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A good business headshot reflects your brand, professionalism, and personality. Be sure to consult ahead of time with your photographer to discuss the types of images you want to create. Consider things like:

  • Location – Do you want to shoot in the photographer’s studio, in the workplace, a combination of both?
  • Wardrobe – Do you work for a company that prefers a particular type of dress or look? If so, make sure the photographer presents you in a way consistent with your company’s brand and expectations.
    • Would you like to shoot formal and informal shots? Ask your photographer for tips on style, color, and other important considerations when choosing what to wear during the session.
      • You generally want to dress for a formal business headshot as you would when giving an important company presentation.
    • What about less formal or ‘hands-on’ work-related images?
      • Examples:
      • Someone who owns a bakery might be photographed doing food prep and then something with the finished product.
      • A business exec could remove his jacket, roll up his sleeves, and create images that show him engaging the viewer in the workplace.
        • Note: A business headshot can also be a ¾ body shot. Avoid full-body shots. You want to make it easy for the person viewing your headshot to get a feel for who you are and what you represent, even viewing a body shot on, say, a cell phone or tablet.
      • Make-up and Hair (muah)
        • Ask your photographer if they work with a hair and make-up stylist on set. If so, is that an additional cost, and does the muah (make-up and hair) person stay for the entire shoot to touch up skin and hair as needed?
        • If you are to come with hair and make-up done and ready to go, ask for a tip sheet of dos and don’ts when it comes to prepping skin and hair for a business headshot.

Every photographer has their way of doing things, so always check ahead of time to ensure you have everything you need to have a successful business headshot session.

Below are a few quick tips I send to clients to help them prep for a business headshot session:

  • Have everything you need for the shoot prepped and ready to go the day before the session date and time.
    • Make sure clothing is clean, fits well, and is well-pressed.
    • Consider bringing several choices and letting the photographer help you decide what to wear the day of (if you haven’t already done this in a pre-shoot consultation).
    • If you wear glasses, consider asking your optometrist for a pair of frames without the glass. Photographers can generally work around the glass, but that means sometimes catering to the glasses instead of focusing on the best angle for the subject (you!). Yes, the glare from the glasses can be retouched out (but it will generally cost extra to do that). But it’s so much nicer not to deal with the glass and focus on getting the best angle and expression possible during the shoot. Another thing. Shooting through glass can soften the eyes a bit – sometimes quite a bit. And sometimes, people struggle with squinting and otherwise reacting to not having the glass in the frames. So, be prepared to go with the best solution based on what you have to work with and trust the photographer to let you know which way seems to be producing the best results.
  • Back to tips:
    • If anything needs doing, be sure to get it done well ahead of the shoot. Things like getting your hair cut/style/color refreshed roughly a week before the session date.
    • Do not wax brows the day of. Generally, allow for at least a day for any redness to fade after waxing anything that will show on-camera.
    • If applicable, let the photographer — and muah – know if you have allergies they need to be aware of.
    • Bring anything with you that you think you might need during the shoot, especially if doing your own muah. Things like brush/comb, powder (to tone down shine, even for guys), and lip balm (non-glossy – you don’t want anything shiny on your face and skin).
      • Ladies – no ‘glitter’ or evening make-up. An exception might be if you cater evening or club events. Generally, though, if the first thing we see in your headshot is your make-up, it’s too much.
    • Ladies – Consider neutral or clear nail polish to avoid having nails that don’t go with your wardrobe color choices. Again, there are always exceptions but for the most part, these tips – and the advice of your photographer – you should be well prepared for a good experience when you arrive to get your business headshots taken.


  • Be sure to discuss pricing, payment options, and how long it will take to get proofs and final images once you’re placed your order.
  • Will you be getting paper prints? Digital copies of the finals?
  • Is retouching included?
  • Are there any restrictions on how you can use the images?


  • Avoid booking anything important right after your session date/time. You want your focus to be on creating amazing headshots, not whatever you’ve booked in for after the shoot.
  • Get plenty of rest the night before—no late-night get-togethers or parties.
  • Bring water to stay hydrated. Be sure you’ve had something to eat, so you’re not thinking about food instead of the task at hand.

Questions or comments? Contact me at

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