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, Sigma Squared and many others.
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 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. 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.
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:
- Your skin would look fresh and clean, if you remember to drink plenty of water during the day of your session
- If you plan to have skin mask on the day of your headshot session, plan to complete this at least 5 hours earlier to allow your skin to recover and look natural
- Make sure you have plenty of rest the night before the session, to avoid dark circles or bags under your eyes
- Removing any unwanted facial hair or shaping your eyebrows, should be done at least 2 days before the session to avoid any redness on your skin
- Bring a hairbrush with you to fix your hair during the session
Q: Do you have any preparation recommendations for men?
- Your beard grows fast during the day. If you schedule a headshot session late afternoon, the chances are that your facial hair would grow back by the time of the headshot session and would be visible on the final images. For best results, shave at least 2 hours before the session and apply skin lotion.
- If you wear glasses and have a pair with anti reflective lenses, bring them to the session as regular lenses catch the reflection from the studio lights and the reflections are hard to remove in post processing
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 USB flash drive, 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.
If you have any questions or feedback for this article, feel free to Contact Us