headshot pre-shoot tips

HOW TO prepare for your headshot SESSION


Below are tips and recommendations for your upcoming headshot shoot to help you be prepared the best you can.

They are general best practice and may not apply to all industries or individuals.

If there are any company recommendations or guidelines, be sure to follow these.

We don’t want to tell you what to do or how to dress but we have found the general advice below to be helpful to most people.

Why should you care?

Your professional headshot is an extremely valuable marketing asset that will be used to represent (and market) yourself professionally for the next few yearS.

Good headshots can help open doors and opportunities.

Bad headshots can just as easily hold you back if they appear unapproachable, are poorly executed or stand-offish.

Wardrobe Basics

If you are unsure about what to wear, considering who it is you want your images to appeal to when preparing for a headshot session is often a good starting point (customers/prospects/managers).

Have your clothes set and ready at least the day before so you can rock up to your shoot totally relaxed and carefree. If you normally wear casual clothes in the office but would prefer to dress up a notch for your headshot, bring these clothes separately and ensure they don’t get crumpled up in a bag.

Mainly for the guys

Consider getting a haircut or trim a few days before the shoot and bring some hair product if you use it. Keep beards or facial hair neat and tidy.

We have face powder to get rid of shine if needed and you can bring your own if you prefer.

Get a good night’s sleep and drink plenty of water before the shoot as this will help to keep your skin and eyes clear.

Mainly for the ladies

As with most headshots, we won’t be seeing your footwear so you can wear shoes that are comfortable.

If you are doing your own make-up keep it simple. For business headshots, it’s important that you still look like you.

If we have booked a make-up artist for your shoot, apply your make-up lightly and ensure your hair is neat, they will be able to enhance your look as time will be limited.

Get a good night’s sleep and drink plenty of water before the shoot as this will help to keep your skin and eyes clear.

Things to avoid

Shapeless, ill-fitted clothing: Baggy clothing can often be fashionable; however, please bear in mind that it will add size and weight to your silhouette.

This doesn’t mean you should wear something figure-hugging (or a lycra cat-suit) , just that something well fitted will generally look more flattering.

Bright colours/busy patterns are usually best avoided as they have a tendency to date and distract.

Necklines that are too high or too low.

Shoving your clothing in a bag leaving them prone to creasing.

If you will be in a group shot, patterns should be avoided altogether. Or a separate plain option (in solid colours) should be brought for this.

Things we recommend

Bring something you really like wearing! Try to also make sure clothing is well-fitted.

Layering is great and works really well in shots i.e. a shirt and knit, shirt and jacket, blouse or simple top with a jacket.

Iron your shirts (and even t-shirts) ahead of time.

If you’ve been drinking plenty of water you should be well hydrated already. When moisturising, avoid sunscreen as a moisturiser on your face as this can look greasy. It’s also good to do a quick nail check to ensure they’re neat as well as checking your lips to make sure they’re not dry.

Lips can easily dry out in hot and cold months so slapping on some balm before bed can keep them looking supple.

Flashes of colour that match your eyes will help the shots pop i.e. blue eyes wear some blue, green eyes wear some green or brown.


If you are considering wearing leggings or pants, consider wearing something with pockets.

Although your legs will typically not feature in the headshot, pockets allow you to separate your elbows from the waist and giving your hands a comfortable place to rest can often look more flattering.

For more insights and inspiration you can check out our blogs and hero shot portfolio.

If you have any questions, just ask, otherwise we can’t wait to meet you all and create your hero shots.

See you soon!

Hero Shot Team