Guide to a Successful Professional Headshot Session

Internet Marketing/ Guide to a Successful Professional Headshot Session

At Bush Marketing we know that preparation by our clients and our photographer are the keys to a successful professional headshot session. Our photographer already knows how to prepare, but do you? The effort you put in your preparation makes the job easier for the photographer and ensures you get the most out of the photoshoot.

These tips will help you prep for your session and ensure the best photos for you and your team.


Professional Headshot Checklist

Headshot sessions are usually short; it is essential to share your expectations with your photographer to ensure you are on the same page. It also requires preparation starting a week before up all the way up to a few minutes prior the session.


A Week Before Your Professional Headshot

Plan the Day

Once you decide on the due day, plan your schedule to ensure you don’t have other commitments. Freeing the day ensures you arrive at the studio in time, are entirely focused on the shooting, and avoids compromising on other appointments.

Be Smart About Your Clothing and Accessories

Choosing the proper clothing for your headshot session can be challenging, so you should plan your outfit a week before the due date. Choosing the wrong clothing can, on occasion, result in a repeat of the session.

You can avoid such an instance by avoiding items that don’t work well with photos, such as:

  • Reflective materials
  • Over-the-top jewelry
  • Turtlenecks
  • Distracting colors (particularly ties)
  • All white blouses or shirts (they can wash you out, leading to a significant loss of depth and detail)

Read More: How Professional Photography Can Boost Your Business

The Day Before Your Professional Headshot

Get Enough Rest

To a degree, a photographer can use technology to remove dark circles and any signs of tiredness from your eyes before giving you the final assets. That being said, you should arrive at the studio looking and feeling as fresh and relaxed as possible. Getting enough sleep the night before makes you look well-rested in your headshots. It is also wise to ensure that you are well hydrated.

Define What You Want

In the event that this headshot is not your first, look at your past photos and determine what you liked or disliked in each of them.

Did you have a particular look that worked, including clothes/hair/makeup? Or was it the angle at which the photographer took the photo? Whatever the reason, consider bringing the photo you like along to give the photographer a hint of your expectations.

If you are receiving a headshot for the first time, do a search on Google for professional headshots to see what you like.

Avoid Unnecessary Pressure

Other than wrong clothing, encounters with external factors that ruin your mood on the shoot day could potentially result in a reshoot. These factors include acne outbreak, lack of enough sleep, job/family-related stress, and a bad mood day. If you experience any of these, call your photographer and reschedule the headshot session.

Read More: Media Marketing


The Morning Of Your Professional Headshot

Dress Accordingly

When dressing for the professional headshot session, choose flattering yet less distracting solid colors. The type of clothing you wear should match the use of the headshots. When making your choice, ask yourself whether you want the portrait for your infographic resume, website, business card, social media, or press release. Whichever the application, avoid the following:

  • Shirts or jackets with logos
  • Excessive makeup
  • Large jewelry
  • Undershirts (for men)

At the same time, choose high contrasting colors and ensure that your clothes are properly ironed. If you are not sure what to wear, you can always ask for recommendations from your photographer.


A clean, well shaven face gives you a more professional look. You can choose to clean shave, or trim your beard, whichever looks best on you.


5 Minutes Before Your Headshot

Check Your Hair

Before the photoshoot, ensure your hair is under control and flattering. Spray a little water and brush it if it looks messy.

Manage Your Shine

The flash on the studio will reflect any shiny spots on your face. If you have an oily face or sweat a lot, apply some powder. But if you are not wearing any makeup, splash some water and dampen your face with a dry towel. For those with dry skins, avoid applying lotion on your face at least four hours before your shoot.

Ensure Your Glasses are Clean

Dirty glasses will show up in a photograph – clean them. In addition, avoid glasses with transition lenses as they will look like sunglasses. If possible, wear anti-glare glasses to prevent lightning from interfering with the quality of your headshot.

Follow Your Photographer’s Instructions

Once you show up for the headshot session, your photographer will point out important features about your appearance and recommend any changes you need to make.

Lastly, have some fun! During the session, ensure you are relaxed to prevent any signs of stress and anxiety from showing on your photos.


Andy Bush is President of Bush Marketing. Contact him today at 416-795-6968 or for a discussion about how Bush Marketing can help your website do more for your business.

Bush Marketing | Web Design Company Toronto | SEO Company Toronto | Call Today!

Web Design, Content Marketing and SEO Services in Toronto, Across Canada, and Around the World

Since 2008, Bush Marketing has been helping businesses succeed with effective strategies that focus on growth. Get in touch with us today to learn how we can help you reach your business goals.

Let's get marketing