Hello there, Greg here. I am all for maximizing your headshot experience, and that starts with a guide to looking and feeling your best.
- The #1 rule: YOU are the focus. The goal of a headshot is to debut your face to the world. Clothing should therefore compliment you, rather than hide you or distract the viewer.
- Simple is best. Avoid clothing with busy patterns, colors, graphics or text (unless your soul is polka-dotted or striped!). Instead, you can always play with texture and layering. And remember to iron out any wrinkles unless the outfit was designed to be worn wrinkly (e.g. hammerpants)!
- Match clothing to skin tone and/or eye color! This will allow for maximum wardrobe-face harmony. For instance, green eyes tend to look dull in color when juxtaposed with a similarly green shirt. Red clothing brings out the warmth of tan skin tones. Black clothing is a wonderful catch-all. Check this link out for extra information on skin tones. Once you’ve chosen a few outfits that make you pop, inside and out, feel free to bring them to the shoot.
- Match clothing to your personality. If you’ve never worn a silver jumpsuit and would feel unlike yourself in one, don’t wear one to the shoot. On the other hand, if you feel most at home in one, by all means bring it (but, tell me first)! It’s an amazing feeling to feel comfortable and confident in your clothes, and those feelings definitely show in your headshots.
- Come hair-ready, so we can start your photo session as soon as possible. If you have longer hair, keep it down first. We can try styles that gradually bring up your hair throughout the shoot. If you plan on getting a haircut for your photo session, make sure you time it accordingly so you come when your hair is at its best form (we all know those hairdressers who think “buzz cut” when they hear “trim”!)
- Bring supplies. A brush, hair gel/spray, hair-ties, your ferret, whatever you need to prepare different hairstyles and touch ups, if you wish.
- Facial hair! If you want your headshot with a fresh face, shave right before your shoot (remember to use a skin-soothing aftershave). If you want some rugged shadow, groom accordingly! Pluck accordingly! And bring supplies if you want to touch up your chin mane (or eyebrows).
- Come makeup-ready. Bring your tools! Or hire a professional makeup artist beforehand and bring the basics for retouching.
- As emphasized before, simple is best. Makeup that enhances your natural features tends to transfer best through photography. We can always add on makeup as the shoot goes on, too.
- Bring lip balm and moisturizer. Dry lips and skin should always be avoided, especially if the weather is cold. Your face should be healthy and glowing like a Spring day in Jeju (cherry blossoms included), and not like Seoul in February (urban Siberia).
- Bring oil blotting tissues and/or a towel. Shine is always an issue in headshots, so best be prepared. If the weather is warm or you know you’ll be moving around, you might want that towel to dab away any sweat (handkerchiefs if you are the classy kind)(toilet paper if you are no-frills).
- Glasses. If you wear them, bring them! Then we can try shots with and/or without.
- Jewelry/watches. Again, a headshot is about you, so it’s best to keep the jewelry simple, and complimentary to your skin, wardrobe, and personality! That being said, if you are your jewelry, go all out (in good taste)!
- Practice makes portraits. Satiate your curiosity and pose in front of the mirror. See what angles you like and try to master natural poses, smiles and laughs. Thinking of positive personal memories can trigger genuine expressions—remember when your brother tripped on a bird and lit his left shoe on fire? Oh, uh yeah. Me neither. Anyways, this is the time to indulge in selfies!
- Beauty sleep. There are so many articles that celebrate the benefits of a good night’s sleep. You’ll look and feel great, and you’ll have enough energy to show it on camera.
- Leave and arrive early. Find a cafe (if we’re not already meeting in one) and have a coffee, or a tea, or a milkshake even. You’ll have time to breath instead of running wide-eyed and cloudy-headed to a late shoot.
Have fun and know that you will look great. My job is just to capture exactly that.
I hope these tips helped you. Of course rules are meant to be broken, but if you choose to break them, there should be a clear reason for doing so. Please pass this guide on to anyone else who will be in your pictures.
I look forward to meeting you and capturing your best self at our shoot. Thank you again for choosing me as your photographer.