Professional Headshot Checklist For Success
Headshot = First Impression –
In the current digital age, a professional headshot is often the initial impression potential clients or employers will have of you. Therefore, it is vital to ensure that your headshot represents you and your brand in the best possible way. It’s not always easy to be photographed, however, we’re hoping this professional headshot checklist will bring it all together for you.
Checklist for Headshot Success
Whether you’re scheduling a headshot for yourself or your entire company, follow this professional headshot checklist to ensure success.
Find the right photographer
There are a lot of photographers out there so you’ll want to find one who specializes in professional headshots. Review portfolios because a photographer’s portfolio will showcase their vision and their strongest skills. Next, have a phone call to try to see if you click. The personality of both the photographer and subject can affect the results of a portrait session, so it’s important that a positive vibe is there.
Scheduling and Timing
If you’re getting a headshot for yourself, make a plan to do it right. Give yourself enough time and never “squeeze” it into your schedule. Scheduling your session for the right day and time is important because the results will be dependent upon your mood as well as your physical appearance. Choosing to just pop into a studio for a “quick one” on a stressful workday will yield predictable results.
Arrive at the studio early if you can because we all get a bit stressed when we are running late. This can have an effect on you and your photographer so it’s always best to prioritize your time around your headshot appointment.
If you’re scheduling headshots for your company, these tips can still apply, even if some things are out of your control. Try to select a day after a big deadline has passed, or during a stress-free workshop-type atmosphere.
Prepare Your Wardrobe
Ensure everything is clean, pressed, and well-fitting because clothing can make or break your photos.
Do you know if your skin tone is cool or warm? Professional headshot specialists use lighting that really enhances color, so it’s important to select clothing that works for you. Here’s a link to a helpful article.
Look at industry leaders to see what they are wearing in their headshots, because you may want to align yourself with these people. Although the opposite may be true if you are looking to stand out from the crowd and establish yourself as an individual or a disruptor.
Jewelry and accessories should not be overlooked, because they can enhance the results or be a distraction. Bring options or a layering piece such as a blazer or scarf because you never know what will look good on camera until you see it.
Consider hiring a professional consultant/wardrobe stylist because their artistry is knowing what looks good, what fits well, and of course, what is trending. For more on how wardrobe stylists can make an impact, visit this post.
Hair Is Important
Doing your own hair and makeup can be stressful because it’s time-consuming and artistry in its own right. We all know why celebrities and bridal parties always look amazing in photos, it’s because a dedicated professional was behind it all.
Hair and makeup can affect your headshot results, as well as how you feel about those results. Consider hiring a professional hair and makeup artist for your headshot and you will notice a difference. For more on how a hair and makeup professional can help level up your headshot, visit this post.
Gentlemen, you may not need an hour in the salon chair but you’ll need to time your haircut appropriately and avoid dramatic changes. Unless you’re getting a little trim or a lineup, don’t go straight from the barber to the studio. Haircuts sometimes need a day or two to settle, but it’s always good to consider getting cleaned up before your headshot session.
Practice In The Mirror
Practice your smile and posing in front of the mirror. This may sound ridiculous, but it will help you understand how all those facial muscles will be expressed. Look at previous headshots to determine what worked and what didn’t.
Communicate your preferences, best side, expressions, etc., to your photographer. Be open to suggestions and always try different expressions, angles, and posing. Sometimes you don’t know how or why something worked well but if you don’t try it, you’ll never see it.
Take Care of Yourself
Being photographed can be stressful, however, it can be managed positively.
Self-care is crucial to looking great for your portrait. Get enough sleep, stay hydrated, work out the day before, breathe, relax, and stay mindful. Visualize positive results and don’t dwell on any perceived body imperfections. It can be difficult to see yourself in photographs but remember, people are going to be drawn to the energy and vibe you are putting out.
Trust the Professional
Trust your photographer and don’t be afraid to ask for more time in front of the camera. The photos at the end of the session are usually more relaxed than at the beginning because everyone needs time to warm up.
In conclusion, your headshot is often your first impression. By following this professional headshot checklist, you can ensure that your headshot represents you and your brand in the best possible way. Remember, your headshot is your first impression, not just a photo.