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Guide to Great Headshots

Expert advice from a professional photographer on how to achieve great headshots.

First Things First

Arrive well-rested and hydrated for your shoot. Feeling good means looking good.

Arrive with clean hair and skin – no excessive make up.

If you wear eyeglasses, plan to wear them for the photo. Ideally, they have a non-glare coating; however, if they don’t (or you are not sure), consider borrowing a pair of frames with no lenses to avoid glare. I will do whatever I can control to avoid glare from a camera and lighting perspective.

Be prepared to enjoy the experience and learn a few new posing techniques to look your absolute best!

Wardrobe Choices

Wear clothes that fit you well. Slightly snug is better than baggy or loose. Of course, custom tailored clothes work excellent for your professional look but we all don’t have this option.

Be sure to bring a couple of options. Sometimes black and white may be your go-to choice; however, it can be challenging depending on the color of the background. If you do decide to wear black, try to wear something black with an obvious texture. Charcoal gray with a good texture is a good choice. Bring a colorful option. Try wearing a top that compliments your eye color if possible.

Layers work well. Consider wearing a jacket and a blouse or shirt underneath. Avoid clothing items with shoulder pads. Do not wear charismatic tops with complex patterns. Do not wear tops with branded logos or text (unless it is your own corporate logo etc. but logos should be avoided in any case). Avoid any clothes with shiny fabrics. Low necklines should also be avoided.​

If you have long hair, be prepared to tie it back. ​

If you wear earrings, be sure they are subtle and be prepared to remove them if necessary. Stud earrings work best. Hoop or dangling earrings can get lost in your hair and in the photo. They can be an unnecessary distraction from your beautiful appearance in a headshot.

If you are wearing a necklace, be sure to avoid anything heavy or bulky. Again, be prepared to remove it for the photo, if necessary.

If you are planning on wearing a sports coat or blazer, don’t wear a tie. If you are planning on wearing a suit jacket, make sure you wear a complimentary tie but nothing too bold. Do not wear a suit jacket with no tie, as it will appear that you have “dressed down”.

If you are wearing a shirt with a button-down collar, prepare to have it buttoned down. If you do not want it buttoned-down, wear a shirt without the button-down collar.

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