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





Bucks Happening List

2018 Bucks Happening List
Voting is now open for best photographer for the 2018 Bucks Happening List.

The 2018 Bucks Happening List Voting is in Process.

Seven years ago I decided to be vulnerable and put myself in the public eye as a photographer.   I was panicked. I was afraid no one would like my work. I was afraid people would think I was crazy for giving up a great, steady income in the pharmaceutical industry to follow my passion.   I was afraid of failure. I was afraid to disappoint others, and myself.

But, I was not willing to sit at home and dream about following my passion. I made my dream a reality.   Seven years later my business has grown leaps and bounds, I have had the honor to be in several juried photography exhibits, have an inspiring studio space in the heart of an amazing town filled with even more amazing people, and won the 2017 Bucks Happening photographer award.   Today I have the incredible honor of announcing, with endless gratitude, that I was nominated for the 2018 Bucks Happening Photographer.

Now it is time to put myself out there again.  I need to ask for your support through your vote.  Your vote matters and is much appreciated.  Please click HERE to cast your vote. Note that each email address counts as one vote.

If you would like to see pictures from the Bucks Happening Red Carpet event from last years “race”please visit my May 2017 blog post.  I was on cloud nine the entire evening and for months after the event.  I don’t have words to describe my great excitement, then and now!

Thank you to the person/people who nominated me this year.  Thank you all for your support, your love, and your trust in me as your photographer.  My heart is full of joy and gratitude for the experiencing of being nominated and having the honor to work with all of you.




Winner: 2017 Bucks Happening List ~ Photographer

Bucks Happening List Winner

Bucks Happening Magazine has an annual Bucks Happening List of the best businesses in Bucks County. I am very honored to have been nominated for the 2017 Happening List for photographer. Not only was it an honor to be nominated but, it is an honor to be considered among some really great local Doylestown and Bucks County photographers. The list includes several photographers that I have admired for years and whom I have a lot of respect for.

As people, it is inspiring to have our work recognized and a gift to be able to gain additional business success from such recognition. The entrepreneur business sector is very competitive and often challenging to navigate. Special recognition in the form of awards can often help a person take their business to the next level. For someone who works very hard to provide unprecedented service, the recognition is both a blessing and a confidence builder.

The Happening List race was close between some great photographers and inspiring artists. Not all on the list are portrait photographers, some are fine art photographers, and others, like myself, are both. My work crosses several genres of photography including; professional and corporate headshots, visual branding, family and children’s portraiture,  and fine art. My passion for photography runs deep and grows with every successful session, every person I meet, and every business I help give light to.

It is a significant honor to be recognized as the 2017 Happening List Photographer. The honor isn’t only be the physical award and title, but it involve sharing a priceless moment with many other successful and inspiring businessmen and women from the Doylestown and Bucks County Communities. Being nominated has helped increase awareness of my business in an oversaturated market and winning will help to strengthen that awareness and help me grow my business even further.

To take the excitement a step further, Sharon Kraynak of Sharon Lee Creative Art Services won as the 2017 Bucks Happening List Framer.  Sharon works out of my studio and takes care of all of my framing needs, personally; for my fine art and my home, and for my clients.   It isn’t often that two people sharing work space are awarded such a high honor at the same time.  Congrats to Sharon!  It is an honor to work along side her and share her amazing talent.

To celebrate the winners and finalists, Bucks Happening Magazine held a red carpet bash yesterday evening, May 4th.  The energy at Pen Ryn Estate was electrifying.   So many amazing, talented people.   Winners were interviewed by a QVC host and video-taped, I was a nervous wreck, but yet very excited!   The band, one of the best I’ve ever heard, Bigg Romeo, was amazing and we all danced the night away.   The food, I haven’t mentioned that yet…there was a mashed potato bar!  Oh my goodness was it awesome!   Below are just a few cell phone photos from the evening.  I am hoping to get some of the photos from the staff photographers that were there to capture the event.   At times I felt like I had a paparazzi following!  So fun!

Thank you for all of your support.  I am ever so grateful.

Thank you!

Bucks Happening List Photographer

My Husband, John, and Me

Bucks Happening List Winner

Dear friends, author/speaker Mary Fran Bontempo, best author,

and Kristin Smedley, 2017 power person.

Bucks Happening List Photographer

Sharon Kraynak and Me

Bucks Happening List Photographer

Slides of each category were presented all evening.

And, even better, my interview made the Bucks Happen List YouTube channel.   This journey has been so amazing!  I am so honored and very grateful!



The Poppy

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The Bud

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The Bloom

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The Garden

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Another Bud

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The Center of the Flower

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Dancing in the Evening Breeze

Settings: ss 1/125 f 4.5 ISO 800

Nikon D810, Nikkor 105mm 2.8

Natural, diffused, soft light.

Last week on Monochromia I posted a photograph of a pond with geese swimming in the rain.  You can view the post HERE.  The photographs of the poppy flowers and buds above were taken the same evening after the rain shower passed.

I have always been mesmerized by the Poppy.  The detail of its creation; the incredible bud from which the flower blooms, the intricate detail of the center of the bloom, the delicate, flowing petals, and the passionate color.  Unique and beautiful.

Today is Thursday so you get two posts for one, so to speak!  Be sure to visit Monochromia for my Thursday black and white photography post.


Dazzled by the Light I

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SS1/60 f 4.5 ISO 1000

“Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows, the light and dark which that thing provides.” ~ Junichiro Tanizaki
To see this image in black and white please visit Monochromia for my Thursday post.

The process for creating this photograph and most of my other flower photographs is a bit more complicated than using a white or black backdrop.  I have surprised people when telling them that no, it is not a white or black back drop, it is how I used the light that created the effect in my photograph.

To create a white back ground using only natural light, I am using back lighting or side lighting.  I meter on the subject, the flower, for proper exposure.  This creates a white or blown out effect in the back ground or side area.   If I metered on the light, my subject would be under exposed.  The angle of my camera determines the amount of haze or flare in my image.  If my lens is angled up toward the light more light is going to enter the lens and haze or flare will occur.  To avoid this effect, I simply angle my lens down so that light isn’t directly entering it.  This is a very simplified description of angle of incidence.

To create a black back ground using only natural light, I use front lighting.  The light is hitting my subject so that it is well lit.   When I meter on the subject for proper exposure, this makes everything behind the subject dark and creates a dark or black back ground.   In this scenario, if I let the camera determine exposure, or if I metered on the area behind my subject, my subject would be over exposed.

I hope you found this information of use, or at least interesting, for your photography journey.  Please let m know if you have any questions.



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I had no intentions of posting today, but I was nominated for the 7-day nature challenge on Facebook by another photographer.   I posted photographs from my archives the past two days and the photographer then reminded me that I was supposed to post photographs of the snow like everyone else.  Well, I honestly tire of looking at pictures of the snow after about a week or so of repetitively seeing them.   But, to make the photographer happy I decided to go out and shoot this afternoon.  I climbed through at least two feet of snow and played.  It was warm, 40 degrees F and it felt great to be outside and playing with my camera.  I felt somewhat like an animal on the prowl as I searched for my subjects.

While I was photographing a pine cone using back lighting and creating beautiful bokeh I remembered an article I recently read about lensless photography.   Because I had the time and was on a mission to create some unique winter images I decided to try it.  The above photographs are the results.

Do you love the hazy effect as much as I do?  I feel like I captured my prey.  One might argue that the first image is too “blue” meaning the white balance is off, but I was in the shade and it is a winter/snow shot and it is cold so to me, the color is perfect for what I was representing with my work.

Which do you prefer?  The color photograph or the black and white?