10 Tips To Looking Your Best For Headshots

I’ve been shooting corporate and acting headshots for a while now, and I’ve picked up a few tips that can really help out when having your photo taken. Lets face it, no one gives you any advice, so I thought I’d try and help you get the most out of having your profile photo taken.

1. Think about what you are going to wear

Try to steer clear of any graphic logo t-shirts or band names or funny slogans on your top.

Patterns and thin stripes don’t work too well on camera and computer screens. This is called the Moire Effect, when thin strips close together create a secondary rippling pattern. This is especially evident when an image is small on a screen.

Patterns which look cool on your clothes may just be a busy visual noise on camera. So if you can, think about wearing something plain that will look good no matter what size the image is.

Many portraits get converted into black and white. So something else to consider are the tones that you wear. For example, the pink tie with that light blue shirt may look great in real life, but by the time the image has been converted to black and white, they may be the same tone and just blend into one an other. Give consideration to contrast and tones, and if in doubt take a couple of shots of yourself in the mirror on your phone and convert them to black and white and see what looks good.

2. Shiny skin

Most of the time when a photographer comes into your work place and sets up a studio the chances are they will be using artificial lights. This is to ensure that they can get constant results from the portraits. This is great as they will usually set up the lighting to get the most flattering image of you. However one of the disadvantages of studio lighting is that it can often make your skin look shiny / glossy / sweaty / greasy. This is especially true in the summer when it’s a hot day. So ladies i’d recommend a bit of concealer / foundation. And gentlemen I trip to the toilet to wash your face just before you have your photo taken, or a quick wash with a baby wipe also works well.

3. Your hair

Many people arrive to have their staff photo taken having just rushed over from another office or separate building. Add weather to the mix and it can be problematic.

To the ladies with long hair, I’d always recommend bringing a brush with you to the shoot.

4. Make up

This is a professional shot of you at work. So think about that when you’re applying your make up. A natural look always works best. Keep it simple and make sure it feels good for you. If you normally wear a strong lipstick, then thats fine, but don’t go for a bold look if you don’t normally look like that. After all you want the image to be a good professional representation of yourself.

5. Glasses

This isn’t a big one, but it’s probably worth mentioning. So if you normally wear glasses and people are used to seeing you in them. Wear them. If you only wear them for computer work (like me) and don’t often wear them when meeting people, make the decision beforehand whether or not to wear them in the photo. If you aren’t going to wear them, make sure you take your glasses off way before you come to have your photo taken, so you don’t have two red marks either side of your nose. It takes a while for them to go down. So leave a little time.

If you are going to wear your glasses, there are a couple of things that are really worth doing. First of all give them a really really really good clean. It’s surprising how much dust/fingerprints etc. can show up in the final image.

5. Your best side

A lot of people know how they look on camera and what side of their face they prefer. If there is a feature of your face that you don’t like or something that you are self conscious of let the photographer know. It’s much easier to tell your photographer these things, as we can change our angle slightly to make anything you're not happy with seem less obvious.

7. The right height

Your photographer will always advise you what works best for the portrait. However if you’re very tall you are probably used to seeing photos of you shot from below. This can emphasise features and isn’t the most flattering of angles. I have a number of adjustable stools to accommodate everyone.

8. Shhh!

I can guarantee that one of the first things that people say to me when they come into have their photo taken is ‘I hate having my photo taken', or 'I’ve never had a picture that I’m happy with.’

Take a deep breath and relax. You’re in safe hands. I want to capture the best image of you that I can.

9. Smile

Easier than you may think. How do you like yourself when you’re smiling in a photo? Lips shut or lips open? If you’re not sure, ask your photographer what looks best. They can take a few tests shots and can work with you to find what suits you best. Or take a few photos of yourself and ask friends and family.

I’ve always found that when you ask someone to smile for the camera, it can sometimes look forced. It’s not a proper smile; it doesn’t show in their eyes. I try never to ask people to smile. I either try to make them smile, or ask them to think about someone or something that makes them laugh. That way I get a great reaction and a genuine smile.

10. Visit the mirror just before you have your photo taken

Lastly, I’d always advise a quick stop off to check yourself in the mirror. Have a quick check that your hair looks good, your necklace hasn’t slipped round, your tie is straight - the top button isn’t showing, and there is no food in your teeth!

For more information about corporate/acting headshots, give me a call on 07788 685014.

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Chester, Liverpool, Ellesmere Port

Wirral, North Wales

+44 7788 685014