The ultimate guide to creating professional business headshots you’ll love
Here is our ultimate guide to creating your best professional business headshots. Here we show you how to prepare and what to wear to ensure you love your images and can use them widely.
Business headshots are now a must for anyone serious about their career and business. A cropped photo from a night out, even if it looks great, just doesn’t cut it anymore. In the world of online and social media everybody has a personal brand that needs to nurtured and represented in the best light possible.
For more on tips on standing out on Linkedin see here
Booking the photographer
Arranging a photoshoot can be costly and time-consuming. It’s important to be happy with the images as you’ll want to use them for a few years and possibly across a multitude of channels such as brochures presentations, social media, and websites.
Book a professional photographer who has experience in business headshots for women and has worked with your industry. Ask around for some recommendations.
Book a makeup artists and hair stylist
If you don’t like your makeup and hair you won’t like your photos, so using a professional is vital. I like to use the same person for my hair and makeup. Just make sure they are experienced. And remember if you aren’t happy with something, let them know straight away so they can fix it.
What to do before the photoshoot
You’ll need to get organised a few days before the photoshoot.
Waxing – Get any waxing done such as eyebrows and lips a few days before.
Nails – Choose a french polish or a lighter colour for your nails that won’t stand out too much if they appear in the image
Hair colour – Ensure your hair is looking its best with a fresh colour.
Water – Drink lots of water and be well rested to avoid dark circles. Stay away from alcohol the night before so your skin looks its best.
Clothing decided on – Know what clothing you will wear. Clothes should be clean and pressed and be new or look new.
Location – Confirm the location of the photoshoot including how to get there and where you will park.
Find inspiration and do your research
It’s important to know how you want to come across in your headshots. What message do you want to convey about yourself? If you are Lawyer you will want to be seen as trustworthy reliable and professional. However, if you are a Graphic Designer, creative and approachable may be more of a priority.
Find others you admire in your industry and see how they represent themselves in their headshots. Send the images to your photographer in advance and have them on hand at the photoshoot. Take particular note of how they are dressed, what jewelry they wear and how they pose as well as the location they use such as studio vs outdoors.
Also spend some time online or on social media finding images that reflect the makeup and hairstyle that you would like and send the examples to your photographer, makeup artists, and hair stylist.
Tips on What to wear
- Bring at least 2-3 clothing variations so that you’ve got a few options
- Choose clothes that are stylish, fashionable and comfortable to wear and that make you look great
- Make sure your jacket and shirt or top fit you well. A poor fitting jacket or shirt will be obvious in the photos.
- If you want a more casual look and choose not to wear a jacket, bring various coloured shirts or tops. Opt for shades that are darker than your skin tone and stay away from all white as it will draw attention away from your face. White underneath a jacket is fine.
- Sleeveless tops or dresses can draw attention to your shoulders and arms. If you aren’t a fan of your arms, stick to sleeves. It’s a good idea to bring tops with a variety of different sleeve lengths so you have some options.
- Necklines are also important because they influence the shape of your face. V necks are universally flattering, particularly for bigger busts.
- Avoid busy patterns, large prints and stay away from large lines or stripes.
Hair and Makeup Tips
- Make-up should be clean and natural
- Wearing a heavy layer of translucent powder over your face will ensure it appears flawless in photos. Shine disappears, pores seem smaller, skin looks even, and blush is smoother
- Line lips before applying matte lipstick, then reline. Don’t overdo it. Dip a cotton bud in powder and run along lip line to prevent color from bleeding
- Avoid shimmers or products with lots of sparkle or shine
- Avoid frosted lipsticks or overly-bright colours
Business headshots are all about your face, therefore, your jewelry should complement your face
- Keep jewelry extremely simple – small is better
- Avoid jewelry that could distract from your face or that looks dated
- Consider if multiple ear piercings or visible tattoos are appropriate for your profession
What to take with you in your bag
- Various changes of clothing (see above)
- Lip balm
- Lipstick and cover up for touch ups
I hope this helps and good luck with your business headshots.
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