What to expect & How to prepare for headshots

What To Expect & How To Prepare For Headshots



Being involved in the film and theatre industry for so long I know how intimidating, for some, headshots can be. Don’t worry. It’s my job to get the natural shots we need. I’ve never liked being in front of the still camera, I think that might be why I ended up behind it — I know how it feels. Below are some things to expect and some suggestions of how to prepare for your headshots.


Contact me to set up a shoot or with any questions. We can discuss what you’re looking for and how best to achieve it. We can discuss logistics like where we will shoot, e.g., in the studio, outdoors, or both. I often like to use a combination of natural and artificial light in the same shot. But I’m comfortable going either way. If these details read like a foreign language to you that’s okay too. I’ll work it out. Sometimes it may help to send over a few found samples online that can help bridge the information gap between us.


The Session. Most likely we will meet at the studio. At the time of writing this it’s in the midtown area but by now that might of changed. I’ll give you directions and a address. Once you arrive we start with conversation. We go over what you’re looking for once again. I’ll help you with any tough decisions about look (see the how to prepare page).  You’ll do, or have done, make-up and hair if you have not come with it done already. I recommend having at least your first look already on when you arrive if you’re not planning on going with a make-up artists on site. We the start the shoot.

A typical shoot lasts between 1-3 hours depending on which package you’ve chosen. I’ll stop here and there and let you take a peek at what we’re getting. But we don’t want to do this after every shot as it slows down the momentum. After the shoot I’ll take full payment and then upload everything to an online gallery that you can share with whoever you like. It’s password protected to keep out any prying eyes. You pick your allotted number and I’ll retouch them, crop them to standard headshot size, put your name on the bottom if you like, and send them back to you in a few business days.


For actors:

For actors, woman are going to want to wear make-up. Normal make-up will do. Casting directors want to see you—not  you completely obscured by make-up. If you don’t feel good with your ability to apply make-up, that best compliments your structure, I can help you arrange a make-up artist. You’ll deal with them directly as far as any fee goes. I can remove small blemishes or other little things here and there with photoshop.

For wardrobe, keep things simple. The goal is to avoid anything that distracts from your face. No crazy jewelry (I recommend no jewelry) or shirts with wild necklines. No busy patterns. Avoid pure white. If you’re having multiple looks I do suggest choosing one outfit that represents your “type” but in a very subtle way. For example, if you’re often cast as a business woman you may want to wear a shirt with a collar. Very subtle!  If you get stuck here bring a few things with you (following the basic rules above) and we will figure it out.

A simple check list (for non actors too):

-Avoid pure white

-I recommend no jewelry 

-Avoid tops with strange necklines

-Avoid busy patterns

-Actors, don’t overdo your make-up

-Read through my tips blog, that is, if you’re the type that likes to get a jump on things. It’s not necessary that you do—I’ll walk you through everything the day of the shoot. 

What to expect & How to prepare for headshots
What to expect & How to prepare for headshots

For non-actors:

The choice is up to you. I’d suggest no crazy necklines or anything that will distract from your face.  You can do your make up as natural or as crazy as you like it. For a natural look, I’d stick with “normal” make-up. What I mean by “normal” is, for the purposes of, what they call “pleasing the camera” the way you normally apply your make-up will do. You don’t need extra because you’re being photographed.

If you’re going for something more dramatic, a little extra can work. But a lot of this is preference or look specific. I can help you arrange a make-up artist if you feel you need one. I can and will take care of small blemishes and skin imperfections in photoshop.


For actors and everyone else:

What to bring: If you’re not sure what to wear, bring in a couple of shirts and I’ll go over it with you. If you’re planning on a full look change bring whatever is needed for the new look, e.g., make-up, hair. If you’re planning on a shirt change just bring the change or, if you’re having trouble deciding, bring in a few shirts and we’ll pick one.

Searching online for headshot poses before the shoot may give you some of your own ideas. But this is not necessary. It’s ultimately my job to pose you.

Atlanta headshot photographer
Atlanta headshot photographer


I will help you pose, of course.  It usually just comes down to a little head tilt here or there—a bit of a turn of the shoulders, etc. It’s really simple and easy. As a matter of fact, unless you’re experienced in this type of thing (which, naturally, hardly anyone is) I would prefer you just relax and allow me to guide you rather than you having to shoulder the burden of “what to do”—which usually just leads to a noticeable tension. That said, if you want to look around at different poses on-line before the session and send over (or bring in) some ideas that’s good too.

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