Your headshot a powerful marketing tool that is often the first thing a client sees. Once you have decided on the look and feel of your headshot now it’s time to prep for the occasion.
I reached out to professional photographer Suzanne Rushton for some tips on how to put your best face forward. Here are her recommendations for getting the perfect headshot.
- Don’t wear any crazy patterns or designs. These tend to distract from the main attraction, your face.
- Simple clothing tends to photograph better. Round-necks, v-necks or collared shirts shoot well. Anything that is too complex or finicky usually shifts, needs adjusting and can ruin a shot.
- Dress as you would when you are at work. Try to present yourself in the same professional manner as you would when seeing clients. If you’re the casual type, then go casual, but still wear flattering styles and fabrics.
- Try to wear colours that enhance your skin tone.
- Choose something you feel comfortable in. If you feel awkward in your clothes, it will show in the photos.
- As a general rule, more makeup is better. However consider what you would normally wear when making this decision. If you don’t wear much makeup, you may want to apply a bit of light blush and mascara so your natural features show up better in the photos. If you usually wear makeup, you may want to wear a bit more pronounced eye makeup. Put on a bit more than you would in your daily life and your photos will end up looking like you do in-person.
- It is recommended that you bring some lipstick to your photo shoot, even if it is just a tinted chapstick.
- Men may want to consider a bit of foundation to smooth out skin tone.
- Please leave the distracting jewelry at home. Even if it is a beautiful necklace or earrings, you don’t want the first thing people notice about your image to be your accessories. Simple and subtle is more effective.
- Make sure if wearing a pendant necklace you have it centered in the shot. Your photographer will also be watching for this (I call it “live photoshopping”).
- If you dye your hair, make sure to have your roots touched up before your picture is taken. There is only so much than can be fixed in post.
- Make sure your hair is neatly styled whether it is up or down. Depending on how nimble you are with styling your own hair, you may want to get it professionally done for your photos.
For those of you wanting to DIY it, here are some things to consider:
1) Soft diffused lighting works better than spotlights so you don’t have hard shadows on your face. If shooting outside, overcast days produce better results than sunny days for the same reason.
2) Shoot your photos from slightly above to get the most flattering angle.
3) Make sure your picture is framed properly so you are the focal point.
4) Try not to have a busy background that can distract from your face.
5) Try laughing in the photo, and have the your friend shoot just after you laugh. I find people are the most relaxed after laughing and their natural warm expressions come out.