Holly Mead Photography | Headshot Tips

Headshot Tips

March 02, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

I often have people ask me what they need to bring, do or wear for getting the best headshots. First of all, it depends on the kind of headshots you need, what they are for, and your age. I am going to list a few thing that will help you have a successful headshot session!

Here are a few tips:

  • In general, solid colors do very well and look great on camera. I do not recommend busy patterns or anything to 'trendy'. Adding layers to your look are always good- jean jacket, scarf, etc.  Chose a color that best compliments your skin tone, eye and hair color.
  • Business headshots- something you would wear to work. Suit jackets photograph very well. Remember, your goal is to land that perfect job, so show them what you will look like when you show up for the job.
  • Pageant Headshots- This will depend on several factors: age, pageant system, style (natural, glitz...) to name a few. For young girls under 8, a simple dress with a collar and matching head bow tend to do well. Older girls can get a bit fancier by adding a little bling to the clothing. Jewelry is a must! Small earrings for young girls are great and large earrings, necklaces and rings can add a great dynamic touch for the ladies over 13. Regardless of age, always have your hair and make-up done to show your best features. Young girls should only have a touch of make-up to add a little color to cheeks & lips and possibly mascara. In general, headshots win by how the eyes look- so older girls, concentrate of making your eyes pop with eye shadow, eye liner & mascara.  A successful headshot will not happen if you don't put the effort into hair & make-up!
  • Headshots are shoulders & face only, so don't worry about making your child uncomfortable by putting them in nylons & fancy shoes if you are not getting a full session.
  • Act for the camera! If you are trying to land that perfect role, job or crown, show it! Look at that camera and see the lens as being your judge, or your audience. You must sell yourself to the person you are trying to impress. Practice facial expressions looking in a mirror. The more you can connect with the camera, the better your pictures will be.
  • Remember pageant people, babies (under 3) will not always do what a pageant system requires. Be patient with your child and with me as I will do my best to get the perfect shot! Most babies end up with less pictures to chose from, but take the most time for me to work with. If we can end up with even 1 perfect shot, you should be happy! Bring your child with a full tummy and after they have had a nice nap. Fighting with them about hair bows or outfits will ruin a shot. They might not end up in the exact outfit you had envisioned, but tear streaked faces and snot covered noses are NOT what you are looking for. 
  • PLEASE, never bring a sick child for photos. Yes, I am writing this because it has happened.
  • You will notice that I tend to talk a lot when I am doing sessions. This is for a reason! I am attempting to engage with my subject matter and bring out their best facial expressions. The more I talk to my subject, they tend to forget that the camera is even there and begin to show their true personality instead of fake smiles. Having fun is a MUST! 


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