How To Prepare For Your Headshot Session - Lee Gochenour Photography

How To Prepare For Your Headshot Session


I decided to create a little guide to help you get the most out of your headshot session.


Do your research:

  • Fitness portraits

To get the most out of your headshot session there are some things you need to consider.


- Why are you getting a headshot?

- What will it be used for?

- What do you want it to look like?





Decide on a style:

  • Enviromental Headshots are my favorite...

Environmental Headshots are my favorite...


For our premium sessions, we can often do more than one style. For shorter sessions, it is best to choose the one that you think will work best for you. Some people immediately have a preference. A good resource for finding styles that match you and your needs are websites like Pinterest, 500PX and Google.


Posing and Expression:

  • Fitness portraits

One of the biggest things that can make or break a headshot is your pose and expression. Knowing your best side and seeing yourself do the posing can really increase confidence before the shoot, and gives you an idea of what you like or do not like before you get to your headshot session. Practice some posing in the mirror to get an idea of what works for you.

- Eyes: Have a look at your eyes when you smile, and when you don’t smile. you will notice, the bottom eyelids rise a little when you smile. Practice lifting the bottom of the eyelids (without squinting too much), as it can help give a little more life to your headshots.

- Neck & Chin: leaning forwards at the torso a little bit, and putting your chin slightly forward and down can help to extend the neck and avoid any double chins. It can strengthen the jawline and give more shape to the face. Practice pushing your chin forward slightly in the mirror to see what difference it makes to your jawline.




Choosing Your Outfit:

Coordinating colour to compliment eyes and hair colour is a great idea. We can also work together with the backdrop choice to tie the headshot together. Below I have listed a few things to remember.


- Wardrobe Tip #1:

Dark Colors will make you look slimmer. Light colors are to be worn with caution.


- Wardrobe Tip #2: 

Patterns and Stripes are just as dangerous as light colors and should be selected with care. Horizontal stripes appear to make that part of your body “wider”.


- Wardrobe Tip #3: Dress with your end goal in mind. Ask yourself what sort of attitude do you wish to portray in your image? (I.E. do you wish to look inviting or strong? Maybe both.)

Hair & Makeup:

Hair and Makeup can make a big difference to your headshot. You want to make sure you still look like you. Keep it low-key, but aim to look like ‘your best self’. Using the guidelines of what you would usually do for an audition (for actors), or how you would look to meet a client (for business) is a good starting point.


If you choose to have your hair and makeup done professionally, make sure your HMUA knows you are being photographed. Avoid cakey makeup and make sure your skin tone looks natural. The more matte your makeup is the better.


In conclusion I would like to add that communication with your photographer is key. Feel comfortable to ask any questions you may have to help alleviate any anxiety over your session. Stay relaxed and remember just because it is work does not mean you cant enjoy yourself.

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