How To Prepare For Headshot Portrait Session - Trifon Anguelov Photography
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How To Prepare For Headshot Photography Session



In today’s global marketplace, we live in a world of social media, personal profiles and one to one business relationships. It’s more important than ever to have a professionally photographed profile portrait for your LinkedIn account and business website.

Worried about having your portrait taken? Relax. Let us help you to enjoy the process. Besides, we are experts at retouching so you will always look your best!

We have created corporate headshots for many professionals in Silicon Valley and Bay Area employed by companies as: Google, Yahoo!, eBay, Motorola, Samsung, Cisco, IBM, Integral, FusionOps, Adobe, NetApp, Cisco, Intuit, Intel, Answers.com, Juniper, Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, Hertz, Lezgro, Prospance and many others.




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Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What should I wear for a corporate headshot?

For men, we recommend a medium to dark suit jacket, or if you are not wearing a jacket, you should wear a shirt color other than white, if you need a headshot against a white background.

For women, we recommend a top with a simple neckline (scoop neck works well) with minimal jewelry. The simpler the better. Solid colors are best for women’s tops. In general, we find that the better fitting and more tailored the suit jacket, the more professional the portrait — and that advice goes for men or women.

Having your clothes ironed and pressed before the session is very important. We recommend to bring to the headshot session clothes which you have not been wearing during the day and therefore free of wrinkles. Contrary to the belief that wrinkles can be later removed in Photoshop, this is not that easy to do. So best to start with wrinkle free clothes.


Q: I’m a model that needs a headshot, what should I wear?

Modeling headshots needed for comp cards frequently involve more clothing changes than a single headshot. We recommend bringing several changes of clothing, from casual to dressy. We’ll take close up headshots as well as full length body shots. Models typically select two to three additional image files beyond the standard single image headshot package.


Q: Can I change clothes during the photo session?

Yes, absolutely. You are welcome to bring two to three changes of clothing in order to represent a variety of styles that you wish to portray. You will have a privacy in our indoor studio to change clothes. if planning an outdoor session, the places where you can change clothes might be limited.


Q: Should I smile or be serious on my headshots? This depends on how you intend to use of the headshot images. For professional or commercial headshot, we recommend to have big happy smile. For a acting headhot is best to have confident and serious look, so large smile doesn’t go well with these types of headshots. Once we pose your body and head, we will ask you to both smile and have more serious look so we capture both looks. It is easy to pick the look you like and need later when reviewing your proof images but hard to get a smile from a serious headshot image after the fact. So we will take both and you will decide.


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Q: I have not posed for a headshot before. Any suggestions on how to prepare? Sure we have some suggestions for you. First of all, relax. You are not the first person who has anxiety during the headshot portrait session. You can prepare before the session at home by simply practicing your look and facial expression in front of a mirror. Try different looks and remember how yourself the best. We will recreate this look and tweak it during the session.

Second, try to keep your body in a position that feels most natural to you. If you stand or sit in the posing chair in uncomfortable position, your facial expression would represent this discomfort. Also by looking natural on your images you will make the same impression to the person who has seen your headshot images when the same person meets you in person. If you cast for a role, you don’t want to appear one way on your headshot images and be different in the real life. So be yourself is a good idea.


Q: Where is you studios located?

We have one studio location at:

  • 1090 Clark Avenue, Mountain View, CA 94040

Be sure to get detailed driving directions to make your commute less stressful.


Q: What does my session fee pay for?

The session fee pays for photographer’s time during the session and one finished retouched high resolution print file (available for download) for use in print and/or web.


Q: Where will my session take place?

Individual headshot sessions take place in our studio location (Mountain View). You need to book an appointment prior to coming to our location as time slots are limited and could be booked already. To book an appointment, visit our Booking site or call us at: (650) 930-0743. We are also available to come to you in the workplace to photograph your entire office staff (inquire with us for a budget estimate).

Outdoor headshot sessions are also available if you are looking for more natural light or environmental headshot look. Please, inquire so we can arrange the location.


Q: How long will you spend with me?

Most sessions run approximately 30 minutes. Typically, we take a few rounds of photographs, reviewing our results on computer monitor as we go, seeing which expressions or poses are working (or not working) and making adjustments until we achieve your best shot. It is a very collaborative interactive process and can be lots of fun.


Q: Is there a choice for background colors?

The standard backgrounds we use are white, black, red and blue. In our experience, the white background is best for headshots with its clean colorless background adaptable for most web and/or print uses. For most sessions, the 30 minutes allows us to setup and shoot on two backgrounds, if you need two different background choices and are considering paying the additional images fee (only one retouched images is included into the session fee and additional images are $20 each).


Q: What about my hair or make-up?

You should arrive with your hair styled in a way that you are comfortable with it. Some women prefer to go to a stylist before the session; others prefer to style their hair on their own. Make-up should be light and natural looking. A light foundation, blush etc. to even out skin tones is perfect. If you wish us to hire a stylist for your shoot, please let us know and we can arrange this added service, but it will be more economical for you to make the arrangements with someone you already know.


Q: Do you have any preparation recommendations for women?

We usually recommend women to follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid having any extreme beauty regimens like tanning, exfoliating or facial peels the day before your headshot session as this would cause the skin can look reddish and irritated.
  • Oil absorbing sheets do a great work to soak up sweat or oil that might be on the surface of your skin. You can find them in most local drug stores.
  • If you wear contacts, it is a good idea to bring eye drops to keep your eyes well moisturized.
  • During the winter time, dead skin can accumulate on your lips so we recommend to brush it off the night before the photo session with little toothbrush for 30-40 seconds.
  • Facial hair is hard to fix in Photoshop so we usually recommend to clean up your upper lip and brows of any unwanted hair few days before your session.
  • During the session, touching up your makeup and moisturizing your facial skin with keep your skin looking radiant and fresh.
  • To keep your lips looking soft, bring lip balm or lip gloss with you so you can apply it before and during the session.
  • For best results, we recommend to hire and have a makeup artist to do your makeup and stay with you during the session for touch ups.



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Q: Do you have any preparation recommendations for men?

  • Your beard grows fast during the day. if you have schedules a headshot session late afternoon, the chances are that you will have a five o’clock shadow which cannot be easily retouched in Photoshop. Shave at least 1-2 hours before the session and apply aftershave to help minimize the skin irritation.
  • Oil absorbing sheets do a great work to soak up sweat or oil that might be on the surface of your skin. You can find them in most local drug stores.


Q: Can I see images in color and black and white?

Yes. We’ll photograph your session using color digital capture and are able preview the images during your session to see what expressions, poses and clothing looks best. Your final selections are able to be prepared as color and/or black & white files.


Q: How do I make my selections?

After the session, we will upload low resolution proofs of the digital files to a secure online gallery and will provide you with a secured access to this gallery for you to review. In those cases where you need the valued opinion of a colleague, spouse or professional acting coach in order to reach your final selection, you can share the online gallery to as many people you wish very easily.

As soon as you make your already paid selections from the images and we will post-process and retouch them as final high resolution images. The new high resolution images will be posted in the same secured online gallery for you to download.


Q: What is a digital proof image?

A digital proof image is the image downloaded from the memory card used during the session. This is the image as it was recorded during the session, or also referred as “SOOC” image, which stands for “Straight Out Of the Camera” image. The proof images don’t have any digital adjustments and are used for you only to see your facial impression and decide if you like the image to be your final pick. Digital proof image(s) undergo digital enhancement: lens correction, white balance correction, color correction, brightness and sharpening to prepare them for print or posting online. We also perform retouching on each headshot to correct any skin or hair imperfections as: remove skin blemishes, deep pores, scars, hair, pimples, uneven skin coloration, etc.


Q: What if I want additional poses?

You can choose as many as your budget allows. Your session fee includes one finished retouched image to disk with unlimited usage rights. Additional digital image files are also available for purchase.


Q: What is the turnaround time to have my final image(s)?

Once you make your selection, we generally take no more than one business day to retouch and prepare your files for download. If you have selected to have your digital file(s) on CD-ROM, USPS usually delivers them 2-3 days for any location in San Francisco Bay Area. We will mail them on the same day when they have been completed.


Q: Can you come to my office?

We often work with companies that need several executives photographed in a single business day and we bring the studio to their office. Generally, this works well if you have a workplace of busy professionals where it is worth the extra budget to have us come to you. Contact us for an estimate if this interests you.

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