The 2022 Guide to Creating Great Headshots

If you want to be able to connect with new clients and make a good first impression, you will certainly need an updated headshot that authentically reflects you.

Whether you’re still considering a professional photo session, or you’ve already booked one, there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your headshots.

This guide will ensure you’re prepared and get the best possible results.

Your Mindset

Before you step into a professional headshot session, adjust your mindset can be helpful – how you’re feeling will shine through in your photos. I believe important to think about how you want to feel during your session, not what you necessarily want people to see. Keeping the focus on your inward vibration naturally will create the external results you’re ultimately wanting.

So, how do you adjust your mindset for a photo session? Don’t take it so seriously and most importantly, do something that makes you feel good! Spend time meditating prior to your session or turn on your favorite tunes and get moving, maybe go for a hike beforehand? There are no specific rules, just do what makes you feel good. When your head is in the right space, your personal power and joy will effortlessly shine through in your photos.

Your Outfit

Most headshots are cropped quite tightly, so what you wear is not a make or break. However, there are still a few things to keep in mind. Unless it fits in with your brand, avoid wearing neon colors or wild patterns. Seek out other colors that look good on you and choose an outfit, especially a shirt or blouse, that matches your brand.

If you’re planning to wear accessories, like earrings or necklaces don’t wear anything too bold or shiny – the point is to keep the focus on your face, not create a distraction. I provide each of my clients with customized wardrobe consulting prior to their session so they can arrive feeling confident and on brand.

Your Makeup & Hair

Makeup is not completely necessary for headshots, but it can be super helpful for covering up unwanted blemishes. Even if you don’t usually wear makeup at all you may find opting for the basics like foundation and powder to go a long way! The biggest priority is to even out your skin tone and remove shine, which can be done with BB cream and a translucent powder. If you’re a woman, adding some color to your cheeks and a light lift to your lashes is highly recommended. Again, staying away from overly bright colors helps to avoid distractions, unless its on brand for you to do so. Headshots are not the time to experiment with new makeup styles, but moreso about highlighting your natural beauty.

In terms of your hairstyle, choose something that suits your position, age, and profession. I do work with an eco friendly hair and makeup artist if you’d love to add that extra layer of self assuredness and pampering to your session.

Your Background

Whether you schedule your shoot in a studio or at a location of your choosing, make sure that your background isn’t a major distraction. It’s best to avoid vertical lines, loud colors, white brick walls, and elaborate street art. However, it’s important to keep your brand in mind – you do want to tell a story after all. Some of the most effective headshots I’ve taken over the years were created on a very minimal white or gray background.

Your Body Language

People don’t often consider how their body language changes their story. Body language refers to the tilt of your head, your gaze and facial expressions, and the position of your shoulders. Unless you really want to send an intentional message, it’s important to pay attention to your body language in your headshots. Squaring your shoulders and looking too serious can make you look defensive more than anything else. Another example is tilting your head too much, this could make you come across as childish. I provide in the moment somatic body coaching and facial expression cues to assure you are appearing confident, and approachable in your headshots.

This might seem like a lot to remember but by being aware of these aspects, preparing for your headshot session, and allowing your photographer to guide you, you can look forward to headshots you can be proud of.

Jamie Salima Love is a FingerLakes based Headshot and Personal Branding Photographer extraordinaire. She has helped thousands of small businesses, brands, and entrepreneurs over her 20 yr career by creating updated image libraries with stellar imagery. She is available for a multitude of services, whether you’re looking to work with her to simply update your Headshots, or to create an extensive Personal Branding Photography strategy and library with all the bells and whistles she’s got you covered.

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