On April 5th & 10th I'll be doing mini headshot sessions for professionals at my office/studio space in NoHo. I've done many headshots over the years but it's the first time I'm offering the "mini sessions." I figured shorter sessions would be ideal for busy professionals, and a lot of people could benefit from updating their work headshot for their company website or social media presence (yes, we know you were a guest at a wedding in that LinkedIn profile photo!) Preparing for a headshot is super important so here are some tips I have for you:
1) Choosing What To Wear: The biggest question I get from clients before I shoot is "what should I wear?" To answer this question, you must first answer this: What is your industry and what are your trying to communicate about yourself and your company in the picture? If you work in the financial sector, it's appropriate to wear a suit. Make sure the suit is well-tailored and isn't too loose or too tight. The shirt should contrast with the suit color and for men, the tie should coordinate well with shirt and jacket. It's okay to wear a newer design when it comes to ties, but you don't want to pick the most current trend because your picture will get quickly dated.
Someone who works in the creative side (say, advertising) can definitely wear a more casual outfit. A button down shirt with or without a jacket would be appropriate. A blouse or sweater would also work. Choosing the right color is really important. Wearing black or white can sometimes be too stark unless there is texture in the fabric or you have an accessory that offsets the color. Jewel-tone clothing is flattering and goes well with many complexions. I think the biggest advice for what to wear is choosing clothing that is simple, compliments your features, not overly trendy (as it will become dated quickly) and speaks the most about what you want to convey about yourself and your company in the photograph.
One last thing for those that wear glasses. I think that if you wear glasses on a regular basis, then it makes sense to have them in your headshot. However, I have done portraits with and without for those that don't love how they look in glasses.
2) Hair & Make-up: As you can imagine, hair and make-up is super important. Haircuts and any hair coloring should be done at least a week before the shoot. If you are comfortable doing your own hair, then there is no need to hire someone. However, if you aren't confident that you will like how you do it yourself, then absolutely hire someone. The key to getting this right is to keep it simple and natural.
3) The Backdrop: In the past it was common to have a graduated grey backdrop for headshots, but that has since become a thing of the past. The feeling now is that the backdrop should be simple, natural and soft. If you are inside with a backdrop, a solid color is best. If you are outside, the side of the building or against a natural backdrop works well. I see more and more people in various sectors having their headshots done outside. I often find that people loosen up a little more when they are outside which lends itself to a more natural looking portrait.
4) Your Poses: Most of the time I direct people to tilt their bodies one way or the other. The side pose complements the body and face. If you are near a wall or side of the building, leaning slightly against it helps. Smiling is important and you want to make sure you strike a balance between the giddy smile and the serious face. Your portrait should say you are approachable and someone you want to do business with.
5) Get Some Sleep! This tip is a simple one, but something people may forget. Get sleep the night before your shoot! When you are well-rested, your face and eyes look more relaxed which is obviously what you want in the pictures. So, don't stay at the office till 10pm or watch that extra hour of TV the night before the shoot, get your z's, folks!
You can see more of Kristine's corporate work here.