Headshot Tips

Here are some headshot tips that I send all my clients prior to their session. They were created to help you get the most out of your headshot investment. But they are guidelines and if you have questions or you would like to approach your session differently please call me and we can discuss the matter.


For headshots the framing of the photos will generally be mid chest and up so bring a variety of tops (pullovers and button up shirts/blouses). Solid colors with simple necklines work well. It’s best to avoid anything with patterns or frills.

The focus of a headshot is the face and personality so the goal is to not detract from that. With that in mind I would avoid very loud colors. The exception would be if you feel that very vibrant colors are a big part of your look then use them.

Layers are also a good option (ie. jacket or button shirt over a tee, etc.). Please bring clothing that is wrinkle free as they are difficult to fix in retouch.

If you want to wear jewelry simple and light jewelry works better than large and loud so as to not distract too much from the face.

Please try your clothes on before the session, preferably at least a couple of days prior so there are no surprises. Every now and then, a client will come to the session and the clothing doesn’t fit very well. At that point there is nothing that can be done about it.


Clean dry hair done the way you normally where it is best. If you have long hair we may want to get some shots in a ponytail so bring a small unobtrusive tie for that.

I generally retouch hair strands that cross over into the face and neck areas. Retouching untamed hair around the outside of the head can be very difficult and usually looks better left alone so please keep that in mind. If you like that untamed look (which can work very well) that’s fine. If that’s not the look you want then it is best to make sure your hair is how you like it when you come to the session.

Another of my headshot tips is to avoid getting your haircut on the day of your session if you can. Sometimes hair takes a couple of days to look natural after being cut.


It is best to avoid a lot of sun a couple days prior to the session. You want your skin to look natural in color and texture (you don’t want damaged skin resulting in peeling).

Drinking more water a day or 2 ahead can also help keep your skin hydrated and looking smooth.


As for makeup you want your headshot to represent how you normally look. One thing to keep in mind is if your makeup is powdery the camera has a tendency to accentuate it so you may want to go lighter in that case. If you like you can bring your makeup with you and you can always add it as the shoot progresses. Feel free to bring a makeup artist of your choice or you can do your own. Overall it is best to keep it simple – a fresh, natural look works best.


Here is one more of my headshot tips that people don’t think about. You are investing in your headshot which will be with you for a couple of years. Avoid staying up late the night before if you can. Get some good sleep and you will look and feel better at your session.


Accessories can make or break a headshot. Done right they can provide personality, done wrong they can be very distracting. Less tends to be more when it comes to headshots. Small earrings with no other jewelry can create a great clean look that contributes to showcasing the face and personality.


If you wear eyeglasses and have more than one pair, bring them all so we can see what looks best in your images.

OK, you are now ready for a great headshot session!



PS. If you would like to find out more about my sessions you or get on my schedule you can do that here https://peteroharaphotography.com/book-now/.

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