5 Tips To Help You Look Great In Your Headshots


Want to look more photogenic in your Professional Headshots?

Of course you do - we all want to know how to look great in photos!

At some point during our lives & careers, most of us get our Headshots taken at least once - actors, realtors, musicians, lawyers, CEOs, teachers, etc., none of us can escape the dreaded (& often feared!) Headshot session. For most of us, the thought of being in front of a camera can feel really nerve-wracking - the pressure is on! What should I wear? How should I do my hair? Blazer or no blazer? Tie or no tie? Bold red lipstick, or nude lip gloss? What if I have a bad hair day, a skin break-out, or (the biggest worry of all) I hate all of my photos?

Everyone has different comfort levels when it comes to being photographed, & that’s completely normal - It’s my job as your photographer to provide you with as much guidance & education as possible so that you can come to your Headshot session feeling confident & prepared! Let’s get started…

First things first: consider the style & purpose of your new Headshots:

  • Do your Headshots need to match the style of your company’s current employee portraits - for instance, does your company have wardrobe guidelines that it expects you to follow, specific background colors to be used, etc.?

  • If you are a business owner, do you have any specific company branding colors we need to consider?

  • Would you prefer a more traditional, corporate headshot? Or are you looking for something a little more creative that shows off your personality?

Asking yourself the above questions is a perfect place to start when it comes to preparing for your Headshot Session:
Once you’ve had a chance to discover the answers, read on to learn all of my helpful tips & tricks for looking great in your Headshots!

What To Wear For Your Headshot Session | Hair, Makeup, & Grooming Tips For Your Headshot Session

My Top 5 Tips To Help You Look Amazing In Your Headshots:

#1. Experiment with sides & angles:

Have you ever noticed that you feel like you look much better in some photos than in others - but you’re not sure why? It’s all about the angles! Most people have a “side” of their face that they prefer - no one has a perfectly symmetrical face, so there always tends to be one angle that looks a bit more even than the other. Try taking some selfies to compare your face from the front, left, & right - the right angle can make a huge difference. Click to read: Top Posing Tips | How To Pose For Your Photoshoot Like A Pro

#2. Lean forward toward your Photographer:

Most people will unconsciously lean away from the camera because they are uncomfortable with having their picture taken, which usually causes them to sit at an unflattering angle. It might sound counterintuitive, but leaning towards the camera actually helps you look friendlier. Plus, it lessens any "double chin" effect by stretching out your neck a bit. If you feel like you tend to have the “deer in the headlights” look in photos, squint your eyes just a little - this will also help the shots look more confident and natural.

#3. Tap Into Your Confidence:

It’s scary, having a camera in your face. It can cause even the most confident & poised among us to freeze up, stutter, & feel a little insecure. As a Portrait Photographer, I’ve picked up plenty of little tips & tricks that I use that truly do help my clients to feel more comfortable & confident during their Photoshoots - click here to learn more: How To Feel More Confident In Front Of The Camera

#4. Pick your outfits according to your Industry:

What kind of wardrobe guidelines (if any) did your employer provide you with? If you work in corporate, simple, professional pieces are best. If you are an Actor or Model, chat with your agent to see what types of styles they recommend for you. If you are a creative, feel free to wear whatever outfits you feel best represent your work & personality. Take a look at your peers & decide if you would like to stick with industry norms or if you would prefer to stand out & go in a different direction.

#5. Prepare in advance:

When picking an outfit to bring to your session, be sure to try on your final choices in advance to make sure they fit you properly - you should be able to sit & move around comfortably in your chosen outfit. Be sure to steam or iron your outfit so that it will be wrinkle-free on the day of your session. Also, if you can, give yourself a little buffer time before your session to relax & recenter - try not to rush into your session straight from a stressful meeting or appointment!

What To Wear For Your Headshot Session

Wardrobe Tips For Men & Women

  1. Clothing that fits your form is definitely best! Look for clothes that fit well but that aren’t too clingy - try to avoid blousy or boxy tops as they will make you look bigger on camera. If you choose to wear a blazer, be aware that shoulder pads can make you look wider than you actually are - bring a basic cardigan along as well as a different layering option so that you can have some variety to choose from.

  2. Bring a variety of colors: something light (ivory, white, pastel), something dark (black, charcoal gray, navy), something with a pop of color. Try to avoid bringing only brightly colored or patterned outfit options, as these can sometimes end up looking distracting in a Headshot. Neutral-colored tops are always a great, simple choice! If you are wearing a light-colored top, be sure to wear nude undergarments underneath so that colors/patterns/textures do not show through. Simple accessories (necklaces, earrings, etc.) are great to bring along for a personal touch.

  3. Consider longer sleeves: 3/4 length and long sleeves are universally flattering and slimming. A long sleeve knit top or henley is always a great choice & is easy to layer - you can wear a form-fitting jacket on top to create a visually slimming look.

  4. Men: A collared, button-up shirt and suit jacket is your best friend! You can't go wrong with a white shirt and a dark, fitted jacket. Go without a tie for a more relaxed look, or add a tie for a more professional look.

  5. Please do not wear computer or blue light glasses to your session! Stay away from wearing glasses that have a blue or yellow tint in the lens to help with eye strain when looking at screens, as these create odd color tints over your eyes that cannot be retouched or edited out. Normal glasses are just fine!

Want more help with picking out what to wear? Click to read: How To Pick The Perfect Outfits For Your Personal Branding Photoshoot

Hair, Makeup, & Grooming Tips for Your Headshot Session

How to Style your look

  1. When applying makeup, it’s generally best to go for a simple, natural look. Be sure you pick a hairstyle & makeup look that makes you feel confident - imagine you are getting ready for a party where you want to look your best, or for an important business meeting where you want to appear professional and polished.

  2. Don’t do any extreme beauty regimens right before your shoot! (Stay away from facial peels, botox injections, tanning or extensive exfoliating). It may make your skin look red, bruised, or irritated. Try to stay out of the sun during the few days leading up to your shoot as well - dry, sunburned skin can be very challenging to retouch.

  3. Men: Be sure to clean up your facial hair prior to your session! Try to shave right before you leave for a shoot to avoid a 5 o'clock shadow. Take note that it’s not advised to completely shave off existing facial hair that you’ve worn for a long time right before your session as this can create a difference in skin tone. The skin underneath a freshly shaved beard or mustache will often appear substantially lighter than the rest of your face due to not having had as much sun exposure.

  4. Wear your hair in a way that makes you feel confident: If you love how you look with your hair up - stick with that. If you like to wear your hair down - go for it. We are always able to retouch away any little stubborn flyaways that make an appearance!

  5. Take care of your Hair: If you can, try to schedule your next hair appointment strategically - get those roots touched up, get a trim in, & maybe even get a deep condition & blowout as well if you really want to go for it! Having your hair freshly touched up can really help you to enter your Headshot session looking & feeling your best.

    Want a few more skin & haircare tips? Click to read: Hair, Skin, & Nails | How To Prepare For Your Photoshoot

    You may also like: Top Posing Tips | How To Pose For Your Photoshoot Like A Pro


Interested in Booking A shoot?
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Meet miranda

Hello! I’m a Portrait, Headshot, & Personal Branding Photographer based in Bend, Oregon.