Preparing for your session
What to wear
Classic styles never go out of fashion. Dress shirts or collared jerseys for men, slacks and blouses or a simple dress for women. Solid colors if possible, otherwise avoid loud, bold and distracting patterns or prints. Nothing will age a photo faster than the latest trend in clothing. (Remember your high school photo?)
Props are good, welcomed actually. Hats, jackets, scarves and other clothing accessories can add texture. Sporting equipment, tools of the trade, instruments, etc., can also add to the personality of a portrait.
If you are going for a clean, professional headshot please remove all jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, loud or dangling earrings and any visible facial piercings). Unless you wear your glasses more than 90% of the time it is suggested you remove them for the photos.
Last of all, wear comfortable shoes and get plenty of sleep the night before.
Hair and Makeup
If possible use the services of a professional hair and makeup stylist. They will get you looking your best in no time. If possible, try to make your appointment so you leave the salon and go straight to the photo studio.
Discounting that, freshly clean hair and face goes a long way for a great photo session. Men, avoid shaving too close to your photoshoot to avoid razor burn or nicks. As I mentioned in the previous section, a good sleep the night before will help avoid dark circles under the eyes.
The nice thing about a photo is that minor blemishes are easy to get rid of, so don't try to pop that pimple that suddenly showed up. It's harder to photoshop big red blotches from trying to pop it than a small pimple.
Ladies, if you wear makeup, bring your travel kit with you in case you need touch ups, specially if you have shiny skin. If you are a minimalist with makeup, at least wear foundation for a more even skin tone. Avoid the "mask" look though.
Don't forget to bring a comb and brush. If you have long hair make sure you have a hair tie or two, and don't forget your hair product (hairspray or gel) just in case.
Besides the above information regarding what to wear, there are a few other considerations when it comes to more formal headshots.
• Don’t wear any graphic logo t-shirts or band names or funny slogans on your top. Avoid T-shirts all together. Classic styles work best.
• Tight patterns and thin stripes don’t transfer well from camera to computer screens. Specially small social media avatars. Solid colors work best.
• Dress in layers. Give yourself the option to look formal or casual by adding and removing items.
• If you will be converting to black and white, also consider the tones of your clothing. Avoid tones that will wash you out as a black and white.
• Wear colors that match or compliment the colors on your web site.
Social Media Portraits
While you can follow the same advice as a business headshot, a portrait for your social media outlets can often be less formal. Specially a personal account as opposed to a business account.
• Hats are generally not recommended as they cast ugly shadows and often hide too much of the face. If it's something that identifies you, I can make it work.
• Props are another way of making your portrait more casual and reflecting your identity clearer. However, you don't want to use a prop that's so large it will overbear the photo or so small it gets lost.
• The majority of social media sites place the avatar position on the left side of the screen. For that reason I tend to pose clients facing to the left so the viewer sees you looking 'into the screen' rather than out of it. If there is a different consideration, let me know.
• You can show a more 'fun' side to your personality by using a colored background rather than the traditional white or gray. I have many options available we can play with.