What to bring to your headshot session

Here are some common questions I get asked when people book a headshot or portrait session with me. Let’s start with the basics:

– Hair cut or styled the way you want

– Variety of options for clothing

– Glasses clean and in good shape

– As little makeup on as possible

– Get a lots of rest the night before

– Be prepared to have fun The most important thing to arrive with is a great attitude. I like to make the photo session enjoyable and laid back. Even though many people use these photos for business or marketing themselves, I think having fun lets the real you come through in your photo.


Here are a couple videos you should watch before coming to your session.


Confidence is in the eyes, watch this video to learn how the eyes make the shot 

Ever wondered how to get rid of a double-chin and make your jaw look great? 

Makeup: I recommend professional hair and makeup for women. I can arrange for an artist to come to the session for an additional fee. If you are interested just let me know a few days before your session.

If you are not using a professional makeup artist come to your session with a natural clean look. If you have a “signature look” and generally wear more makeup on a daily basis then you can go a bit heavier. Just remember that styles change and if you want to use this headshot for a while it’s best to go natural. Here are some makeup tips for looking great in any photo.

Hair: If you are taking charge of your own hair styling men and women should come with their hair styled and ready to be photographed. Men, if you are getting a haircut, have it done at a few days ahead of your session. Get the nose and eyebrow hairs trimmed and or plucked. Unless beards are your thing, shave the morning of your photo.

For women, salons offering blow-outs generally have convenient times and affordable pricing. You can also check out Onsite Muse in NE Minneapolis and Blowdry in the Minneapolis Uptown area.  

Check the weather, if it’s going to be raining make sure to have an umbrella handy. Also, cover your wardrobe. I have convenient parking if you are coming to my studio but even if its a few feet you will get wet in a storm.

Rest up the night before, it makes a difference in both attitude and how you look. Drink lots of water, start hydrating a couple days before your session. Try to stay avoid a sunburn and moisturize those lips, chapped lips and sunburns are difficult to edit Bring a variety of different shirts or tops for the shoot. Clean and pressed is the way to go. Make sure at least one is a solid colored shirt; preferably not black or white. Jewel-colored solids look great. Check out this Wiki on choosing your best color. If you sometimes wear a blazer or suit coat, bring it as an option, same with a tie. These can look great if you are doing corporate headshots. You can use this opportunity to be photographed in multiple looks for different places you would use the photo. Here are some more tips for MEN and WOMEN on what to wear in your headshot session.  

Think of your audience, who is going to see this photo? If you are an actor you may want to put some thought into your type and how you want agents and casting directors to see you. If you are getting photographed for business and you take meetings in a suit and tie it’s a good idea to have your headshot reflect that look. If your office is laid back and your clients see that, it would look odd to have your headshot be too “dressed up”. As a rule it’s better dress up a level so if you are unsure bring a variety and I can help you when we do your wardrobe consult. Consider how will you be using the photo will it be for a your website LinkedIn, print, etc. You may want to use this portrait for a while and styles change so try and stick with classic styles, nothing too trendy.

If you wear glasses we want you to be consistent and wear them for your shoot. Bring a few pairs that you own, clean the lenses carefully, and if you know a pair has anti-reflective coating bring those to my attention. If you have multiple pairs you can also stop by your optometrist and ask them to pop out the lenses for the day (if possible). Glasses can be tricky in photographs and we may have to do some extra work to get the shot. See more tips for wearing glasses in professional headshots.


I look forward to creating some great portraits with you.

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