Tips for a Good Headshot

Tips for a Good Headshot

Career-minded individuals looking to make a positive impression should invest in a professional headshot. Appearances matter; whether networking, searching for clients, or applying for that dream job, you’ll want to put your best face forward (literally). Your selfie game may be on point, but save those shaky handheld phone pics for your Instagram account. Instead, hire a professional photographer for a high-resolution, visually-appealing headshot. They are experts in composition, lighting, and editing and know exactly how to create a perfect shot that showcases your most valuable asset – you!

Now that you know why a headshot is important, let’s take a look at some ways to ensure yours turns out great.


When choosing an outfit, decide in advance on the look you want to portray. Dress as you normally would on the job, whether that’s casual, business casual, or professional. Make sure all your clothes are ironed and pressed before the shoot; your photographer is skilled in post-editing, but wrinkles are difficult to Photoshop out – and it’s not their job to do so. If you are undecided over what to wear, bring a few different outfits to the shoot. Your photographer can make suggestions and help you decide. A few other tips:

  • Solid colors look best in headshots.
  • If choosing a pattern, keep it simple – “busy” is distracting.
  • Start with a simple shirt or blouse and slowly add layers.
  • Don’t worry about shoes; they won’t appear in the final shot anyway. Be comfortable!


Bring a brush or comb and hair product (gel/hairspray) with you to help calm hair that has become windswept on the way to the shoot. Mother Nature has an uncanny knack for throwing wild weather your way on important days (just ask anyone who has scheduled an outdoor wedding). Start out with your hair down and put it up in a ponytail for a more casual look toward the end of your shoot. If you can afford to do so, hire a hair stylist the morning of the shoot.

Face and Makeup

Before the shoot, look at your face in the mirror and see which side you prefer. Everybody has a good side, so find yours. Keep in mind that a mirror reverses your face and the camera won’t, so the images might look a little different than you were expecting. If you have one eye that is visibly smaller than the other, position the side of your face with the smaller eye toward the camera. This helps reduce the difference between the two. Practice different expressions in the mirror – do you look better stoic or perky?

When applying makeup, start out natural; use just enough to hide any blemishes and build up as you go. Add eyeshadow and darker lipstick sparingly. Avoid using matte-style makeup, which tends to dry out your skin. Bring makeup and moisturizer with you in case your skin dries out or you need touchups. Don’t forget lip balm or lip gloss! The night before your shoot, brush your lips with your toothbrush to help get rid of dead skin. Don’t undergo any last-minute extreme beauty regimens such as facial peels, tanning, or extensive foliating; these can irritate your skin. Get rid of any unwanted hair a few days before your shoot and be sure to clean up brows and upper lip hair. Men should shave right before leaving for the shoot unless they want that scruffy look – a five o’clock shadow can’t easily be Photoshopped. Use a cooling gel or aftershave lotion to help with skin irritation. A few additional tips:

  • Bring oil-absorbing sheets to soak up any oil or sweat that might build up during the shoot. Studio lights can get pretty hot! We recommend Clean and Clear: Oil Absorbing Sheets, available at Walmart and most local drugstores.
  • Leave your colored contacts at home and bring clear ones instead. Colored contacts tend to look fake in photographs.
  • If you can afford to do so, hire a makeup artist to apply your makeup and accompany you during the shoot for touchups.


Remember, your face is your brand! Whether you’re seeking a new profile image for your social media accounts or promoting yourself professionally on a corporate website, a good headshot is a great way to highlight your professionalism and personality and will help you stand out from the crowd.

If you’re looking for a professional headshot, Evergreen Media can help! Contact us to schedule your headshot today.

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