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  • Writer's pictureGeneviève Labrosse

How to prepare for a successful headshot or personal branding photo session

It is the photographer’s responsibility to ensure the photo session will be successful, but some parts of the success come from the client’s preparation.


We recommend to stick to solid colors and avoid busy patterns. The point is not to attract the attention on your clothes but rather on your face. Usually, clients come in with a few options and we take a look at them, while deciding on which background color we will shoot on. Textures and structure clothing will vary headshot (laces, jeans, rough cotton, textured jacket, etc.)

Iron your clothes! We are equipped in studio with an iron, but let’s not loose time on ironing clothes when we could work on details to get a fabulous shot. Oh, and the photographer will not like to spend more time on retouching clothes wrinkles then details on your skin…

Get beige/nude under wares, especially for white clothes. Don’t forget to bring accessories to match your clothing. Jewels are great, but again, minimal as we do not want to focus on your expensive diamond earrings.

Find clothes that you feel good to wear. If you like a jacket but you lost 30 pounds and then you ask me to reduce your jacket to make you look more fit, there are chances that we do not get the best results. Therefore, it is recommended to go shopping before the session should you need new clothes that fits you well. (You can always return the clothes to the store after the session!)

Whether you are looking for a youthful, contemporary or classical style headshot, you should choose clothing & colors that will make your eyes and yourself stand out with contrasts in the photo. This will be discussed in the consult session before the session.

Hair and make-up

Check for shining skin: If you have a dry skin, do not apply moisturizing cream in the hours before the shoot. Especially if you are not planning make-up session. It will make reflections on your skin and make more work for the photographer to retouch the images. Having a compact powder is the key to avoid any glare or oily skin.

Hair: Plan on scheduling a haircut a week before. It is recommended to stick to a natural style that you will be able to replicate on the morning of the shoot. It is also recommended to get a brushing the same day of the photo session, but keep it simple.

Shave: If you have facial hair, think about a fresh shaving same day of shoot or plan a visit to the barber for a fresh trim of your beard. It is easy to correct in retouching a few hairs but patches are not as natural to retouch.

If you wear glasses, think to clean them before the photo session. Transition lenses are to avoid as they may become darker and will look like sunglasses.

Make-up: do not over due it! Keep it simple and natural, the way you look on a daily basis, unless it is for a special role as an actor or model agency.

Overall, a consultation with the photographer before the session is a must. With the experience, we are in a great position to provide you with all the best tips.

See some examples of headshots and personal branding photoshoot.

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