Your Headshot – A complete overview

With more businesses marketing their services online, you need to find ways to stand out in the crowd. A professional headshot will do that. It makes a statement of value. People buy from people. There’s a connection that happens when someone trusts that you can help them solve their problem. A better headshot gives you an edge on the competition whether your clients find you on Linkedin or your website. Don’t settle for good enough. I want to help you portray the most confident version of yourself. It’s not about being photogenic, it’s about coaching, and that’s my job.

This overview will cover the following points:

The importance of your clothes and jewellery.

Makeup Advice

Skin Preparation and Foundation

Mascara, Blush and Gloss

Shaving Tips for Men

Hair Tips for Men & Women


Feel free to bring a range of different options for clothing. The #1 rule for me is that you have to love it! If you don’t feel comfortable in it, you won’t shoot well while wearing it.

I suggest you bring a range of different colours and necklines. If you have any doubt about whether something will work or not just bring it along. Don’t be seasonal; everything from t-shirts, tank tops to sweaters and light jackets can work. I love textures and layers as well and try to keep the jewellery to a minimum. Studs or small earrings work and simple necklaces, anything hanging or chunky will usually draw too much attention away from you in a headshot. Have some fun with this, if you feel your wardrobe is missing something then go shopping and we’ll keep the tags on it in case you’d like to return the items after the shoot. I have a steamer in the studio, so we’ll be able to easily sort out any wrinkling for you.

Unclear about how to tie a tie…or a scarf?

Check out my style guides on Pinterest:

Styling Inspiration | Women’s Tops

Styling Inspiration | Men’s Shirts

Styling Inspiration | Men’s Layers

Styling Inspiration | Men’s Casual


I recommend a very clean simple look. You are welcome to touch up and add subtle changes to the makeup as the shoot progresses.


I don’t recommend makeup on men.  All of my work is retouched afterwards, so any blemishes will be taken care of during that process.

Facial Hair:

If you’d like to shoot with facial hair I’d be happy for you to come in with whatever level of growth you’d like and can shave or trim it down once we’ve gotten the scruff covered. Bring whatever grooming products you’ll need with you to get it done.

Ladies, here’s some tips for doing your own makeup:

Remember, your headshot is about YOU looking your best—not your makeup attracting the attention. Keep everything soft, well blended and natural so your natural beauty shines through.

Skin prep, Foundation

If your skin looks amazing, everything else will look beautiful. It’s important to prep your skin prior to applying foundation, concealer and powder so everything goes on smoothly.

  1. Exfoliate – It is especially important when prepping your skin to absorb moisturizer and to help foundation lay down smoothly. I often mix sugar with my normal face wash to turn it into an exfoliant. You can also use a warm, damp washcloth to gently scrub. And “gently” is key…don’t be aggressive or you will have red, irritated skin. Don’t forget to exfoliate those lips too so they’re soft and smooth.
  2. Moisturize – Immediately following cleaning and exfoliating, while your skin is still slightly damp, apply a moisturizer. Find one that suits your skin. There are endless moisturizers to suit every skin’s needs. Make sure those lips get a dose of lip balm to make sure they’re moisturized too.
  3. Prime – Primer has become an essential part of getting a face photo ready. Primer helps prolong the life of your makeup, avoid unnecessary shine and can really help skin appear it’s most flawless. Focus the primer in the center of the face and work outward. Look for a primer to fit your needs. There are primers to reduce shine, redness, pore size, etc.
  4. Foundation – more than likely, foundation is a part of your daily routine or it totally isn’t. Regardless of your norm, foundation is a must for being photographed. Use a lightweight foundation with sheer to medium coverage and a luminous finish. Try to stay away from a high SPF value as it will make your skin appear much lighter in the photograph than you actually are. (15 or less is best)
  5. Powder – Powder is only used reduce excess shine during the shoot. You are welcome to bring some for touch ups if needed.

Eyes, Cheeks, Lips

The next steps bring colour and life into the face. And they’re the most fun.

  1. Brows – brows are often forgotten but make a big difference. Don’t overdo them though and be sure to follow your natural brow shape to keep them from looking drawn on.
  2. Eye Shadow – If you wear it at all, please keep it natural. This isn’t the time to play with colours. Neutrals like vanilla, champagne, taupe, grey, brown, bronze are safe for anyone. No eyeliner please. If you want a bit more definition, smudge a darker shadow into on the outer 2/3rds of the top lash line. This is a fool-proof way to do eye liner to ensure the line is soft but still defines the eye.
  3. Lashes – Curl your lashes! Do not forget this step, it works and lashes are stunning. This is the quickest way to make your lashes appear longer and your eyes bigger and brighter. Wiggle a fine mascara wand from the base of the lashes and comb through the ends. Keep this in mind: the photographic lighting biases your face colour to the lighter side, and eyes are where you get the most attention. Remember though – don’t overdo it.
  4. Cheeks – It’s important to get a little colour into your face with some blush. Start with a little blush and add as needed to avoid overdoing it. Your cheeks should look flushed, not pink.
  5. Lips – Finish your look with a natural product that is a hint richer than the natural colour of your lips. Otherwise, just pop a creamy balm on your lips. Avoid super matte or super glossy formulas.

Looking for some visual inspo? Check out my pinterest board here:

Styling Inspiration | Women’s Makeup

Men’s & Women’s Hair:

I ask that everyone come in with their hair ready the way you would like to present yourself. I want your hair in your pictures to be as close as possible to the way you look on a fantastic hair day. If you plan on having a haircut, try to schedule it a week before your shoot so that you can settle into your style and there are no loose trimmed hairs on your face and neck.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this page has given you a lot of tips to take into account for your photo shoot with me. From hair to make-up and clothes to your beard. I want to keep this page as complete as possible and will continue to update it regularly.

As you read at the top of this page, I want to help you portray the most confident version of yourself in your Professional Profiles. If you’re looking to connect with me first, I invite you to make an obligation free appointment with my studio to make sure we can work together. For more information about making an appointment , please visit the Contact Page on my site.

Still not convinced? Read my blog post here about why you need a professional headshot in this digital era.

I can’t wait to work with you!