Category Archives: Headshots

Top 5 Headshot Tips

Here’s a quick list of tips to make your headshot photo session a success.

  1. Get Some Rest
    Getting a good nights sleep before your headshot session will help keep your eyes looking bright and can help avoid dark circles under your eyes.
  2. Keep clothing simple
    Avoid busy patterns in shirts/ties/blouses. You don’t want your clothing to distract from your face.
  3. Bring clothing options
    Always bring an extra outfit or two to your session. Different necklines can affect the shape of your face, so having a few different choices (shirt with a collar, crew neck, v-neck, scoop neck, etc.) can be very helpful.
  4. Share your intentions
    Let your photographer know what kind of look you want. Bring examples or reference images from the photographers portfolio.
  5. Actors – think about “characters” you might portray
    Are you the good guy/girl, the popular guy/girl, the bad guy/girl,
    the professional guy/girl? Where is this character from? What is his/her disposition? What is his/her financial background (blue collar/white collar/middle)? These questions will help you decide what kind of wardrobe to bring.

Check out my headshot tips page for more helpful information.

Amber

Here’s a great headshot from last week.

I photographed Amber’s first acting headshots about a year and a half ago and she has since grown out her hair and signed with Agence Talent. She stopped in to update her headshots with a few new looks.

Actors – remember to keep your headshots current with your appearance. If you significantly change your hair or overall look, get new pictures made so casting directors will recognize and remember you.

Amber G.

Guys in ties (or not)

For a lot of photographers shooting PR headshot photos is often referred to as shooting “Guys in ties”. Its all just part of the business uniform.

So what should you wear for a business portrait?

Generally speaking try to avoid complex patterns and stick with (mostly) solid colors. Pinstripes are ok, but houndstooth will look “busy”. Horizontal lines should be avoided. Try not to be too trendy as your headshot will probably be used for a few years. Think about timeless or classic looks.

What to wear – Men

For men, a dark suit jacket (black, grey or navy), white or light colored shirt and a basic tie is standard. For ties, crazy patterns or colors can be distracting so a simple pattern or bright color is best. Tie color can also help accent your eyes. A blue/green tie will bring out the blue/green in your eyes.

For a more casual look, some clients opt for a shirt and tie without a jacket. In these cases, I tell my clients to avoid a plain white shirt or a white shirt with stripes. Your eyes naturally go to the brightest part of a picture so a white shirt draws attention away from the face. In this case a blue or pastel colored shirt often works great.

A jacket over a crew neck shirt or a simple golf shirt can also work depending on the client’s type of business.

What to wear – Women

20090410_michelle_0044_sm.jpg

Women have lots of options, but a classic business suit or simple blouse with a skirt or pants will get the job done nicely. Try not to choose something that’s obviously a summer/winter outfit or anything that’s too trendy.

The key thing to look at for a woman’s outfit is the neckline. A “V” neckline will have a slimming effect (elongating the face). On the other hand a scoop neck or crew neck blouse will typically make a face look wider. Avoid turtlenecks at all costs (they crowd the face and can make your face look chubby).

Look your best

The most important advice I can offer is to wear something that makes you look good and something you feel comfortable wearing. Feeling good about your clothing will help you look confident and professional in your pictures.

If you can’t decide what looks best, bring a couple of outfits to the shoot. Your photographer will usually be able to tell you which outfit will work best for the shoot.

The art of the headshot

Kimberly Brooks on thehuffingtonpost.com comments that different jobs often require different kinds of headshots:

  • Real estate agents and Bloggers: smiling, smart, confident
  • Activists and serious writers: not smiling
  • Artists: intense
  • Scientists: occasionally wacky

Read more of Kimberly’s article…

I think Kimberly gets it right. A great headshot should portray the subject appropriately for a given audience.

Here are a couple examples from a shoot last week. This is Ed, and we shot two different looks – one for business and another more causal look for social media.

20090410_ed_0035_200.jpg
20090410_ed_0085_200.jpg