When it comes to marketing yourself or your brand, we all want to put our best foot forward. Whether you're a business professional, actor or model, or just looking to improve your personal headshot for social media and online profiles, these steps will give you a clear path to follow to look and feel your best.
You're just 7 steps away from your Best Headshot Ever.
Let's get started!
Step 1) Find a Photographer you trust.
Since we're talking about the BEST headshots ever (and not the pretty-goodest headshots ever), you'll want to invest in an experienced pro vs. a friend with a camera or a hobbyist. A google search will get you started and referrals from friends and business colleagues will help you too. You'll want to seek out a photographer whose headshot portfolio matches your vision and whose personality matches your style. I recommend going a step further than just an e-mail inquiry. I find the best way to gauge someone's trust and approachability is to hear it in their voice with a phone call or in-person meeting. Comfort and trust are key ingredients to feeling comfortable in front of the lens, so take your time BEFORE booking to make sure you've found the right match.
Step 2) Hair Prep
Once you've got it in your head that an updated business or personal headshot is needed, you'll probably want to schedule it, like yesterday. Hold your horses though. There are a few prep steps that will result in better images for you. First, consider your hair. Our fave hair and makeup artist Brittany Myzeqari recommends scheduling a cut 1-2 weeks before a session so you have a clean look and time to get adjusted to the new styling and length.
Step 3) Wardrobe Prep
At least 3-7 days before your shoot, we recommend consulting with your photographer on what to wear, gathering the necessary garments, cleaning, steaming and packing all pieces. Our top wardrobe suggestions for multiple wardrobe changes include: 1) Look for form-fitting tops and bottoms in solid colors-- something light, something dark, a pop of color to match your eyes or complement your hair. 2) Avoid prints as they will detract from your face. 3) Add layers and texture for visual interest, e.g. wrap tops, knit cardigans, textured fitted jackets. 4) Choose 3/4 sleeves which are universally flattering and slimming or camisoles to show off toned arms. Avoid cap sleeves as they tend to visually cut your arm in two. 5) Choose jewelry that suits your style. Polish and clean rings as needed.
Step 4) Body Prep
Myth: I need to lose 5 pounds before I schedule my session. That statement is totally false. An experienced photographer will know how to light and pose you and the lens selection tricks that will create the most slimming, flattering portrait for you. Don't let this irrational fear stop you from getting the beautiful headshots you deserve. The night before your shoot, be sure to get a good night's sleep. Eat and hydrate well just prior to any portrait session so you have energy and good spirits. You'll want to feel your best so you can look your best.
Step 5) Nail Care
I love to see hands come into the frame in headshots. A believable hand gesture can add just the right touch of friendly body language. Men and women will benefit from a manicure scheduled before their headshots. I recommend neutral polish for women as colors may draw the eye away from your face.
Step 6) Makeup
At Megan DiPiero Photography, we recommend hair and makeup artistry for every client. We think it's so important that we schedule it in as part of each session. Even men will benefit from a light powder application to reduce shine. For women, I find a full makeup session with a pro serves two purposes: 1) You'll enjoy the hour of relaxation and the pampering feeling of looking your best. 2) You'll benefit from a pro's experience prepping you for the camera. Makeup artists accustomed to working with photographers know that the lights in a shoot will wash you out. Therefore, they will apply a bit more than you might and use tricks of the trade like contouring and false lashes to bring out your beautiful features. To find the right professional makeup artist, consult with your photographer (headshot and wedding photographers are particularly well-suited for providing recommendations as they work often with these pros) or ask at your favorite hair salon.
Step 7) Relax. You've got this!
You've done your homework. You've found the right pros to take good care of you. Now all you have to do is smile and relax. For extra credit, try this self talk I learned from working with an actor and headshot client of mine, Michele. During your shoot, repeat a mantra in your head like "I am rad. I am gorgeous. You can't wait to hire me." So true! From here on in, your photographer will light, pose, and direct you to create your BEST headshot ever. Enjoy your updated look and the flood of ooohs and aaahs coming your way.
Pssst... Wanna get started on step #1? We know a friendly photographer who specializes in headshots right here in Southwest Florida. ;)
Visit our headshots gallery to see our favorite not-so-corporate headshots for actors, models, and business professionals in SWFL.
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