How to Prepare for your Headshot Photo session

At Mary Pencheff Photography we create professional portraits every day. Executives, artists, writers, models, musicians and professionals of all kinds come to me for flattering portraits that express their style and personality. All of my sessions include a phone consultation for the purpose of getting to know the person I will be photographing and I have noticed over the years that the majority of my clients ask me the same questions about preparing for their session.

  1. How should I prepare for the session?
  2. What color and style of clothing should I wear?
  3. Can I wear jewelry and if so what kind and how much?
  4. What about makeup?
  5. Should I have my hair done professionally?

Every client is unique and the end use of their portrait may vary but here are a few suggestions on how to prepare for your portrait session.

Color : This is probably the one thing that is most important in making an attractive portrait. Wear the color that looks best on you close to your face and that compliments your skin tone. Avoid white as it washes you out and black can be harsh. Blues, greens, maroons, and earth tones seem to be most flattering.

Clothing Style: Long sleeves and solid darker colors are best because they keep the attention on your face. Avoid busy patterns, large florals and anything loud. Cloths with logos or brand names are an absolute no no. For an executive portrait a crisp suit with a nice shirt or blouse is always a good choice. If you have gained or lost weight recently make sure your outfit fits properly. Finally, make sure your outfit conveys the image you want to project.  Professional –  Scholarly – Artistic – Approachable etc. Think carefully about this when choosing your outfit.

Makeup: If you’re doing your own makeup apply it the way you normally do. Bring your makeup bag with you so you can make adjustments if necessary. If your skin is oily make sure to bring powder. If at all possible have your makeup done professionally and tell the makeup artist you will be having your portrait done.

Hair: Wear your hair as you normally would. If you color your hair make sure that it’s fresh and not grown out. Having your hair professionally cut and styled is ideal but not necessary. Men should shave the morning of their session.

Jewelry: I hesitate to advise women too much on their jewelry because for some women it is a very personal and creative expression of themselves. As a rule large dangle earrings or large hoops are a bad idea and too much jewelry can be distracting.

If you have more questions feel free to contact me using the Contact Form on this website. I  would love to help!

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