One of the things I always recommend to anyone who has a LinkedIn profile is to invest in great headshots. This also goes for my blogger friends too. If you’re starting out, or don’t have a ton of professional photos, the first thing you can do is always invest in good, on-brand, headshots. If you’re NOT A blogger, I still recommend working with a photographer to get beautiful headshots. Whether you’re a business owner, freelancer, or just someone who wants to update their LinkedIn profile, headshots are great to have on hand.
A portrait session with a photographer can be as little as 30 minutes or up to an hour. You can sometimes even find photographers who offer mini 15 minute sessions. These are oftentimes a fun way for photographers to book a lot of people, in a short amount of time on a single day. And it’s a huge savings on your part too. Here’s how to prep for your headshots to make sure you look and feel your best.
What To Wear For Headshots
This will definitely vary based on your profession. But keeping your profession and target audience in mind is important. For example, I’m a fashion blogger and my headshots are my own personal style. I usually refresh mine twice a year with my photographer and dress in my usual casual everyday pieces like white tees, or a simple jacket or blazer. But if you’re in corporate America and this is for LinkedIn, you will want to make sure you’re wearing office appropriate attire. Below are a few things to keep in mind when thinking about what to wear.
Ideally, you want to stick to solid colors if possible. And it’s usually best to choose more saturated colors like navys, hunter green, deep reds and so on. They tend to be more flattering and help to ground your images. You can definitely do a print as long as it’s not too crazy busy, and again in flattering colors. You can wear neutrals, but make sure they have enough contrast and flatter your skin tone.
Always be mindful of the neckline especially if these photos are for corporate America. Button up your blouse to an appropriate spot and keep the crop tops at home. A v-neck works fine, but again, keep your cleavage in check.
For men, unbuttoning your top button is fine so long as it’s industry-appropriate. But stick to your standard button-up, polo, or a crew sweater.
No need to wear those giant statement earrings, or a bold necklace. Keep jewelry and accessories simple so that your headshot doesn’t date you too much. It’ll give you more longevity out of your investment too. I prefer a simple thin necklace and small gold hoop earrings or studs.
No matter what you wear, just keep it industry-appropriate. If you run your own design business and you’re a hat wearer, wear a hat. If you’re an earring designer, support your business and wear those statement earrings. But also, if you’re in a corporate 9-5 and your peers wear blazers and button-downs every day, you need to do the same. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.
Bring Brand Props
Whether you’re a photographer, blogger, writer or interior designer, bring on brand props! Do you spend most of your day at a computer? Bring your laptop! If you’re a photographer, bring your camera. If you’re an interior designer, bring paint samples, fabric and the like. Create a space and vibe that matches your business. This way people who see your headshot, they’ll know what you’re about. Plus, they’ll seamlessly work into your website and social platforms well.
If these are headshots for a 9-5, I would skip any sort of prop unless you’re shooting at a desk. Otherwise, keep it very simple.
If you’re looking to work with a photographer in Atlanta to create on-brand beautiful images for our business, my photographer, Hannah Lozano, is offering My Style Vita readers 15% off her branding package.
Tips For a Professional Headshot
Hair & Makeup
I’d definitely recommend investing a little more time in your hair and makeup for your headshot session. But no need to go overboard with makeup you wouldn’t typically wear or a hairstyle that isn’t you. If you never wear a bold red lip, don’t wear one. If you usually have your hair pulled back and never do anything to it, maybe get a nice blowout with your stylist
Keeping hair and makeup natural but slightly elevated is key. I usually go a little heavier with my foundation coverage (instead of my everyday tinted moisturizer) and add a little more contour which photographs better. Adding a little lip color is good, but do what feels natural! Regardless if you like a bold red or not, I do recommend adding a little color to your lip. Even just a nudish pink works. And for hair, I usually do my usual hairstyle when I would go out with friends or a meeting. Now is not the time to try a new hairstyle or straighten your signature curly ringlets.
A good photographer will help position you to look your best for headshots. But I usually encourage you to have good posture with your shoulders back. I definitely recommend having your chin down as well. This usually is a more flattering angle than having your chin up.
When taking photos, switch up your angles a bit too. Shift your head to one side, or the other, tilt it a bit, move your body around a little and so on. Having some movement is good and will give you more options for photos to choose from too.
Honestly, go through your phone and find the photos you love the most of yourself. Are you smiling with teeth? Without? Are you slightly laughing? We document so much of our lives now, it’s easy to go through the archives. This will help give ou an idea of what you prefer and you can then lean into that in your headshot session. Either way, mix things up a bit because you never know what the photographer may capture that you end up loving.
When prepping for your headshot session you can choose to do a few things. Photograph in your office setting whether it’s a home office, or your 9-5 one. Or you can opt for something more lifestyle like a coffee shop space. And you can always do something in a studio like we did here with navy and white backdrops to give it a really clean look. It all depends on your brand though and what works best. If you’re a writer, you may shoot in a study, if you’re a chef, a kitchen or a beautiful pantry. Just make sure it makes sense!
I am partial to natural light always. And I encourage you to work with a photographer who does work with natural light for our headshot session. They produce more natural-looking photos that just look better.
Now that you’re prepped on how to take and master great headshots, go get some great photos taken! Check out Hannah Lozano’s headshot sessions here.