Everyone Loves Getting Their Headshots Taken…Right?
I’ve been shooting headshots for well over a decade, and if there’s one thing I’ve never heard it’s, “I love to have my headshots taken!” We are all human, and that means we all have our insecurities. Double chins, bald spots, yellowing teeth with a pimple or two (they always seem to come out the morning of the shoot, don’t they?) are normal and shouldn’t take away from your experience in a good headshot session. Your photographer is, hopefully, well trained to bring out the best in you while putting you at ease. That said, here are some tips you can take into a session yourself to make your headshot shoot go that much smoother!
1. Bring Music
Nothing soothes the savage beast like some tunes, and the same can be said for the nervous headshots client. Listening to music that you enjoy can calm your nerves or help you pep up if it’s an early morning session. Furthermore, it may be a nice talking point between you and your photographer. A simple conversation goes a long way towards establishing rapport. Ask your photographer if they have a way to play music, or bring your own portable speaker (I use this one), or just play it on your phone. Trust me, if it helps bring out the best in you, your photographer won’t mind.
2. Communicate Your Worries
Your photographer wants to get the best out of you. Everyone has their little insecurities, but you may have a part of yourself that you truly hate or just don’t want to see in the photo. The photographer could be happily snapping away, shooting that feature in all its glory, and no matter how good you look in the photo, all you will ever see is that feature. By telling your photographer up front that you are uncomfortable, you enable the photographer to take steps to minimize those features you’re nervous about, creating images that you will love. Be honest and open.
3. Headshots and Partying All Night Don’t Mix
Nothing ruins a headshot shoot quicker than a hangover. Many times the only availability you have to shoot is on the weekend, and the temptation to tie one on the night before your shoot can be intense. Don’t do it! You won’t feel like your best self. You’ll have bloodshot eyes. Bright lights and a hangover don’t mix, so if your photographer is using flashes you will be in for a hurtin’! You’ve paid someone good money to make you look good. On that note, even if you’re nervous I wouldn’t drink before the shoot, either. Have you ever been the sober person at a party? Awkward isn’t it? That’s how your photographer will feel. Awkward does not create good headshots.
4. Avoid Accessories That Steal Your Thunder
I know, I know, a little bling never hurt, right?? Well, in a headshot, the rule of thumb is to never steal focus from the face. The purpose of getting a headshot is to have a PR piece for yourself that sells YOU. If your earrings are the first thing your client notices, the headshot has failed. They have connected with your diamonds before you. That’s why you should avoid loud colors, fun patterns, or intense makeup. These things distract your client from making that connection. Tone it down.
5. Be Authentic in Your Headshots
Don’t walk into a shoot trying to look like Beyonce or Tom Cruise or (insert good-looking celebrity here). It comes off as false. Your clients will sense it and not trust you. You want to be true to yourself and not a second-rate knockoff. Remember that at some point your clients will probably meet you. I guarantee that if you don’t look a thing like your headshot your clients will notice. Have you ever seen someone using a headshot from 20 years ago? It doesn’t inspire confidence when you know the person you are hiring is trying to pass themselves off as 20 years younger. Embrace YOU. Your headshot should look like you on your best day ever!
6. Your Two Best Friends: An Iron and a Lint Roller
Don’t show up to the shoot with your clothes looking like they’re fresh out of the dryer! Minor retouching is pretty standard for most photographers. However, a shirt or blouse that is incredibly wrinkled can be a nightmare to correct after the shoot. Iron or steam your clothes so they’re ready for the shoot. The same goes for lint. If you have some furry friends, try to be hands-off with them leading up to your session. Else you could look like a Yeti before you get started. I always carry a lint roller with me on shoots, but some photographers may not. Be proactive and bring one, just in case.
I hope these tips help you when you’re stepping into your headshots session! If you have any questions about headshots or are looking to schedule your own session, feel free to contact me HERE!