There’s a lot more to having your photo taken than just turning up at the studio or location and smiling at the camera, so it’s worthwhile spending the time to prepare yourself properly. Below are a few tips to help you get headshot shoot ready.



- Pre Shoot Prep

- Make sure to get good sleep a few days before the shoot and especially the night before - it can show if you don’t.

- Try not to drink alcohol before the shoot. It over relaxes the facial muscles and your face becomes droopy or it can make your face look puffy.


- Don't drink too much coffee or energy drinks, besides possibly making you antsy or anxious, your eyes can look like deer's eyes staring at an oncoming car,


- Rushing and stressing over time isn’t a good way to start the session. Remember that you want to be relaxed in order to convey confidence. Make sure to plan any appointments well before your shoot time. Give yourself enough traveling time as well.



- Your Wardrobe

What should you wear? What you wear for your headshot photograph is just as important to the overall image as your expression. Clothing should simply enhance you and your features and keep the focus of attention on your face. I ask everyone to bring along a number of different outfits with them in various styles and colors. Then I can see what looks good on you, works well on camera and is appropriate for your target audience. I’ll ask you to bring mainly tops but some bottoms too just to complete the look and in case we do any ¾ shots.


Also keep in mind, if it’s not in the studio we can’t shoot it. If you find your asking yourself whether something will work, just bring it along any way. I also suggest having some fun with this and, if you feel your wardrobe is missing something, then go shopping and keep the tags on, you can always return the items you don’t want to keep after the shoot, and who doesn’t love shopping anyways?

- Some other things to remember…


- When picking out clothes, look for items that compliment your body type. You don’t want clothes that don’t fit. Avoid ruffles, logos, and busy patterns; they are distracting in a headshot.


- You have to love it! I would rather not shoot you in anything that you don’t feel comfortable wearing. If you don’t feel comfortable, it will show and you won’t shoot well in it, so don’t bring it.


- If you want to use subtle pattern to add some quirkiness or character to a shot, make sure your eye doesn’t jump to the shirt first. Try to avoid crazy patterns.


- Also, make sure you can’t see through your clothing. If an item of clothing is sheer, wear something underneath that is non-distracting. Your wardrobe should highlight your personality, not scream over it.


- Solid gem or earth tone colors work the best. Short sleeved shirts, such as v-necks or long sleeved button ups work. Stay away from neon colors and whites.


- Bring everything from casual shirts and t-shirts to formal blouses and shirts to sweaters and light jackets.



- Professional Image Advice

You may want to consider seeking some advice from a professional image consultant. These people are specially trained to help you find the colors and styles of clothes that enhance your body shape, features and natural coloring. Going through this process can help you feel much more confident knowing you are wearing the right styles and colors to match your natural coloring and body shape.



- Ladies – Hair & Make-up

Hair is such a personal thing so it’s best that you feel like you in your pictures. Feel free to bring whatever styling products you need, that of course work best with your hair, in order to create your look. I always have extra things like combs, hair ties, bobby pins and clips, just in case. During our shoot I like to change each look as much as possible by either putting the hair up or taking it down, or whatever is possible with your specific style.

-If you are planning on making an appointment with your hairdresser please arrange this for the day prior or even the morning of the shoot.

-As for makeup, it should be simple but well done so your natural assets stand out on their own. This means that make up should help the viewer focus on the eyes and the mouth, which are the essence of the headshot. A main concern is shine so I do advise bringing along some translucent powder.

-I highly recommend booking the services of a Professional Make-up Artist or Hair Stylist who can be on hand throughout your shoot and ensure you’re looking your absolute best. If you need recommendations for a Make-up Artist or Hair Stylist I would be happy to provide one.



- Gents

I recommend you get your haircut 4 to 5 days prior to the shoot so it doesn’t have that “freshly cut” look.

Make up is generally not required for men but I do suggest bringing along a light face powder or blotting paper, especially if your skin tends to be a little greasy.



- Ladies and Gents - Remember

- Dry lips can quickly ruin a photo. Hydrate your skin and don't forget to bring your chap-stick or lip gloss.


- Do your grooming carefully and give time for the skin to recover so there are no red marks.


- Don’t try to cover natural birthmarks or scars with makeup.  The main goal of the shoot is to show who you are, not to hide it or fake it. If you have any blemishes try not to over do it by covering them. It’s easier for myself or other re-touchers to remove a blemish and still keep you looking natural, than it is for us to remove excess make-up.


- Your Smile

Your smile is the most important business tool and I will be encouraging you to laugh and smile naturally during your session. No one likes a fake smile. Genuine all the way. Research has even proven that people look longer at a smiling face than one that isn’t, so I will make sure to bring out that natural smile and laughter.

With all of this in mind you may want to book an appointment with your dental hygienist to give your teeth that all important polish and brush up to make your pearly’s look even more fantastic.



- Wrinkles, laughter lines & spots…

We can never escape the aging process totally but I can help reduce the visible signs if that is something you desire. Generally I use a soft wrap-around lighting which helps to naturally smooth lines. I do have another not so secret weapon called “Airbrushing” and although I never remove lines completely as it looks too false, I can help to reduce them further should you feel the need. Spots on the other hand, which seem to have a strange habit of appearing on the morning of your shoot, can be zapped out with no problem at all.



- Glasses

If you normally wear glasses and have a strong prescription, or glasses with no anti reflection coating, there can be some problems with reflection and refraction, especially depending on exactly how they catch the light. One idea to help with reflection and refraction is to visit your opticians and either borrow a pair of blank frames or get them to remove your lenses for the shoot. Clients tend to appreciate meeting the same person they saw from your image.

Invariably we’ll shoot some shots with and some without glasses. You might like to bring along a couple of pairs of frames if you have them so we can change up your look even more.



- Above all, Enjoy…

Although you will be working hard during your shoot it will also be a fun and enjoyable experience. I fully understand that some people hate having their photo taken or think they are un-photogenic. This is an area I specialize in so please do let me know if you have any worries or concerns about being photographed. I am here to work with you, to relax you, to make you love having your picture taken and above all else, help bring out the real you for anyone viewing your image to see.

I hope all of this helped and I look forward to working with you in the near future!


Yanina May Photography, Copyright 2019, All Rights Reserved. 

YANINA MAY PHOTOGRAPHY  © 2018 | all rights reserved 

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