly, intelligent, or bold? While you don't have to practice, it always helps to spend some time in front of the mirror rehearsing the expressions and poses you want to be photographed in. It will also help shoot day go smoother for you.
Plan your makeup and outfit at this time, too. Usually, you and your photographer will specify how many outfits to bring. I'm always a fan of bringing an extra outfit just in case there's an unexpected wardrobe malfunction. As far as makeup goes, this can vary depending on your personality and the look you're going for, but if you're unsure, a natural, clean look rarely fails to flatter.
Make sure you're well hydrated. Now is the time to drink lots of water, which will help keep your skin looking nice.
What to do before Headshots:
The Day before the Shoot
Avoid drinking alcohol and stay away from salty or greasy food. Both of these things will dehydrate your skin and leave you feeling bloated before your shoot.
Instead, opt for a big healthy meal. Yogurt, Nuts, leafy greens and lean meats are your best friends.
Get plenty of sleep. If you're tired, it'll show up in your photos. So make sure you get a good rest. The normal amount of sleep for adults is about 7-8 hours a night.
Prepare a 'Headshot Bag'. Your bag should be something you grab on the way out the door to your session. It's important to bring:
Snacks & water
Chapstick or Lip Balm
Makeup and Hairbrush/Comb
Hairspray (if needed)
Payment for your photographer (make sure you bring a payment method they accept)
A small speaker for music if you want
The Day of the Shoot
Eat Breakfast. Being hangry and being photographed DON'T Mix well (I've learned from personal experience), so make sure you have something to eat in the morning.
Do Hair and Makeup before you leave. Unless you're already arranged to get hair and makeup done on location, your photographer will expect you to be arriving 'shoot-ready', with hair and makeup already taken care of.
Don't Rush. Make sure you have plenty of time to arrive and get settled in before the shoot. Don't forget your Headshot Bag and outfit! Which brings me to my final point:
Relax and have fun. Getting photographed can be a stressful event for some people, but it doesn't have to be. I guarantee that your best images will come when you are relaxed and having fun. So take time to de-stress, nourish your body & mind, and arrive to your shoot determined to have a great time & get a great image.
That's how to prepare for a headshot session! I hope it helps you get some incredible headshots that showcase your personality to the world. Headshot images are a collaborative effort between you and your photographer, so make sure you book with someone who's not only experienced, but also able to make you feel comfortable, too. If you need a headshot photographer, I'd love to work with you.
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Austen Hunter Photography is a Pensacola, Florida photographer who specializes in senior picture photography, beach photography, fashion photography, graduation photography, portrait photography and headshot photography in bold, traditional style, from Destin and 30A Florida, to Pensacola to Orange Beach and Gulf Shores Alabama. Austen Hunter has been published internationally and is known for his bold, graphic, and clean photographic style. He uses a variety of both natural light and off-camera flash to capture images. People usually book Austen for outdoor portrait sessions or sessions conducted at his home studio.