Getting Picture Perfect: How to Prepare for Your Next Professional Headshot

closeup photography of woman smiling

In the professional world, first impressions matter. For many business relationships, those impressions begin with your corporate headshot. Whether it’s on your company website, social media profiles, or business cards, a polished, high-quality headshot makes an impact.

With so much riding on your photograph, you’ll want to prepare thoroughly before your headshot session. For a deeper dive into headshot tips, you can check out Jay Soriano's comprehensive guide. Follow these tips and the advice from professionals to look your best.

Pick the Right Photographer

Not all photographers are created equal when it comes to headshots. You want someone experienced in shooting professional portraits. One example is Korey Howell Photography, known for producing professional portraits. Examine potential photographers' portfolios and look for crisp images with excellent lighting. Another trusted name in the industry is Art of Headshots, a photography company with studios spread across multiple cities. These studios can offer you a variety of options depending on your location and preferences.

You’ll also want to ask about their equipment and studio setup. Do they use high-end DSLR cameras and lenses? What kind of lighting is available? The best headshot photographers, like those at Art of Headshots, have access to professional gear and know how to use it expertly to get polished results.

When you find a photographer whose work impresses you, book a consultation to discuss your needs. Share examples of headshots you like and talk about the image you want to project. A great corporate photographer will understand your goals and collaborate with you.

Pick Your Clothes and Accessories Carefully

What you wear for your headshot session requires thought and strategy. You want to convey professionalism and polish while representing your personal brand.

Start by choosing neutral colored clothing free of loud patterns or distracting details. Darker tops photograph well, but avoid black which can appear harsh. For men, a button-down shirt and sport coat or blazer look sharp. Women might opt for a blouse or sweater. Don’t forget the shoes – closed toe dress shoes complete the look.

Beyond clothing, carefully select any accessories you’ll wear. Simple jewelry like stud earrings can work well. Watches, eyeglasses, or cufflinks add some personality. Just keep accessories minimal and subtle so they don’t dominate the image.

Lastly, do a test run before your shoot. Try on your full outfit and take some selfies to preview how pieces work together. Make any final tweaks to achieve a cohesive, polished look.

Prep Your Hair and Makeup

man standing beside wall

If you want to look your best in photographs, pay close attention to hair, makeup, and grooming. Schedule your headshot appointment so you can visit your hairstylist shortly before the session. Discuss a style that flatters you and enhances your image. Clean, trimmed hair is a must. If possible, avoid major cuts or color treatments right before your shoot.

For makeup, apply the basics to look natural but enhanced on camera. Use concealer to perfect your complexion, adding foundation where needed. Sweep on some blush to avoid washed-out skin. Fill in your brows, play up your eyes subtly with some mascara and liner, and finish with a neutral lip color. The goal is for makeup to accentuate your features, not overwhelm.

Don’t forget small grooming details. Neatly file and shape your nails. For men, trim any facial hair. Right before your shoot, check for any stray hairs, lint, or smudges so you look photo ready.

Pick a Location

woman sitting next to window

Your photographer may have a dedicated studio for all their sessions. But you can also discuss locations that fit the image you want to project. For corporate headshots, some options include:

  • Your office or workspace: Conveys your role and industry. Coordinate with your photographer to utilize good lighting and backgrounds.
  • A professional office setting: Projects authority and competence. Many photographers have access to stylish spaces for rent.
  • Outdoors: Injects energy and approachability. Parks, architecture, and green spaces provide pleasing backdrops.

No matter the location, your photographer should scout it beforehand to best position you for flattering lighting. They may bring portable flashes and reflectors to further perfect the setup. If your office or company has strict rules about photographers, a studio or rented space can provide more flexibility.

Relax and Be Yourself

During the shoot itself, the secret to great headshots is relaxing and being yourself. If you’re anxious, distracted, or uncomfortable, it will show on your face. The photographer should make you feel at ease. Chat to establish rapport before moving into posed shots.

Follow the photographer’s directions as you experiment with gazes, poses, and expressions. But let your natural personality shine through. Imagine you’re conversing with a colleague or expressing your excitement about your work. Let the photographer capture authentic moments between poses. The best images often happen when subjects forget about the camera for a bit.

Change up your look between serious, smiling, and candid shots. Move around to create some variety. Your photographer will coach you on tilting your head, adjusting your body position, and using your hands. Don’t overthink it. Trust their guidance as you have fun with the process.

Review and Select Your Favorites

After your photoshoot, plan to do an editing and selection session. Quality headshot photographers will provide you with copies of the best images to choose from. Look through all these options closely. Zoom in on details like eyes, smile, and posture to gauge what works.

As you narrow down your favorites, envision how images will be used. Pick shots that achieve your goals and work in different contexts. You might want close-up or wide options, formal and casual styles, and straight-on or angled looks.

Collaborate with the photographer and any stakeholders to land on final selects. Your photoshoot is complete once you have high-quality, professional headshots tailored to your needs. Put them to use representing you and your brand.

Headshots Made Simple with AI

Posing for traditional headshot sessions can make some people feel self-conscious and stressed. But new artificial intelligence photo technologies are providing more options. Apps like Portrait Studio Pro allow you to generate polished headshots in seconds from the comfort of your home.

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Simply upload a selfie and Portrait Studio Pro handles the rest - enhancing image quality, perfecting lighting, and adding a seamless background suited to your industry. Customize everything from expression to image composition. In mere minutes, you can produce natural, professional-grade headshots without the hassle of a photoshoot.

With some thoughtful preparation and smart technology, you can craft the perfect corporate headshot. Follow these tips to present your best face both on camera and as a professional.