Robyn Graham Photography

How to Prepare for a Headshot Session

headshot professional portrait
How to prepare for a headshot.

Professional headshots personalize a business and demonstrate that you are keeping up with trends. A current headshot lets clients and peers know that you, and your organization, are in tune to recent trends, are aware of business climate changes, and are aggressively keeping up to date with shifts in business culture and sales philosophies.  To achieve the purpose of an updated headshot it is important to know how to prepare for a headshot session.

So, how do you prepare for your professional headshot session to show the world just how savvy you are?


Let’s start with wardrobe. You may not be a fashionista or ready to model for GQ, but I bet you have a solid colored blouse or shirt that is relatively new. If not, purchase one. Trust me, every penny you spend on your professional headshot will be worth it as you make a good impression and grow your career.

As you browse your closet, or shop, keep one thing in mind: simplicity.  You do not want bold colors or crazy patterns. Hint: that Hawaiian shirt you’ve been saving for your friend’s luau probably isn’t a good idea unless you own a surf shop.


Ladies, you want a flattering neckline, subtle jewelry, and minimal accessories.  No turtle necks, please. You want your neck to be elongated.


The focus should be on your eyes and smile. Your eyes are the key to your soul and should highlighted. If you have blue eyes, think about what colors accent that blue. Light blue, gray, pink, or navy for women and a traditional blue oxford for men usually do the trick.  Avoid colors that blend in with your skin tones or wash you out.  Always bring a selection of options with you and I will help you choose what looks best with your skin tones and eyes.

Ties are optional depending on your position. Your headshot attire should be how you present yourself at work. If you are casual in your office but in a suit when meeting with clients, it is a good idea to at least wear a sport coat and tie for your headshot. Try a few shots with a tie and a few without to give you options.  It never hurts to have multiple headshots to use for different purposes.

If you are in an executive position, think about adding a touch of red; red tie for men, a red scarf for women. A red backdrop is also an option and works great to add a pop of that gorgeous power color.

Hair and Makeup

Hair, or lack there of, is a significant identifier. You want to look well groomed in a headshot. Schedule a haircut, and color if necessary, one week prior to your headshot session. Pay attention to the fine details of your face. Eyebrows should be trimmed and waxed and nose and ear hairs trimmed. These details will help avoid additional editing costs later.

Makeup artist: I recommend one if you can afford it.  You want a sun-kissed look to give you a nice, even, healthy glow.  I coordinate this service for my clients and provide options for both hair and make up or just makeup.

The bottom line is this; you want to look natural, approachable, savvy, and intelligent. You want your prospective and current clients to see that you care about quality and are professional.  Keeping it simple and real will achieve this.

To summarize how to prepare for a headshot session: 

~ Select clothing that is complimentary to your eyes and skin tones.

~ Select clothing that makes you feel great.

~ Select clothing that you are comfortable in.

~ Flattering neckline – no turtle necks.

~ Take options and let the photographer help you choose what will look best.

~ Be well groomed; hair colored if necessary, eyebrows, nose hair and ear hair should be trimmed.

~Fresh nail polish if wearing it, no chipped nail polish.

~ Have a makeup professionally applied.

professional headshot
How to prepare for a headshot





Women Supporting Women

I have been super busy with head shot sessions over the past few weeks.  The wonderful women and entrepreneurs in the head shots below are just a few of the amazing people I have photographed.  Lisa, Joanne, Beverly, Michelle and Christine are all members of Network Now, a premier business support and networking organization for women.  Each session was unique based on the individual personalities of the women being photographed, but all were equally as fun.

Most people who come to me for head shots say, “I don’t like to have my picture taken”, or “I hate to have my picture taken.”  These women were not exceptions to this and each was a bit nervous about being photographed.  The good news is that my sessions are always relaxed.  We talk and I get to know them and learn about their businesses and families all while helping them relax and just enjoy their moment in the spotlight.  I really make it painless and pleasant for each and every one of  my clients.   And the best part is, I feel like I’ve not only made a business connection, but a friend at the end of each session.

A statement that each one of the women featured in this blog post made during their session was  “as women we need to stick together and support each other”.  I couldn’t agree more and am happy to be able to share their beautiful smiles and links to their respective businesses.

To learn more about my clients and their businesses be sure to check out their websites by clicking on the links below.   You just might find something you’ve been needing or looking for.


Lisa, Executive Director Nerium International


Joanne, Owner and Pastry Chef at The Lucky Cupcake


Michelle, Founder and Educational Counselor of Forward College Counseling


Beverly, Owner and Pastry Chef at Sweetah’s – a gluten-free bakery


Christine, Principal/Agency Manager at The Bailey Insurance Group



Bright Eyes ~ A Visual Branding Story

Part of building and maintaining a strong on-line presence is having a professional head shot.   Your head shot is the first impression for people looking at your website or social media pages.

The second impression is often your website – the style and content, which should include pictures of your product or service.

You know how very hard you work and how much effort goes in to building your business and brand.   I personally would be very sad to hear that you lost clients or opportunities because your website didn’t represent you in the best possible light.

The photography on your website and social media platforms should represent you and your brand and be geared toward your specific audience.

When I work with clients for head shots, product shots and/or visual branding I meet with them to discuss their business, their goals, and their brand. Once I have a feel for my clients’ needs the creativity begins to flow. The shoots aren’t just one-dimensional. I focus on getting images that are going to best represent my client for the audience they are trying to reach.  These details include location, backdrops, color and style of clothes, and more.

Visual branding is a significant contributor to the on-line presence of any business.  Developing and maintaining a strong on-line presence is pertinent to establishing a strong client base and building a lucrative clientele. It is also critical to standing out above the rest ~ your competitors.

You not only need professional photography on websites to lure clients, but you also need to be able to post about your business, your services and your products to your social media sites. When I work with my clients, I give them ideas for posts on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Having knowledge of the social media world enables me to shoot creatively for a purpose and talk to my clients about using the images I am taking to market their business.

The images I am posting today are from one of the head shot/visual branding shoots I did this summer.  The business is “Bright Eyes Vision”.  The owner and principal optometrist is Heather Miller, a third generation optometrist.  Her mother, Susan Miller, is working alongside Heather seeing patients and helping with the day-to-day operations of the office.

This is just a small sample of all of the images taken during the visual branding shoot.  I’d love to hear your thoughts as to whether or not you think the images tell a story and will help Heather create a vibrant and effective website and on-line presence.

If you are looking to create a website, improve your current website, need photography for marketing materials or need a head shot, contact me today to schedule your session.

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Heather Miller, O.D.


Two generations of optometrists


State of the art equipment

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State of the art technology in all exam rooms

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How cool are these magazine featured frames?

wm _RGP1134Heather had fun modeling frame samples


So many designer fashion frames to choose from

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Offering a fabulous selection of designer fashion sun glasses


A Head Shot