Headshot Makeup Basics | Go Natural or Go Professional?

Professional headshots are a financial investment in your future. They are the currency of your professional reputation on business marketing materials and networking social media platforms like LinkedIn. There is just one question. Namely, is it worth investing in the services of a professional makeup artist before a headshot session?

Headshot Makeup Tips for Men

When it comes to headshot makeup, the rules differ considerably between men and women. Men in most cases should avoid using even so much as concealer. The only exception is if you wear makeup everyday. However, this is not to say that make grooming isn’t important. Men should always consider investing in a fresh haircut and professional beard trimming if they support facial hair. Like women, men should always make sure that their skin is hydrated and moisturized prior to a headshot session. When supporting a clean-shaven look, consider shaving again just before a headshot session, to avoid the creep of a 5 o’clock shadow.

Headshot Makeup Tips for Women

When it comes to women, makeup can be hugely important during a headshot photography session. Headshot makeup, though, should always look as natural as possible.

Don’t use eyeliner or dark lipstick shades which can result in a look more suitable for a night on the town than a job interview. Define eyes with mascara and lips with subtle shades of lipstick which accentuate natural lip lines. Do consider hiring a makeup artist, but (ideally) have them meet you at your headshot photography location. This way, you won’t have to worry about being ravaged by the weather after leaving home. Always use concealer, but never attempt to use heavy foundation to mask skin imperfections.

The most important pro headshot makeup tip is, of course, to always make sure your makeup matches the context of where the images will be used and your chosen outfit. More importantly, never worry about breakouts or bad skin days.

Embrace the Magic of Retouching

During a headshot photography session, a photographer will take hundreds of shots to capture your perfect pose and lighting. When you select an image to use, this will then be professionally retouched using Photoshop. This being the case, never worry about slight skin imperfections or even severe acne breakouts.

How to Hire a Hair and Makeup Artist

Every headshot photography business is different. Some might provide a hair and makeup artist, others won’t. Conversely, some studios might not be able to accommodate a hair and makeup artist setting up prior to a headshot session. For this reason, always contact studios in advance of booking a photography session, to ask what is and what might not be possible. Josh Line of Josh Line Photography says: “Whether you do your makeup yourself or hire someone, they should be able to do light and clean makeup for a headshot. Ask to see their work beforehand because headshot makeup is very different from other styles.”

What to Wear for a Professional Headshot

A business headshot is an integral part of your personal brand identity. You might not own your own business. However, the right headshot can see you get headhunted on places like LinkedIn, by people you need to take your career to the next level. There is just one question. Namely, what kind of attire should you wear to a headshot photography session?

Headshot Clothing Basics

Every headshot tells a story and what you wear for a headshot session will tell yours. My friend Norman of Norman Jaillet Photography says: “It’s the appearance of something, or someone that leaves an impression; sloppy, disheveled, well-groomed, expert … and on and on. Your image creates words in someone’s mind.”

Business Headshots for Women

When it comes to headshot clothing, most women elect to wear a jacket or blazer during headshot sessions. However, it is important not to feel restricted in terms of attire. Often, dresses worn with jewelry like necklaces can result in headshots which catch the eye more effectively. Just remember never to overdo things. If wearing a dress or blouse, remember that plunging necklines might be cut off in a finished photo. In this case, never go too low.

Regardless of what you wear, you can ask to see a sample of the background you will be photographed against, before your shoot. This will help you co-ordinate garment colors accordingly. If wearing just a blouse or shirt, remember not to look too casual. Usually, casual headshots only work well for people in fashion and the arts. When electing to wear a jacket or blazer, avoid sheer white colors, and always choose a fit which helps exemplify your upper body language.

When planning a headshot photography session, make sure also to avoid heavily patterned clothing. Solid colors always work better against headshot backgrounds. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color, though. Bold colors can often add more character to a headshot than grey or black can. You can always go against these rules – if you love it, bring it.

Business Headshots for Men

When it comes to headshot clothing, men have fewer styling options than women. Short sleeves often don’t work well in headshots. Suits and blazers are, therefore, the go-to option for most men. However, there are still ways to help your personality shine during photography sessions. Mix and match different tie and shirt combinations. Darker colors are best. However, bolder can be better in creative business niches. Never wear sheer white shirts or shiny materials. Gloss and reflected light can result in headshots which look plastic and insincere. Always get a fresh haircut a few days before a headshot, so that you get used to it, and if you have considerable amount of facial hair, think about allowing a professional barber to refine your look for you.

Headshot Photography Tips for Both Male and Female

Regardless of whether you are male or female, it is always a good idea to take at least one extra change of clothing to a headshot session. This way, last-minute fashion crises can be avoided. Photographers will also be able to tell you what attire they feel is most appropriate.

How To Prepare For a Headshot Session

Few people admit it. However, preparing for a headshot can be overwhelming. Everyone is self-conscious about their appearance. Business headshots, therefore, always take people out of their comfort zone. The good news is that anyone can get fantastic results. All that is necessary, is a little preparation.

5 Tips for a Great Business Headshot Session

Are you are thinking about booking a business headshot session? If so, the earlier you start preparing, the better your results will be.

1 – Rest, Relax and Re-Hydrate

Business headshots put your face in front of the world for all to see. It is, therefore, important to look and feel your best. With this in mind, rest, relaxation, and hydration are of paramount importance. Always schedule a headshot for a time when you are under the least amount of stress. Mondays are a good choice, as this can allow you to fully rest over the weekend. Matthew Hamilton of MHamiltonVisuals says: “Make sure to get a full 8 hours of sleep the night before your session in order to ensure you look your best!” A tired complexion is often the result of fatigue and dehydration. Sleep well, up your water intake, and you won’t have to worry about tired eyes before your headshot session.

2 – Practice Your Posture and Expression

For the most part, actor headshots are easy. Actors spend years learning how to express themselves and have their confidence shine in front of a camera. Sadly, most business people don’t have this skill. You can express yourself. However, most of the time, you probably don’t know how you look expressing yourself. Practice your best confident, yet approachable poses in front of a mirror. Decide on what you feel is your best side and your best smile. Consider trialing different outfits with different expressions, to see how what you wear can complement your body language.

3 – Choose Your Outfit, Makeup and Hair Style in Advance

During a business headshot session, feeling comfortable in the skin you are in, is hugely important. With this in mind, one of the worst things people can do is pick and choose their headshot outfit at the last minute. Instead, choose outfits ahead of time, and like we’ve already mentioned, practice your posture.
When in doubt concerning what to wear, draw inspiration from headshots you can find online from respected peers. Decide how you will wear your hair and makeup, and make sure your look matches your outfit.
When choosing your outfit, remember that you will be photographed against a solid color background. This being the case, avoid patterns in favor of solid colors which complement your eye color, skin tone, and hairstyle.

4 – Pack a Bag and Remember to Moisturize

During a headshot photography session, hundreds of pictures can be taken. This helps you and your photographer capture at least one image you will feel confident using. However, this also means that sessions can take some time. It is, therefore, always a good idea to pack a small bag ready for your headshot session.

Pack water, something to snack on, and consider packing an extra jacket in case you have an outfit crisis at the last minute. Always pack makeup and hairspray (if you wear makeup and hairspray) to touch up your appearance after you arrive. Moisturize intensively before your headshot session. Consider also packing moisturizer in case you have to attend your headshot on a cold day, which can leave skin feeling dry and chaffed.

5 – Relax. Possibly With Music

During a headshot photography session, you are going to be in an unfamiliar place, with an unfamiliar person directing your body language. This can leave nerves frayed. Thankfully, there are easy ways to make yourself feel more at ease. Consider making a playlist or choosing a music album you like, to play during your headshot session. Never be afraid to ask your photographer questions, nor tell them if you feel uncomfortable at any point. Remember not to worry about slight skin imperfections or even bad hair days. All reputable headshot photographers will professionally retouch images to make you look your best.

Siting for Business Headshots Doesn’t Have to be Stressful

All of the above tips should make preparing for a headshot photography session easy. When in doubt, simply relax, breathe, and remember that a headshot session isn’t like a dentist visit. If you need to take a break or don’t feel comfortable, let your photographer know and he or she will be more than happy to give you the time you need to relax and continue.

Headshots and confidence

What If I’m Not Photogenic?

When you make the decision to get professional headshots done, the first worry you may have is, “I am definitely not the most photogenic person around”. It is something that just about anybody who isn’t a model fears once they know they will be in front of the camera.Working with a professional headshot photographer can help you ease the uncertainties you may face in front of the camera. Much of feeling unphotogenic is due to a lack of confidence and being unfamiliar around a camera. A top class photographer can help you create great images through a variety of ways.


Confidence and approachability go a very long way

As with anything in life, being confident and approachable can completely transform the way you appear while taking your headshots. When you choose to work with an expert for your headshots, the first thing they will do is make you feel relaxed and assure you that the photos will turn out well.

Despite what we all think, everybody is in fact photogenic. The moment that you begin believing that your photos will turn out great, you will automatically become more natural, allowing your true self to show. An authentic smile and genuinely having fun in front of the camera is the difference maker when taking your headshots.

Break the mental barriers about your perceived flaws

We all have flaws in our appearance, that is a fact. However, it is important to understand that a majority of what you would like to change about your appearance is simply in your own mind. Whether it is freckles or thinning hair, the reality is that most people are so worried about their own appearance that nobody notices the minute details about you.

Once you move past the mental barrier you’ve created in your head, you can relax and have fun with the headshot session. You can also tell your photographer what you dislike about yourself and they will be able to produce images that minimize that aspect for your own sake.

Produce the self-image you would like others to see

When most people decide to get headshots done, it is for a specific purpose. Whether for a business profile, an acting portfolio or social media, you have a good idea of how you want to come across to those viewing the picture. For instance, if you are taking photos for an “About Us” page on a financial website, you would like to appear professional and trustworthy. If you are getting images taken for your comedy Instagram account, you want to be lighthearted and jolly.

To help assert the personal image that you want others to get of you when they see the photos, it is necessary to get into that role for the shoot. A professional headshot photographer will also work with you to capture exactly what you need. A joke before a fun shoot or a question about finance for a more serious one will help the camera grab what is needed.


Expressions, eye contact and body language help you connect with the viewer

Just like in a live interview, the three main proponents of a great headshot are your expressions, eye contact and the body language you produce. When you have the correct posture, a genuine smile and make easing eye contact with the camera, you will exude a confidence through the photo that creates a connection with anybody looking.

The photographer will be able to angle you correctly towards the camera, which will highlight your best attributes. However, it is up to you to come into the photoshoot with a positive mindset and a relaxed attitude, which will help your personality shine through the camera.


Pre-visualization helps you get into the right mindset

Right before the headshot session, it is a great idea to pre-visual successful photos that you would be happy with. By taking a few minutes to think of exactly how you want to appear in your headshots, you will subconsciously bring out your authentic feelings, making it more likely to come true.

Put yourself in the eyes of somebody viewing your headshot as they look through your portfolio, LinkedIn profile or business card. Imagine what you would like them to see and the impression you would like them to get upon first view. Since first impressions are so important in many business situations, you want to finish with pictures that will represent you exactly as you intend.

Trust your professional headshot photographer

The above are examples of what you can do to create your perfect headshot, but at the end of the day it still comes down to the person behind the camera. It is vital to select a headshot photographer that you trust and are completely comfortable with, as this will help you relax during the shoot.

A good headshot photographer knows how to bring out the best in everybody by using flattering lighting, angles and expressions. Never be afraid to tell the photographer what you desire in the images or how you are feeling during the session. They have likely worked with hundreds of people before and know how to make their subjects feel as comfortable as possible.

Maybe you want to look into people who specialize in certain types of headshots based on your needs. A Chicago headshot photographer Mike Schacht, who has has helped numerous actors to get more callbacks, auditions and castings, says: “Over the last 10 years I’ve enjoyed following the careers of the actors I’ve photographed. I’ve seen them in movies and I’ve seen them on Broadway.  The recurring theme in all of their stories is that they  went against the odds and took a chance. They all got out of their own way in order to live their dreams.”.

Finally, the photographer will help you select the best photos to use for your various needs. Business cards, online profiles and social media all require different styles, so the choosing the best picture for your needs can completely change the perception that viewers have.


If you are looking for professional headshots in Seattle, Seattle Headshot Pro will provide you with a relaxing and comfortable experience sure to produce top quality headshots for all your needs.

Why Do I Need a Professional Headshot?

While many people may think that a professional headshot is reserved for models and actors putting together a portfolio, that is far from the truth. For those looking for a career in the entertainment industry, a great professional headshot is a must have. However, professional headshots can be a valuable asset to just about everybody, for a wide variety of reasons.

In today’s tech-driven world, we are visible to millions of people across the world on a number of social, business and online platforms. Every time we create a profile for a new social media account, an “About Us” section on our website or are featured in an article, we have to provide an accompanying photo. Many people make the mistake of trying to simply pull an old, unprofessional picture off an account which does not present them in a favorable light.

By opting to use a professional headshot photographer for your next pictures, you will ensure that you are always representing yourself or your business exactly as you should be.

First Impressions Last a Lifetime

In a majority of situations, your photo will be the first judgement that anybody will pass on you. Whether a potential new employer looking at your LinkedIn profile, a prospective business partner checking out your company’s website or even a new match looking at your dating profile, you will want to make sure they first thing they see is something that brings out the best in you.

Unfortunately, a quick judgement based off of a glance at a photo can be the difference between receiving a job offer or getting that first date. A sloppy, unprofessional appearance in a photo could skew the image of you for somebody, regardless of your qualities.


One Professional Headshot Offers Unlimited Uses

The best part about a headshot is that it can be used in so many different places. A well-taken headshot that truly brings out your personality is something that you can add to social media profiles, business images, a portfolio and anything else where you want people to get a positive feel about you.

Unlike amateur photos and pictures taken by friends, a professional photographer knows how to use the lighting, angles and facial expressions to capture the ‘real you’. The authentic nature of professional headshots can make a huge difference in the way somebody feels when they see your image for the first time.

Keep Your Photos Current

One of the most baffling situations with either personal or business photographs is when people use images from ages ago to represent themselves. Whether it is because they simply don’t have the time to select new pictures or they feel that they looked better in their earlier days, it can be quite confusing when meeting somebody for the first time that looks completely different than what you have previously seen.

Executive coach Jule Kim says: “I’ve actually had many recruiters and hiring managers tell me stories how they basically got catfished by candidates who were using photos over 10 years old, etc. When the candidate arrived for the interview, the shock of the utter mismatch immediately left a lasting negative impression that soured the entire meeting.”

The beauty of working with a professional headshot photographer is that they can bring out your most attractive features naturally, so that you will feel great with your personal image. No need to be self-conscious and you will certainly avoid the embarrassment of looking like an absolute stranger to somebody that was expecting a whole other person.

Think of Professional Headshot as an Investment in Yourself

Regardless of whether you require personal headshots, corporate headshots or everything in between, when you put yourself out there you have to think of yourself as a brand. Like any brand, you want to accurately represent yourself and be appealing as possible to others. From employers to friends to business connections, you cannot undervalue the impact that appearing respectable and trustworthy can afford you in the long term.

Professional headshots are well worth the investment, as you know that for several years you will have a variety of images that you can use across all sorts of platforms. Choosing to spend some money to be comfortable when needing to provide photos of yourself is well worth the cost.


Working with a Professional Headshot Photographer

Choosing the right photographer for your headshots is all about chemistry. It is ideal to work with somebody that you feel genuinely comfortable with, as they will be able to unearth the best traits that lie within you, making for powerful and captivating photographs.

Price of the headshot is clearly a deciding factor, but you usually get what you pay for. As fellow Headshot Crew photographer Joe Loper says: “The Price should be fair market value for your local area.” Headshot is an investment that can lead to more opportunities. How much is that worth to you?

Seattle Headshot Pro is the favorite choice for those looking to get professional headshots in Seattle from an expert in the craft. Owner Olli Tumelius is a Finnish photographer that has worked with hundreds of satisfied clients to capture incredible headshots that can be used for portfolios, business profiles and more. Olli is an Associate Photographer of Peter Hurley’s Headshot Crew.

Contact Seattle Headshot Pro now to book a session or discuss how working with the top headshot photographer in Seattle can boost your public image immediately!