Headshots are no longer images needed by models for their head sheets or by executives for the company website. Most people will need to have a good headshot taken, whether it is for their resume, staff photos for the company website, or an About Me profile.
Here are five tips to ensure that you look your best and take a good picture, even if you aren’t particularly photogenic.
- Choose your clothing carefully.
Although the focus of the shot is on your head, a headshot will usually include your shoulders and a part of your torso, too, so you need to be sure to wear something that will not detract from your face. Choose something plain with a flattering neckline or collar. Please do not wear anything with text on it or anything with a pattern on it. You don’t want your clothing to detract from your face. Cut off lettering or busy patterns will do that. Also, consider that the photograph may be taken in black and white, so you’ll need to consider the tone of the colors you choose. Take a pic of yourself beforehand and convert it to black and white to check that there is enough contract in the tones, and your tie isn’t blending into your shirt, for example.
- Take a hairbrush with you.
Being sure your hair is neat and tidy before you leave for work on the day of the shoot isn’t enough, especially if you have long hair. Messy hair with straggly strands is every photographer’s worst nightmare, and you never know whether you’re going to come across a bluster of wind before you get to the shoot. So, it is best to take a hairbrush with you so that you can ensure your hair is smooth and neat when the photograph is taken.
- Keep your make-up natural.
Don’t go overboard on your make-up. You aren’t attending a function; you’re having a professional photograph taken. The more natural you keep your make-up, the better. If you usually wear a bold lipstick, then wear it, but remember to do the black and white selfie test to check that the contrast is not too stark.
- Check your specs.
If you usually wear spectacles when interacting with people, then you should use them in your headshot. If you only wear glasses to read, or when you’re at your computer, then it’s best not to wear them. If you have been wearing them before the shoot but are not going to be wearing them for the headshot, be sure to remove them a few minutes before your photograph is taken so that you don’t have two little red marks on the sides of your nose. Push your specs as far back as you can just before the photo is taken. They often slip down the bridge of your nose, and you want to make sure that they don’t cover your eyes in any way.
- Don’t forget to smile!
Relax. Picture yourself greeting a client in person or think of something you find funny. A headshot isn’t called a mug shot for anything. It can feel cold and officious having a headshot taken and, by using your imagination and giving a warm, welcoming smile or having a good laugh, you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll take a better photograph. If you’re self-conscious about your mouth and aren’t sure whether you want a smile that shows your teeth or not, don’t be shy. Ask the photographer what they think, take a few test shots at home the night before, and ask your family what they think. Whatever you decide, mouth open or closed, smile. It makes all the difference.
We are positive these tips will assist you in preparing and looking good in your headshot. Always do a last-minute check in the mirror to make sure you’re happy with how you appear.