What do I do with my hands?

Headshot Session: Prepping and Expectations

Some people love being in front of the camera, others (like me) not so much. That’s fine because it’s my role as your headshot photographer to help set you up for the best headshots possible. Below you’ll find some tips for wardrobe selection, accommodating your session into your schedule and what to expect while we’re shooting. If you have any questions beyond what I’ve discussed here, you can alway reach out to me.

Mental Preparation

It is highly encouraged that you be well rested and relaxed during your session; which is why I prefer to shoot headshot portraits on the weekend for clients that may be nervous in front of the camera. If you’re comfortable in front of the camera, or have a busy schedule then we can shoot whenever is best for you.

Posing

“What do I do with my hands?” “Which foot do I put my weight on?” The difference between a good headshot and a great headshot can be a matter of a fraction of an inch this way or that way. Don’t worry about posing though, I’ve got you covered! During your shoot I will help you pose in the best position, look in the right direction and smile naturally. There is no need to fret about not knowing how to sit or stand in front of the camera!

Wardrobe

Even though your face is the main focus of a headshot, wardrobe selection is still very important. Ill-fitting or old garments can certainly diminish the effectiveness of an otherwise great headshot.

Please keep the following in mind when selecting wardrobe options to bring:

  • Our mutual goal is to put your best presence forward, all wardrobe options you bring should represent the highest acceptable for your industry
  • For non-corporate positions, a simple black or white top is amazing, collared or not
  • Ill-fitting jackets just don’t cut it, they don’t sit well on the shoulders and it shows
  • Vibrant colors distract from you
  • Strong patterns distract from you as well
  • Most importantly, make sure all items are clean, on hangers and wrinkle-free

Hair

For Men

It is beneficial to schedule your headshot session to coincide with a recent visit to the stylist or barber. Unless you are someone who gets weekly/bi-weekly haircuts, I’d recommend letting your hair fill out for a week or so after getting cut, as a fresh-cut looks fairly obvious and leads to a subconsciously less authentic headshot.

For Women

Again, it is very important to schedule your headshot session about a week after visiting the salon. This extra time allows for coloring to soften and trims to fill out a little bit.

Makeup

Makeup is a very personal thing. If you don’t normally wear makeup, I would suggest wearing minimal makeup for your headshot. A good rule of thumb is to plan as if you’re going to be meeting the CEO of your company, unless you are the CEO of your company in which case plan as if you’re meeting the CEO of a partner company or an investor.

The Weather

Please do your best to ensure a soft layer of clouds on your shoot date. JUST KIDDING! Here is what we’ll do in certain weather conditions if we have an outdoor shoot scheduled:

Rain

If there is a 50% or greater chance of rain 24-hours prior to the shoot, we will reschedule based on schedule availability and the predicted weather conditions.

Heat

I don’t shoot in temperatures over 85˚F, as everyone is sweaty and uncomfortable which does not work all that well for headshots. As with rain, if the temperature is forecast to be 85˚F or greater at the time of our shoot we will reschedule based on schedule availability and the predicted weather conditions.

Cold

If temperatures are forecast to be lower than 55˚F at the time of our shoot, you guessed it, we’ll reschedule based on schedule availability and the predicted weather conditions.

Weather Resceduling

Please do not assume your session is canceled due to weather without hearing from me first. If you are concerned about the weather for an upcoming session, you can always contact me directly.

Ready to talk about your headshots?





Author: Matthew

Matthew Basile is an Austin, TX based portrait photographer focused on fine art and stylized glamour, boudoir, beauty and high school senior portraits as well as professional headshots. A self-admitted photographic nerd and overall creative geek on an everlasting mission to capture images that elicit emotion, whether taken in the studio or on the street.

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