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La Jolla Mom

How to Prepare for a Headshot (And Other Photo Sessions)

BY La Jolla Mom

I finally got around to having some professional photos taken, thanks to Melissa Koehler Photography. I put it off time and time again because I just wasn’t feeling up to it. You know, the stress of figuring out what to wear and my complete inability to do my own makeup (which is why I don’t wear much of any), and things like that.

In fact, on the day of the shoot, I was getting over a cold and not feeling my best, but Melissa managed to make it fun and took some great photos. I am a difficult subject, to say the least, but I’m glad I did it with Melissa.

The most pressing question on my mind was choice of outfit. After talking with Melissa, I decided to wear a white T-shirt and jeans, because if you were to bump into me around La Jolla, that is likely what I would be wearing. Here are Melissa’s answers to some popular questions, including what to wear.

What To Wear

You want to be comfortable, but also look professional. If your job has you wearing a suit everyday, it might be a good idea to wear a suit. If you have a more casual job then dress more casual. You want your headshot to reflect your personality while still staying professional.

Does the Background Matter

The background doesn’t matter so much with a headshot. While the background usually adds something to an image, with a head shot there isn’t much of the background that will be showing. It’s more important to get a location that has really good light.

What Kind of Makeup Should I Wear

If you can have your makeup professionally done, I highly recommend doing that. If time doesn’t allow for it, then make sure you use a good foundation, preferable without SPF. SPF can sometimes make you look paler than you are. Wear more makeup than you normally would. A bit more blush, more eyeshadow and eyeliner. If you don’t put enough on, you can look more washed out on the camera. Use a nice lip gloss or lipstick as well.

Things a Photographer Can Edit Out

Wrinkles can be taken out, but I like to soften them. If you take them out it doesn’t look real. Any blemishes can also be eliminated. Make sure you tell your photographer anything you would like some extra touches on in the post production.

What To Bring To My Photo Session

If you plan on changing outfits, bring those. Otherwise, just bring yourself.

Emergency Quick Fix Tips

I wish I had some quick fix tips. I need them personally. 🙂 If your eyes are baggy or you have surprise acne, let your photographer know about it. That way, we can be aware of it when we’re editing.

What If I’m Uncomfortable In Front of the Camera

It’s never easy to be in front of the camera. Unless you’re a celebrity, or really like having your picture taken, being in front of the camera is usually not something everyone does. Make sure to relax and breathe. Don’t think too much that a camera is in your face. Remember, there aren’t ‘rules’ to a photo session. The photographer wants to capture you and your personality so make sure to let your guard down a bit. Have fun!

To see more examples of Melissa’s work, visit her super cute blog. She specializes in maternity, newborn, kids, families and wedding photography. Overall, I’m very pleased with my photos!

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10 thoughts on “How to Prepare for a Headshot (And Other Photo Sessions)

  1. Those are some really good tips. You are right, the background shouldn’t matter. The photo is supposed to focus on you, so who cares what’s in the background. Find some good lighting and go with it.

    Also, if the person taking the photo is using pro grade equipment, the DSLR has what is called depth of field which will hopefully focus on your face and blur out most of the background surrounding you automatically.

  2. Your picture looks great! Thanks for sharing these tips. I always thought a plain background would be best so am surprised to hear it doesn’t matter as long as the lighting is good.

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