And so... here they are all in one place.
Top Ten Tips for a GREAT Headshot:
- When selecting your photographer consider, FIRST: that you resonate with the work you see on his or her website/portfolio. Are the eyes the main focus of the shots? Do you feel personality and connection in the subjects? Is the lighting good? SECOND: do you feel comfortable communicating with your photographer? Is he or she willing to talk with you on the phone? Your comfort level the day of your session is critical to getting great connection in your photos.
- Wardrobe: You should bring 4-5 different looks to your session. We may not shoot them all, but it’s always great to have options. Think in shades of casual to dressy, but keeping all options in line with your brand. Think about necklines. Think about colors that compliment your skin tones. Nothing flashy or busy that will distract from YOU (so no logos or busy patterns). Jewelry in most cases will distract from you, so unless it’s part of your brand (and you are confident it will stay that way until your next headshot session) leave it at home. NOTE: definitely talk with your agent if you think he/she will have input!!
- At least a week prior to your session: gather and TRY ON your wardrobe items. If you’re only doing a headshot, no need to worry about pants (I mean, you’ll need to WEAR pants to the session, of course... ). Consider colors that complement your eyes/skintones. Think about different necklines and texture (not pattern -- this can be distracting, but a fabric with texture is often quite lovely). And think about tops that flatter your body and colors that complement your skin tones, and don't forget to include any undergarments needed (i.e. no striped undershirts/black bras under light shirts!!) and... please launder / press as needed.
- If step number three has left you uninspired, perhaps it’s time for a new shirt or two? (which is why step 3 is NOT the night before your session). No need for anything fancy unless that’s your brand. Your headshot should be a direct reflection of you, as you are. For actors, you want to arrive at your audition looking essentially like your headshot for it to be the most effective tool.
- A few days prior, make sure you stay hydrated and get plenty of rest. Think of this as you would preparing for an audition. This will help keep your skin clear and eyes bright! But don’t stress if you wake up with blemishes the day of your session (don’t mess with them as it will generally make them worse -- let photoshop do the magic there!)
- Exercise the week prior so you feel great (especially if that’s your thing), but there’s no need to put off a headshot or portrait session just so you can “loose a few pounds.” You’d be amazed what good posing can do to flatter every and any body!
- Day of session: make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with directions to our meeting place and leave yourself time to negotiate traffic and parking. Nothing worse than arriving frazzled, except perhaps arriving late when there might be a session scheduled after yours. Loosing out on session time stinks!
- If you’re getting professional makeup and/or hair, arrive with your face and hair clean. If you wear makeup normally, feel free to bring a snapshot of how you’d like your makeup to look so your professional makeup artist can compliment your normal look, making it "camera ready" (this is especially important for actors).
- Trust that you’ve hired a photographer who has experience and will be able to direct you into your most flattering poses (this is critically important since you can’t see yourself, after all!)
- If you have done your homework on 1-9, the only thing left for you to do is to relax into the session, HAVE FUN and allow your photographer to direct you to project your very best!!