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What is a Headshot?



“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle." Christian D. Larson


Everyone knows that a headshot is typically your calling card used for professional reasons. Most think of it as an afterthought to have one, but it’s important to think of it also as a modern portrait in which the focus is on the person. It’s your professional profile image that will be seen on social media, the 'about page' on websites and on promotional materials for professionals, entrepreneurs, careers in entertainment and in any industry that requires marketing materials.


It’s about connection.


Your headshot will be the cornerstone of all your marketing content and helps to connect you to your clients through business cards, websites, professional profiles and mailers to name a few. Using it as the centerpiece of your communication channels, it ties everything together while it creates familiarity to those who are your target audience. Your headshot is the first step to building client relationships.


Professional images.


Investing in professional images provides a visual representation of you at your best, in a relaxed, but professional environment whether onsite or in the studio.


So, let’s get started!


Where do you start and how do you prepare for it? How do you make an impact on social media, what clothes do you wear and what else is needed for a headshot photoshoot?


Here are some tips:


Create a marketing plan that includes media and photo requirements. Consider which type of media needs photos such as a social media site, website, and printed materials. Also, what type of photos are needed - formal portraits, casual, in studio or at a location.


Next, plan your clothing carefully since they communicate to your audience who you are, and it will be what they see on your marketing materials. It's better to stick to solid colors and avoid large patterns and logos.


It’s a good idea to try your clothes on before the shoot to ensure they fit and you feel comfortable wearing them. This helps to make you feel more relaxed during the session. Women may want to add a splash of color to provide interest to the outfit or add a statement piece.


Makeup for women is highly recommended, but it should be applied to look natural and to give you a clean look. It is not recommended for men. All of my work is retouched afterwards, so any blemishes will be taken care of during that process.


Your hair should reflect the way you would like to present yourself. It's recommended to schedule a haircut at least one week prior to the shoot. Two weeks is even better.


Just like anything else that is worth it, you should get a professional photographer. For those serious about their business, there is a definite difference between photos taken by a photographer and those taken by a mobile device.


The photographer you choose should schedule a complimentary consultation to see if you can work together. Most of the time there aren’t any issues, but it is necessary to understand and agree on what the client wants, products offered and the price. The process from consultation to image reveal should be understood before moving forward with the shoot.

Many photographers require a session fee at the end of the consultation to reserve the date of your shoot. Once this is done then another consultation can be scheduled to discuss clothing and color schemes you want for your headshot. Both consultations can be combined into one.

On the day of the shoot, expect the session to run from 30 to 60 minutes. Typically, gray and white backgrounds are used unless another color has been agreed to during the consultation.


If you have any questions prior to the shoot, contact your photographer, so everything is ready for the session.


That's it! I hope this is helpful for your headshot session.


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