Headshot of a woman wearing a pink top and white pants photographed against a white wall by Hamilton headshot photographer Haley Adele Photography

HEADSHOT PREP GUIDE

GET PREPARED FOR YOUR HEADSHOT

Woohoo! I'm so excited to photograph you! To get the most out of your headshots, I've put together this easy guide to ensure you love your images and represent yourself and your brand how you really want to.

First things first

HOW WILL YOU USE YOUR HEADSHOTS?

When it comes to headshots and branding images there are so many different ways in which your images could be used. Have you thought through where you might be using these images and how they might be used?


What are the different ways you might use your headshots now and how might they be used in 6 months time or even 12 or 24 months time. How often do you want to have to have your headshot taken. The different uses might actually require different outfits or even crops or poses to best serve the platform or audience you have.


With that in mind, how many images will you need, will it really just be one pose and one outfit or would you want some variation in your poses? Would it be beneficial to have some head and shoulder options as well as a waist up and full length option to future proof you?


Would you like some sitting down, portrait and landscape orientation or with room for messaging or branding to be added? Do you need a clear cut png file for your website designer or marketing team that can be placed on various marketing materials? These are the sort of questions that will help you with making the most out of your photoshoot, ensuring you have the images you need now as well as those that will serve you over the next year and even longer.

COMMON HEADSHOT USES

 

 

 


  • Linked in
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Tiktok
  • Reels & Stories
  • Video Blogs
  • Websites
  • Blog Posts
  • Press Releases
  • Internal Imagery

 

 


  • Email signatures
  • Google Business
  • Business Cards
  • Billboards
  • Flyers & Brochures
  • Introductory Posts
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Interviews
  • Event Speakers

SO WHAT SITTING SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?

EXPRESS HEADSHOT

Express Headshot Sessions are perfect for people who really just want one or two headshots in the same outfit in the studio. These are quicker 10 minute sessions where you arrive ready in your chosen outfit. We shoot on one backdrop and you'll receive a proof gallery of a selection of images to choose your favourite image from. You do still have the option to purchase additional files from your online gallery if you choose from but you have less to choose from.

The Headshot Shoot

 

 

Headshot Shoots are for those that require a larger variation of poses, backdrops or wardrobe options. These shoots can be on-location or in the studio and you're able to do up to two wardrobe changes or backdrop changes. Headshot Shoots take between 20 and 30 minutes and you can expect over 25 proofs including sitting, standing and leaning, with a variation of close up, waist up and full length shots to choose from, with the option to purchase additional images if you choose to.

Corporate Branding

 

 

Corporate Branding Sessions are up to 45 minutes long and allow for up to 3 Wardrobe Changes. You can choose to have your headshots taken in the studio or on-location. These are great for people who want multiple images against different backdrops and in multiple outfits to really future proof their headshot needs. With branding shoots, you have the option to also add in props such as a laptop or book and we will do more of a range of images, poses and image orientations.

Clothing colour and shape makes a difference

CHOOSING WHAT TO WEAR

 

Think about how you want to represent yourself online and in print. What is the impression you want to make? How do you want to be presented?


A great idea for Headshot Shoots and Corporate Branding Sessions is to bring a selection of outfits that serve a range of purposes to ensure you have a good selection of images to choose from, in different outfits.


Express Headshots where you arrive ready in your chosen outfit, you can still bring along a blazer, jacket or a scarf to change up your appearance quickly for some of your headshots.


To get the most from your images, ensure your outfits are clean, ironed and fit well. That any under garments are the correct colour and fit well.

WARDROBE TIPS

  • Blazers, jackets and cardigans are an awesome way to create layers in an image. Layering clothing like this can have a slimming effect and are a great way to create more interesting images. You can quickly dress up or dress down an outfit by switching out a blazer for a denim jacket or a cardigan. Another option for appearing more relaxed and casual in an image is to avoid black and white with no other colours to break it up.


  • It can be a good idea to avoid solid colours with no layering. Solid colours, especially black can make us appear blocky, especially if they are loose fitting, boxy or extremely long without any tapering at the waist. If you love black, try option for a pattern, lace or sheer fabric instead of a solid piece. Another option is to layer a slate black tone jacket over a pure black top. You could even try a coloured blouse under a black blazer to break the space or if you want a solid colour statement piece, look for options that have shape or are tapered at the waist.

 

 

  • Outfits that cinch at the waist are a great way to create shape. The same goes for high waisted pants or peplum shaped pieces. When the change from one clothing piece to another is at our smallest part of our bodies rather than our hips which are wider, we can create a slimming effect rather than a widening one. However, if your torso is short you may want to wear a dress that cinches at the waist as high waisted trousers and a tucked in shirt can shorten an already short body in some cases. If this is the case, a longer blazer can lengthen the torso again.


  • It doesn't always have to be muted colours. Pairing a bright fashion top with a pair of white jeans is a great way to add colour. Another option is to use a coloured backdrop rather than the traditional white backdrop headshot look.


  • Different poses can help create shape just as our outfits can. Hands coming across the body or in front of us to lean on tables or props are a great way to create a break in the space.

 

create more interesting images

ADD ACCESSORIES

 

Want people to take notice? It's a great idea to personalise your outfits with timeless jewellery. A piece of jewellery or even just a nice watch can really bring an outfit together making the overall image more appealing. Think earrings, watches, bracelets, necklaces, scarves and shoes.


Another great way to change up an outfit could be as simple as tying your hair up in some shots and having it down in others or even adding or removing a jacket or glasses.

 

 

ACCESSORY TIPS

  • Shoes with a heel will lengthen your legs


  • Jewellery can always be added or removed depending on the look you are wanting to achieve, for example going from casual to smart.


  • Remember to consider how you want yourself to come across in your images and choose outfits and accessories that portray that. Ask yourself, is this a conservative pair of earrings that will suit a corporate look or is this a fun quirky pair of earrings that fits in with current fashion trends? Should you switch out your fitness watch for your going out watch when you have your suit on? The answer might differ depending on your goal as well as who your audience or clients are.

 

 

 

 

 

Make the most out of your headshots

MAKEUP, BROWS & SKIN

Whether or not you're going to have professional makeup done, a great skin care routine on the lead up to your headshots can really help you appear your very best. And I'm talking not just looking after your face but also ensuring you moisturise and exfoliate your arms, legs, elbows and hands, basically anywhere that is going to be visible. This is key to ensure you don't have any dry patches on your skin in your images. This is for the men too, dry skin is not something that can be easily photoshopped!

If you are someone that prefers tidy brows, ensure you get them done or do them yourself before your headshot session. Imagine if this image went on the back of a bus or in a news article online but you'd forgotten to tidy your brows up!

A great way to get more from your images is to get your makeup done. Even if the look you'd like is something as small as evening out a red skin tone, it can really help. Both men and women can add this onto your session and takes place before your photoshoot in the studio by our great team of makeup and hair stylists or you can contact them directly and see them earlier in the day. If you have added this on, ensure you arrive with clean, dry hair and a clean face with no makeup on for best results.

Don't forget to think about your nails, if you're not a nail polish person and for men as well, simply ensure they are clean and tidy before your photoshoot. If you are a nail person, you could always go and treat yourself to new nails or give them a fresh coat. You definitely don't need to paint your nails or have acrylics or gels done at all. Just ensure they are as you'd like them to be if you were meeting a potential partner, buyer, client or employer, because effectively that is what this image is for right.

If you're opting to do your makeup yourself there are some top tips for this!


  • Extra individual even half strip lashes can really open the eyes up but a nice lash lift can do this too, especially for those wanting to add length but also look natural. I love the girls over at LAB Brow Bar for mine.


  • Curled lashes can help make your eyes appear larger and more open.


  • Darker liner on the waterline under the eyes can make the eyes look smaller, where as white or left natural can actually make them appear larger and more open.
A woman wearing a blue dress on a blue backdrop during a headshot photoshoot with hamilton headshot photographer Haley Adele Photography in her Hamilton Headshot Studio

Up? Down? Styled?

 

 

HAIR STYLING

 

How your hair is styled can have a huge effect on whether you love your headshot. Even if you're not going to go all out and have your hair and makeup done, a little bit of styling for men or a quick curl of the front of your hair for women to create shape can make a massive difference to your images. If you want that really high fashion classy or edgy look go for super straight hair. If you'd like to shape your face and create some depth to your image, light waves or curls can be a great way to frame you nicely. If you're not usually someone that does your hair a lot, having hair (and even makeup) added on to your booking can be a great way to ensure it looks amazing. If that isn't something that you're wanting to do but you don't know how to do it yourself, youtube is a great place to find how-to videos.

HAIR TIPS

 

 

  • Hair styles with more volume or that fall around the face will make the face appear less prominent in an image than sleeker styles will.



  • Hair that sweeps across the forehead will make the forehead appear smaller in an image, like side fringes or curtain bangs


  • Partially straight hair with a curl outwards from the face on either side will frame the face nicely and help create a put together look. You can always tuck one side behind your ear to frame the face as well.


  • Loose hair around the face will create a softer appearance and frame the face more than hair pulled back tightly. If you're opting for an up-do, consider leaving some loose pieces around your face if you'd like a softer look. If you like the high fashion sleek look, pulled back tightly can be a great choice.


  • If you're wanting to hide regrowth or grey roots in your images, but don't have time to refresh your colour you can buy root hair spray to hide it.


  • For men, freshly groomed facial hair can really create a professional look. This doesn't necessarily mean a clean shave (unless that is what you do!), just a tidy up to create clean lines. If you're someone who does this regularly yourself or you don't have the right tools, many barbers will offer this as a service or add-on to your hair cut!

PROFESSIONAL HAIR AND MAKEUP

 

Want to organise your own hair and makeup but not sure who to go to? Perfect, these are some of my favourite recommendations!

ON THE DAY

Ensure everything you'd like to bring along is packed, ironed and ready to bring to the studio. That you have your shoes, jewellery and any accessories or props ready and don't forget an umbrella if it looks like rain!

WHERE TO PARK

The studio is located in Casabella Lane with entrances to the lane from both Barton Street and Anglesea Street. Both streets have free parking for the first two hours. There is also a Wilsons Carpark on Barton Street and the nearby Center Place carparks.

 

DON'T WORRY

Don't stress if you've woken up with a pimple that morning, temporary blemishes are taken care of in standard skin retouching.

NEED MORE INSPIRATION?

 

 

Still stuck on ideas of how you'd like to be photographed or what to wear? Check out the gallery and see what kinds of backdrops, styles and outfits you like! Another great place for inspiration is Pinterest. Try using search terms like portraits, headshots, personal branding, actor headshots, anything similar and simply add your gender to make it a gender specific search!