25 Tips To Get Perfect Professional Headshots

1. Think About Your Audience

The purpose of a headshot is to put a face to the name, whether that means being the face of your corporation or as a personal brand expression. That being said, there is no perfect one size fits all recipe for the right look. For those of you that want to reflect a fun office environment you can be a little more playful with your look where as a CEO of a large corporation would want a more serious and very professional looking headshotEither way, just think about who will be seeing your headshot and why they are seeing it. Now sculpt your outfit and expression to fit what your ideal audience would like to see.

2. Dress To Impress

It’s ususally best prcatice to dress how you would when you are meeting a new client. Professional and not too flashy will ensure your headshots look right for any occasion where your headshots may be needed. No need to dress up like you would for a formal event, keep it casually professional and you should look fine. Always ask your photographer ahead of time as well to get their ideas on what you should wear after considering your unique situation.  

Either way, just think about who will be seeing your headshot and why they are seeing it. Now sculpt your outfit and expression to fit what your ideal audience would like to see. Typically we recommend that you dress as your clients would expect to see you dressed.

3. Get A Haircut Ahead Of Time

A fresh haircut doesn’t look as natural as a 1-2 week old haircut will, so try to plan your haircut in advance. This way you can let it grow a little to fill in so it’s not so tight looking and you can still sculpt any edges that need it. Also, it gives you plenty of time to get a different haircut in the event that your first one didn’t turn out the way you had hoped. Of course any last minute touchups should be done very carefully for best results.

4. Lighting Makes A HUGE Difference

Make sure your headshots are taken either with great natural lighting that shines from numerous points in the room or a well lit outdoor location with sunny weather. If you don’t have great natural lighting, you will want to make sure you have a professional lighting set up for even coverage. This helps to give a very real look to your headshots and can make a world of difference when set up correctly. 

5. Keep Your Makeup Simple

Layered on foundation and coverups can easily show when taking very high definition photos, so do your best to keep your makeup to a minimum and be careful with layering. This is a common mistake when getting headshots and can really affect the look of your portraits, so keep it simple or consult us about using a professional makeup artist to make sure you get every detail correct.

6. No Extravagant Hair Styling

Sometimes heavily styled hair won’t show up very well in pictures, so it’s best to keep a simple and natural look to your hair style. Also, most of the styling won’t be visible except the front anyways, so there’s no need to go get you hair professionally done just for a headshot session. Brushed and lightly styled will work perfectly.

7. Use A Simple Background

The backdrop of your photo will make a big difference. Use a complimentary color to your outfit that matches and doesn’t seem out of place next to your clothing. This can be done by using a specific colored backdrop that your photographer has or taking your portraits in your office or outdoors. The key is to have a simple and slightly out of focus background to ensure that it all fits together, but keeps the focus on YOU!

8. Tidy Up Your Desk

If you are using your office as a setting, make sure your desk is neat and tidy, with a few of your everyday items laying around. Don’t use a messy office with papers everywhere, it needs to be very clean and have minimal other items on the table. That way the background won’t be distracting the viewers from looking at you. If your desk is a mess, consider having your in office headshots taken at the front desk with your company signage behind you and all the clutter hidden behind the counter.

9. Trendy Clothes Are Not Your Friend

Trendy clothes are not a great option when considering your wardrobe. For one, they are usually much less professional and a little too flashy for you typical headshot, but mostly it will make your headshots seem dated in a year or two when that trend is no longer so popular. Remember to just keep it classy, simple and professional.

10. Bring A Mirror With You

It’s always a great idea to bring a small handheld mirror with you to your photo shoot to ensure your hair and makeup didn’t get messed up along the way. These are especially handy when doing outdoor shots where your hair is at the mercy of the wind and weather. A great photographer will have a mirror already in their tool arsenal as you will always find with our experienced headshot photographers at Roka Studios.

11. Bring A Lint Roller

If you have any pets, you may want to consider bringing a lint roller with you. High definition pictures will show cat and dog hair on your clothes with all of the bring light, so it’s best to be prepared for that. A simple lint roller will usually do the trick, but if you have pets with long white hair, you might want to bring some strong tape instead.

12. Get A Good Nights Sleep

 A simple yet effective hack to keep you looking fresh and upbeat in your pictures is to get plenty of sleep the night before. You will avoid dark circles under your eyes and a cup of coffee to go with if you need that extra boost to perk you up! You want to be fresh and ready to go that day so you look great in all of your pictures.

13. Wash Your Face

All the bright lights can tend to make your skin look shiny, so make sure to wash your face thoroughly before your shoot to remove any oil that might show in the photos. Oily skin can be a pain, but is easily remedied with a quick face wash before applying makeup or right before your headshots for the men.

14. Stay Hydrated And Eat Healthy

Again, we need you looking and feeling healthy to capture the best headshots possible. That means drinking plenty of water and eating a good meal before the shoot. Just don’t spill on your nice headshot outfit! Your well being makes a huge difference in how you look and come across in your pictures, so be sure to take care of yourself thoroughly. 

15. Careful Not To Spill Anything!

As always, try to make sure you don’t spill anything on the clothes you plan on wearing for your headshots. We recommend wearing different clothes until you get to your photo shoot to ensure you don’t accidently stain or wrinkle your outfit before the pictures. Ironing or pressing your outfit the night before will keep your wardrobe wrinkle free.

16. Do You Wear Glasses Normally?

If you normally wear glasses, make sure to wear them when getting your headshots done so that people viewing them see the same version of you in person. Keeping a consistent style helps keep you from seeming like a different person when meeting someone for the first time. So keep it consistent and wear the same glasses you usually wear.

17. Stand Or Sit Up Straight

Great posture will help to present yourself as confident and professional. For every shot, make sure to sit or stand up with your back straight and shoulders back. We should be pdoing this all the time, but we all know how easy it is to lose track of your posture and slouch. Keep it in the back of your mind to have correct posture for best results.

18. Don’t Be Nervous!

Let’s be honest, most of us don’t like having our picture taken for one reason or another. But when getting headshots done, you need to look natural, approachable and friendly which won’t happen if you are nervous during the shoot. Do whatever you need to in order to calm yourself and feel confident to get great portraits.

19. Relax Your Body

Don’t tense up as it is very easy to spot in photographs. While keeping good posture, remember to stay loose so you appear relaxed and confident. Having a nice a friendly photographer definitely helps with this, so make sure you are comfortable with your photographer before signing up with them. Joking around with you photographer can also help to loosen you up to get that natural glowing smile out of you.

20. Lighten The Mood With Friends

Bringing friends with you to your photo shoot does two things: helps you stay loose because you are in a comfortable environment and it also saves you a lot of money! Groups of more than one headshot get bulk discount pricing of up to 50% off at Roka Studios. Not only that but having friends around is a huge help at getting natural photos of you.

21. On Location Photo Shoots

We encourage our clients to consider getting your headshots done in your office or corporate building because it gives off a very real vibe in your pictures and accurately represents you as a professional. As long as your office is clean and tidy, your headshots can greatly benefit from having your office as the background in your pictures. 

22. Look Into Your Photographers Style

It’s always smart to look into how your headshot photographers style usually is so that you can find the right photographer for you. Some photographers have very different styles that can make a huge difference in how your headshots come out and ultimately how happy you are with your headshots. Make sure to take a deep dive into your headshot photographers portfolio to make sure their style meshes well with the look you desire.

23. You Should Feel Comfortable

You should talk to your headshot photographer before scheduling to make sure you feel comfortable with the person you are hiring. If you don’t feel comfortable around them, it will show and make it much more difficult to get great headshots. You should feel welcomed and extremely comfortable with your selection of photographer to ensure the best possible outcome for your headshots. 

24. Hire The Right One

Yes, you can save a few dollars by going with the lowest bidder, but your headshots are going to reflect that choice in their quality and that’s not what you want. Finding the right studio is a key factor in getting the perfect set of headshots with great contrasting background and professional touchups. This is where Roka Studios comes into play, we are experts at getting the right headshot for every occasion and keeping our clients happy.

25. Get Numerous Headshots

Since you are getting headshots already, you might as well grab more than one so you have different headshots for whatever occasion that comes up. Bring a few outfits and try a few different poses so that you have a nice variety of headshots to choose from when you need something just a little different. 

We Hope This Helps!

If you have questions about any of this or want a consultation, feel free to give Roka Stdios a call or stop by our offices and chat with a professional headshot photographer in Denver.



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