Photography tips

Got Headshots? 5 Tips for looking your best!

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A selfie is not a headshot. They are cool for your Facebook profile or IG story but if you’re serious about your professional image, a professional headshot is a must have. A headshot is the first impression you’ll give about your professionalism, and gives people an idea of your personality before they even meet you. I also know the thought of it can be intimidating, especially if you’re camera shy. During my most recent headshot session, my beautiful muse said “I feel like people at work take you more seriously with a professional headshot”, and I couldn’t agree more. A well-done headshot conveys a powerful message: you mean business!

The good thing about a headshot session is that you can get in an out in 15 minutes or less. Realistically you only need 1 or 2 great photos and call it a day, and if your photographer is like me, they can get 20-30 shots in 15 minutes so you’ll have plenty to choose from! The posing flow for headshots is also fairly easy because it’s just YOU and we’re focusing mostly on your face. No one likes to look “stiff” in photos, so choose a professional that can guide your posing and make you feel relaxed, so you look as natural as possible.

One thing you can do to make sure you look your best in your headshots is to choose the right outfit. Depending on where your headshots are being taken (in studio versus outdoor setting) you outfit will play a major role in how you look.

Here are some of my recommendations for looking (and feeling!) your best during your headshot session:

1. Avoid bold colors

Avoid bright, bold, or neon colors and avoid patterns.  Bold colors and patterns can be distracting and can even leave unflattering color cast on your skin. If your photographer has to over-edit the picture to remove color cast, you will probably have to pay extra for that service.

Notice the red cast on the neck and chin.

2. Choose light, neutral or muted shades

Try to choose light colored, neutral tones and more muted shades; especially if your headshot session is in a natural setting or urban. Not only are those super flattering colors, but they look great in camera! You want a color that will complement the background you have chosen, not clash with it. And when in doubt… wear black! Black is universally the most flattering color, and if you have a light-colored background, BOOM! It will look amazing.

You can never go wrong with black!

3. The right outfit will make a huge difference

I personally can get self-conscious about my arms, so for headshots I always wear clothing with sleeves, that way I forget about them and instead I feel confident during the shoot. Jackets, cardigans and even sweaters look great for headshots. They give a professional look and it also helps with posing! Hand placement is one of the most challenging thing for most people (“I don’t know what to do with my hands!!!), so by having a piece of clothing that you can hold with one hand (or both!) will help you feel more comfortable.

Jackets and cardigans are great for hand placement

4. No jacket? Go for 3/4 sleeve blouse or a flowy dress

If jackets are not your thing, blouses and dresses with 3/4 sleeves and long sleeves are also very flattering and professional. Flowy dresses can help add movement to the shot and depending on your personal preference, can even help you achieve flirty looks.

5. Accessorize!

Pairing your outfit with an accessory (like a necklace, hat, bracelet or scarf) can add great visual interest to your photos. If you’re debating between a few, bring them all and have your photographer help you choose! You can try a couple different ones and see what you like best.

A statement necklace can add visual interest to your headshot (and also help with hand placement!)

Headshot sessions can be super fun! Grab a few of your friends, hire someone to do them back to back in an outdoor setting, make it a mini-session event, and then go for happy hour feeling all fabulous! And if your photographer is like me, you’ll also get some GREAT shots for your social media content!


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