Just about everyone I have photographed that is not a model loathes having their picture made. Hell, most of my photographer friends dislike being in front of the camera. A few simple tips will help you get the most out of your head shot session.
This image will be a professional visual representation of you. This is not the time to wear your favorite band T shirt, ironic graphic Tee, or your pajamas. The focus is you, and we do not want to distract from that. The clothes you choose are secondary to your smile and expression. Sometimes patterns and stripes can cause a wrinkled effect (or moire) that is less than desirable on small screens. That is not always the case, but it’s something to consider when picking your wardrobe. You should feel confident in your clothes. This helps to make you feel better in front of the camera. Once you have your clothing selected, be sure everything is clean, pressed and/or steamed, and fits you well. It may have been a few months since you last wore your favorite dress shirt or suit jacket. I cannot begin to count the times I have had to run out and purchase a new shirt for a wedding or event due to a less than amazing fit!
Your forehead can become a reflector for the studio lighting being used to create your portrait. I normally have finishing powder that I’ll brush on before the session begins, but you can help out. For the men, wash your face with a cleansing wipe just before you shoot. Ladies, a bit of foundation and concealer will do the trick. If you enjoy riding with the windows down on a hot day - consider using the A/C. A sweaty mess is never the best thing to photograph - unless you just won the super-bowl.
Make up and hair
If you have the budget, I recommend hiring a hair and make up professional. They are accustomed to working with strobe lighting and have professional make up that works the best. If that option is not available to you, keep it natural. This is not the club or a big event at a fancy restaurant. You might look great, but is it appropriate for your headshot? Do you have long luxurious hair? Bring your styling accessories, or at the very least have a brush. Guys, make sure you have worked your hair product in throughly so we do see pieces of it in your images.
Your best side
If you hate having your picture made, i’m sure you have learned over the years what your best side is. Sharing this information will make your photographers life easier and hopefully put you at ease. Some people have a crooked nose or a small eye. This can be cheated and camouflaged with perspective, posing structure, and the angle of my camera.
I wear glasses regularly, and if you do too, you should wear them in your portrait. We can always get an option without them. That being said, make sure you clean the devil out of them! Bring your cleaning solution and a micro fiber cloth, ensuring we do not see spots and dust particles that will create distractions in your images. Secondly, make sure your glasses are fitting properly. You want your glasses back, and flush to your face. We want to see your eyes!
Whoa! Chatty Kathy.. Zip it.
I get it. You're a little nervous. Remember, you hate having your picture made and you have told me 5 times already. Pictures with your mouth open or making a silly face do not make the optimal head shot. Take a moment to relax. Take a deep breath, and exhale. Plus, I will be chatting with you before we shoot. I enjoy meeting people and learning new things. Chances are we have something in common, and once we connect, we will be friends just hanging out making some great images.
Smile! Smile! Smile!
Sometimes a smile can look forced - especially if I keep asking you to do it. I will try and make you laugh or tell you a story that sparks some joy. You can also think of something funny in your own life. Did your child throw a whole roll of TP in the toilet? Did your significant other do something stupid? That way we can capture a genuine expression, which always looks better. How will you choose to smile? Lips closed or open? We can shoot a mix of both and select the best version of your smile.