We have a head shot session coming up! Here are some tips so you can feel relaxed, confident and prepared for your head shots.

Like most things in life, preparation and practice usually give better results. Here are some ways you can prepare before your head shot session!

BEFORE YOUR SESSION

1. WATCH THIS VIDEO I encourage everyone I shoot head shots with to watch this 6-minute video by master head shot photographer Peter Hurley, where he gives 5 tips for getting better results when doing head shots & portraits. Click here to see the video!

2. PRACTICE POSING It may feel awkward, but after you watch the video linked above, it helps if you practice posing in a mirror or with your cell phone camera in selfie mode, so you can see what you need to do to get a look you like.

3. ADVANCE PLANNING Plan what you'll wear and how you'll want to do hair and makeup in advance. Anything you can do to reduce stress the day of the photo shoot is good! 

4. BRUSH & FLOSS YOUR TEETH No, I'm not a dentist, but if you have icky stuff on or between your teeth, it could show up in the photos. Dental hygiene is good for your teeth and for your head shot!

5. PET HAIR If you have furry animals at home, chances are some of their hair will make its way onto your clothing and it could be visible & distracting in the photo. I usually have a lint roller with me in case of a pet hair emergency, but if you happen to have a lint roller or another method that works for you to remove pet hair from clothing, bring it along!

WHAT TO WEAR

1. COMFORTABLE CLOTHES The most important thing is to dress in comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes. If you're uncomfortable it can show in the photos. 

2. COMPLIMENTARY COLOR PALETTE Wear colors from a complimentary color palette.

3. AVOID PATTERNS For head shots I'd suggest staying away from patterns, plaid, polka dots, etc. Patterns can be distracting. 

4. AVOID SHIRTS WITH WRITING & BIG LOGOS It's best to avoid shirts with writing and larger logos on them that can also be distracting. A small & unobtrusive logo can be fine.

5. GLASSES? If you wear glasses, I'll work with you to shoot your head shot at an angle where there's not a distracting glare from the lights on your glasses . It may take several attempts to get the angle just right, so I appreciate your patience! If you have the kind of glasses that double as sunglasses and get darker in brighter light, let me know and we can try to work with that to make sure they don't look too dark in your photo.

6. JEWELRY & ACCESSORIES Make sure if you're wearing a necklace that it's sitting evenly and not off to one side, earrings aren't caught in your hair, etc. Sometimes people forget they have a hair scrunchy (or these days, a mask for COVID) around their wrist, so make sure to remove things like that so they don't sneak into the photos. 

7. SHOES? If we're just doing head shots, your shoes probably won't appear in the photos so it doesn't matter what shoes you wear! But if we're also doing some full-length portraits, wear shoes that go with the rest of your wardrobe and are comfortable for moving around in.

WHAT TO BRING

1. BRUSH UP It's good to bring things like a hair brush, lipstick (if you're so inclined) , etc. in case you want to do any touching up right before your photo.

HOW TO POSE

1. MIRROR Bring a mirror (or use your cell phone camera in selfie mode) to check your appearance right before we start. Some things that could affect your photos are easy to fix at the time but are harder and time-consuming to fix with Photoshop afterward. Things like out of place hair, lipstick on teeth or food in teeth, shirt not straight or tucked in right, undergarments showing, etc. 

2. GOOD SIDE If you have a 'good side' you prefer or features you'd like to emphasize, let me know beforehand. 

3. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT Watch the video linked above and practice posing with a mirror beforehand - especially thinking about jawline, eyes and mouth. We want you to look professional, confident and relaxed. A head shot shouldn't look like a mug shot. For most professions, it's good to smile in your head shot, even if it's a subtle smile. And an authentic smile is much better than the fakey smile we all tend to do in front of the camera.

4. PAUSES I may pause while I'm photographing you to change the settings on my camera or the lights to make sure we're getting the best photo possible. If I pause, it shouldn't make you nervous, and it doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong! It just means I'm taking the time needed to make sure the lighting, angles and posing are right so we get the best photo possible.

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