The Truth About Headshots | Quad Cities Wedding and Headshot Photographer

In today's post I am talking all about headshots! The headshots below are a few of the professionals I have worked with the past couple of months and thought I would combine them all into a blog post about how to nail your session!

First of all, if you need headshots, you need photos of you. Not you all dressed up ready to hit the club, just you. The you on your best day when everything is working together to make you feel like a million bucks. But what if that day is not on your session day. What if, in fact, you woke up and no matter how much you try you cannot get your hair to lay the way it's supposed to, you cut yourself shaving, your mascara keeps smearing, the shirt that makes you look amazing is tragically betraying you and your white cat has been laying on your black pants all night. That's where I tell clients to take a deep breath, relax, and let me do the work. If you are stressed about your session, that will show. Even if everything has gone completely down the drain, as long as you show up feeling stress-free, we will be able to work around the other little details. The most important part of a headshot is that you are able to communicate to the camera who you are in hopes that a casting agent, director or potential client will want to work with you and no one else. Let me pose you to hide that weird cowlick that's flipping your hair everywhere, let me use a little Photoshop magic to get rid of that pesky blemish and let me guide you to help hide those pesky pounds that you were hoping would be gone by now.

Ideally, you would start preparing for your session a few days in advance. You would be drinking a whole lot of water, sleeping full nights, eating well and working out- all things that help your skin glow. But let's be real. You drink more coffee than water because you barely got any sleep because you were up all night thanks to that second helping of cake. So, here is what you can count on doing to ensure that even if the universe is conspiring against you, you will get good headshots:

First- Clothes. Wear clothes that flatter you. Know your skin tone and which colors work best with your skin and eyes. Since the main focus is your eyes, you want to do what you can to make sure they pop. Don't wear clothes with lettering or crazy patterns. Do wear layers! All of the headshots below are good examples of the kinds of layers you can wear to help bring depth to your images! It is best to avoid wearing ill-fitting clothes. Believe me, you will feel much better during your session if you're not constantly worrying about side-boob or muffin top! Unless you're a dancer or someone who needs full body shots, don't worry so much about what pants or shoes you wear- they more than likely won't be in the shot!

Second- Your face. All the focus is going to be on your eyes. If you're running on zero sleep, get some eye drops to get rid of the red and make them less puffy. If you wear makeup, keep it minimal and natural. Do toss on a bit of blush to make you look nice and healthy and wear at least some chapstick to smooth your lips. Fellas, if you're having a break out, don't be afraid to grab a little cover-up. Ask the make-up guru in your life to help you get a drug-store brand to get you through your session. If you wear a beard, make sure it's well groomed. Keep away from neck-beard to help give you a more chiseled jaw line. Trim up any stray mustache hairs so they don't cover your lips. Oh and this goes for anyone: if you're not already wearing lotion on a daily basis, DO IT! Your future less-elastic-skin will thank you.

Third- Details. Jewelry is fine as long as it's minimal. I had a casting director tell me once to never wear a wedding ring in headshots or in an audition- it can make you seem more willing to work long hours if you're not tied down. To that I say, Psh. Marry someone who knows how long the hours are and supports you anyway! But I digress- as far as the wedding ring goes, do what works best for you! You don't want anything to be distracting! Keep nail polish to a minimum. Ideally your headshots will last you 3-5 years, so try to keep them timeless- avoid a manicure that is super 'on-trend' and may not be as hot in a few months. Same thing in regards to hair, make up and clothes, but I figured it would be a good tip to put in this section :)

Those are the big things that I am always talking to clients about- if you have specific questions about your session, feel free to ask away! Oh, and puh-lease do not wait until 2 weeks before you need a headshot to make an appointment. Yes, I'm talking to YOU, you notoriously late artist-type! Believe me, I get it. I've been there- your schedule gets away from you and all of a sudden you realize that audition is *really* soon and you haven't updated your headshot since your friend did it in college. The more time you can give your photographer to work on your images, the better!

I hope this little 'How To' helps a bit in planning for your next headshot session! Below are Joe, Shana and Max who are actors and Becky who is a small business owner!