Determine Your Professional Image
Want the world to see you in a particular light? Professional headshot photography is the way to go!
Before booking, contemplate what kind of image you’d like to project. Who do you want to target? What’s the message? What outcome do you want?
Once you’ve got that sorted, schedule that session!
Consider your industry
Choose your look carefully. It depends on what industry you work in. A corporate suit and tie or an editorial style? Research the popular styles for your field. If you want an editorial look, get a photographer who has experience in that style. A wardrobe stylist can help. Include pieces that represent your work or what you aspire to do. If there’s a signature piece, make sure it’s included. Wear neutral shades like navy, black, light blue, gray or jewel tones. Solid colors will keep attention on your face – the main purpose of a headshot.
Consider your target audience
When selecting a headshot for your professional profile, consider your target audience. A lawyer’s look may not work for an actor. Be mindful of the impression you want to make on employers or clients.
Your attire should match the environment. If you wear a business suit for corporate events, bring that same suit for your photoshoot. Even if you usually dress casually, an outfit change can add a polished finesse.
If you need help picking outfits, consult professionals like stylists and image consultants. Consider the style and preferences of those who might view your headshots. Show yourself confidently and create an impactful branding campaign that boosts your visibility.
Consider your personal style
When deciding your pro look, consider the colors and styles that are seen as favorable in your field. Have a look at the styles worn by professionals you admire. This will give you an idea of what is expected.
For your headshot, opt for colors that enhance your complexion and compliment your hair color. Solids usually work best, but feel free to bring other pieces if they fit. Clothing should not distract from the subject, but rather act as an accessory and add interest. Accessories such as jewelry, watches, books or props can help express who you are and create depth.
Be mindful of texture when selecting clothing. Elements such as corduroy or suede can be distracting and draw attention away from your face. Crisp cottons or wools photograph nicely and flatter complexions while giving off a neat business-like vibe.
Dress how someone would going into their place of business – conservative yet sophisticated; professional yet approachable; modern yet classic; stylish yet timeless. Dress one step up from day-to-day attire!
Prepare for the Shoot
Headshots are awesome! They show off your professional image and make a great first impression. Before you get ready for the camera, it’s essential to be prepared.
Know the vision you have for your headshots. Also, pick the best outfit that fits that vision.
Let’s go through the steps of preparing for a headshot photography session.
Choose the right photographer
Selecting a photographer for your professional headshots and portraits? Find one with the perfect experience, style and approach. Choose one who specializes in capturing the real you.
Look for a photographer who has lots of experience taking shots of people in your industry. Check out their portfolio too – make sure it’s up to date with fresh work, and relevant looks for your profession. Experienced photographers have substantial portfolios with lots of examples of different people they’ve photographed.
They should be able to explain how your headshot will be composed and edited, so you can use it for personal branding or other purposes.
Choose the right location
When you’re getting ready for a pro headshot, the spot you pick is major to get that ideal photo. From workplaces with natural light to lively outdoor spots – the opportunities are limitless.
Indoors: Find a spot with lots of daylight, like a splendidly lit entryway or meeting room with steady shaded walls. Keep away from zones full of wires and mess, as they ruin your proficient look. Make sure to check if there are any backdrop limitations or allows that need to be acquired before shooting in specific spots.
Outdoors: Visit the place before time to cautiously think about its suitability – numerous parks may give your photo taker difficulty because of changing lighting conditions and bunches of individuals. When shooting outside, it’s ideal to select an area without solid shadows or diversions in the foundation. Furthermore, watch out for spots like bistros and eateries with fascinating scenery – simply ensure you don’t encroach on their private property during the shoot!
By picking the ideal area for your headshot session, you’ll have all the components required for the ideal representation shot!
Choose the right outfit
When prepping for your headshot session, outfit selection is key. Let your personal style show, but also consider what works best for the industry. Aim for a balance between conservative and modern, professional and comfy.
For industry-appropriate looks, an attorney might wear a suit, while an artist or musician might opt for something vintage and creative, such as a jacket and tie combo with jeans or khakis. Men should keep it simple with one change of clothes. A shirt and tie is usually a winning combo.
Style-wise, go for solid colors, avoid patterns and busy prints, reduce jewelry and piercings, make sure everything fits well, choose soft colors, remove logos, keep makeup minimal and leave hats at home unless they represent your profession (e.g. cowboy hats or military caps). Most importantly, make sure facial hair is tidy.
When dressing for your headshot session, remember timeless images come from smart styling choices. Your images will stay relevant thanks to great wardrobe choices today.
Get Ready for the Shoot
Professional headshot photoshoots are a must for creating a strong professional image. To look your best in the photo, get ready beforehand. Preparing for the shoot can really enhance the outcome. You should select your outfit carefully, and not forget to do your hair and makeup!
Let’s take a peek at what needs to be done before the headshot session.
Practice your poses
A professional headshot should show your best features, and give off a confident vibe. To get the right pic, you should practice your poses beforehand. Whether you hire a pro, or do it yourself, some prep will help you get the desired results.
The camera should be placed above your eye level, and slightly off-center, at an angle. For posing, keep your head up, chin parallel to the floor, and shoulders back and down. Relax your jawline, and look down – eyes should be gentle, not squinting or wide.
Here are tips for different poses to practice:
- Formal: Stand upright with hands folded; or sit in a chair. Turn head slightly downward, looking up at the camera from beneath eyebrows.
- Casual: Add personality with body language -smile with teeth showing; turn body slightly on an angle, but face the camera.
- Natural Expression: Close eyes or blink, keeping the natural shape of your face. Use hand gestures to add relevance – pick out details such as ties, bars and cuff links.
- Getting Creative: Vary angles between shots left-right; for women, hands on hips, arching back, can be attractive.
By practicing these poses, you’ll have a professional-looking photo!
Get your makeup and hair done
For your headshot session, it’s best to look more polished than usual. Professional hair and makeup can help you look and feel your best.
Get a skilled hair stylist and makeup artist if you think it will help. They can make sure your hairstyle, blush and lipstick look great in photos. Bring touch-up items or backups.
Having professional hair and makeup done before a photo shoot can help create calm. Schedule extra time at the beginning of the shoot for a “dress rehearsal” before the camera lens.
Relax and have fun
A headshot session can be fun. So, relax and enjoy! Get plenty of rest the night before. To look your best, wear an outfit that fits the image you want to portray.
When your photographer sets up the studio, rehearse your expressions and poses. This will help you feel ready when the session starts. Your photographer can give advice. But it is still your headshot. So make sure you are comfortable with the final photos.
During the Shoot
You don’t need to be a pro photographer to take pro headshots. But there are certain things you need to think about for the perfect shot. Your background, clothing and hair should all match the individual. Plus, lighting is essential. You also have to make sure you get the right angles and expressions.
Let’s break these elements down further.
Listen to the photographer’s direction
When you meet with a professional photographer for your headshot shoot, it’s important to follow their direction. Adhere to the instructions they give. They may ask you to switch up your poses, or try slightly different variations of each pose. This is to capture you in a variety of angles that reflect your professional persona.
Your photographer will likely move you up, down, and around. Until the image captured is how you want the world to see you. They angle the camera lens higher or lower to best capture your features. This draws attention to certain aspects of your face, such as eyes or jawline.
Be open to direction! And trust that your photographer knows what they’re doing. Listen closely to the instruction they provide during the shoot. You will likely get a powerful set of headshots that portray who you are as a professional.
Experiment with different poses
Experimenting with poses is essential for successful headshot photography. It provides options for post-production. Ensure your subject knows how to pose for each. There are a few posing rules, but experimenting can lead to better results than just repeating the same pose.
Focus on the 3 S’s when shooting portraits: Shoulders, Sides & Space. Work with your subject’s natural movements to bring out their best.
Shoulders: Ask your model to position their shoulders square away from the lens. This will create tension and push out the chest area. Or, they can roll their shoulders towards their ears for a sloped effect.
Sides: Take note of both sides of their face when moving around them. This helps emphasize certain features and draw attention away from problem areas. It’s also important for creating different photos in different scenarios.
Space: Leave space between people. This usually means less strain/awkwardness and more natural positions. Tilts and cranes help add depth. This is essential for taking group shots under bright daylight.
Take breaks to keep your energy up
Maintaining your energy during a headshot session is key. But, it can be tough after hours of posing! Take breaks and switch up poses/movements. Move & stretch to stay loose between shots. Bring snacks or protein bars for a boost. Avoid long conversations in the studio. Keep your energy high until the shoot is done.
After the Shoot
Professionals, entrepreneurs and performers: once you have had your headshots taken, what do you do next? It’s not only about taking the shot – it’s also about creating an image to use for different marketing and personal goals.
Here are some tips to help you before, during and after your professional headshot session:
Choose the best photos
Take time to review your headshots before deciding which one(s) are right for you. Look for distractions which can take away from your image. Consider which angles and expressions work best. Be selective about which photos represent you. Check if any color corrections or cropping needs to be applied.
Remember, even after considering these criteria, headshots can come across as too posed or unnatural. Put effort up front to select the right shots. This will ensure your photos do justice to your branding and effectively reflect the proud moments captured.
Get the photos retouched
Once your session is done and you have all the pics you need, it’s time for retouching. It can vary based on the photographer. Usually it includes color corrections, skin-tone adjustments, and cleaning up dirt and other problems. If it’s part of their package, they give enough unretouched images for you to choose from. This helps you compare the changes they make to the general look of your headshot.
Retouching brings a lot to a professional headshot. Minor imperfections can be fixed without making it too fake. More complex ones should be adjusted carefully so texture and depth stay. Blemishes and distractions, like utility poles or water bottles, should be removed. Plus, reduce redness, lighten eyes to make them brighter. All these changes should give you a pro yet natural looking headshot that shows who you are!
Use the photos for your professional image
A professional headshot is key for a strong personal brand. It’s the “face” you show the world, expressing who you are and your values. Polished photos show consumers you’re an expert. They will help employers decide if they should hire you!
Headshots should be used everywhere – social media, websites, PR initiatives. Consistent visuals create a powerful impression. They are also great for job applications and other materials such as newspaper articles and interviews.
Headshots show professionalism and legitimacy. They should be used on websites related to your career path. An authentic photo of yourself paints a clearer picture than credentials alone!
4501 Mattis Road 63126
St Louis Photographer
St Louis, Missouri, USA | Photography services