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





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