In my last blog, I acknowledged that it is indeed a new year. Do you know what that means? It’s time for new headshots! When was the last time you had your headshots taken? Was it a year ago? How about two years ago? Is the picture on your driver’s license newer than your latest headshot? Do you still look like your headshot? Depending on your answer will determine what you need to do.
When I’m on LinkedIn and some websites, I see plenty of headshots that are badly lit, car selfies, or taken at bad angles. Why would you use those images to represent you? You deserve better. I can give you better. In fact, I can’t give you ways to prepare.
First of all, you need to find a photographer who fits your needs and your budget. You can ask friends for referrals or do searches and check out their reviews. Next, have a consultation with the photographer. This allows you and the photographer to make sure you all are a good fit for one another and to discuss your goals for the session. You all will probably exchange ideas, as well.
In addition to photography ideas and possibly a shot list, you will discuss clothing. If you have brand colors, you can wear them in your headshots or branding, if you choose to go that route. The most important thing is that the colors are complimentary to you. For instance, I don’t wear yellow because it makes me look jaundiced. Are there colors that you wish to stay away from? Next, the outfits you choose should fit you in a complementary way and be comfortable. If your clothes are uncomfortable, you will look uncomfortable in the portraits.
Going back to colors, try to stay away from loud patterns. You want people to pay attention to you, not what you’ve got on. Okay, it is nice for people to compliment you on your outfit but you don’t want your outfit to be a distraction. Unless your brand involves fluorescent colors, I would suggest staying away from them. I do assist with outfits when necessary but I also know of a stylist that can help as well. It all depends on who in-depth you want to be with your headshots and branding.
For women, makeup is a very important aspect. If you know how to apply makeup, then I say go for it. If you do not, then I say hire a makeup artist. I have one whom I work with and trust. She does a wonderful job. Your regular hairstyle should be fine, just make sure that it is the way you want it. This may require a trip to the salon or not. Remember, this headshot is supposed to look like the best version of you, not your cousin or best friend. Men, you will probably want to get a haircut. You know your hair better than I do. With that said, you can determine if you need your hair cut the night before or a few days before. I’ll leave that up to you.
Lastly, the location. Are you looking for environmental headshots or will in-studio be fine? I think that choice is determined by what you are trying to portray in your image. There are clients that prefer outdoor shots. They have this connection with nature and that is totally fine. No matter what you choose, make sure you discuss it with the photographer.
Okay, this is a p.s.s. Make sure you get enough sleep. No one wants to take pictures with bags under their eyes. Yes, I and other photographers can remove them but it’s so much easier for you to get a good night’s sleep.
Oh shoot, I keep remembering things as I type. Not sure if you want your hands photographed or not. Either way, women, make sure your nails are clean and neat with no chipped polish. For both men and women, please lotion your hands. I don’t know about any other photographer, but I have the hardest time getting rid of ash on hands and making their skin look good. I usually have a small bottle of lotion if it comes down to that.
That’s pretty much it. If you have no clue what you want to do, you should take a look at Pinterest or even Instagram to get an idea. The photographer will probably have some ideas as well. Either way, you should be covered. I hope these tips were helpful. By the way, take a look at some of the headshots and branding portraits I’ve taken. One last thing, I do photograph men, just not a whole lot of them.
“I’ve never taken a photograph of someone and created a persona, I’ve just discovered what was already there.” ~ Anthony Farrimond