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Professional Portrait: 10 Tips for Preparing

While preparing for your professional portrait, keep in mind that the final portrait is a reflection of all the decisions made along the way. Therefore, we recommend that you pay great attention to all the little details, from having a perfect and well ironed top, to getting your hair professionally styled. Every seemingly inconsequential detail comes together to bring you a headshot that professionally defines you. Coming to your photo shoot well- prepared will optimize your shoot time and allow you to focus on your expression and getting the best results. Here are some of our tips to help you feel and look calm, and how to appear well-rested and attractive for your portraits.


Follow these steps and you can considerably improve and optimize the result of your professional portrait!

1. Clothing

In the weeks prior to your session, you should search for several clothing options for the shoot. You should select clothing that you love and love yourself in, and that works well in your intended field. Focus on clothing that is cut and colored in a way that is flattering to you. For women, make sure your bra is seamless and won’t make an indent on your skin or shirt. Choose only clothing that is of good quality, as it will reflect on your professional image. We recommend you have at least five outfits with you to choose from. Iron your clothing and pay attention to other details, such as frayed threads. Your wardrobe will help you to feel confident and at your best during the shoot. If you look at Pinterest you will find some great examples of what to wear.

2. Come Prepared

Make a checklist and pack a bag of everything you need the night before the photo shoot. Organize it in a logical way so that the transition from home to studio or outside location is seamless. Take a moment before you leave to double-check this list so you’re not pressed for time. You don’t want to run the risk of forgetting anything important!

3. Look for Inspiration

If you’re having trouble thinking of outfits, hairstyles, or poses for your photographs, feel free to take a look at our website for examples of professional headshots and portrait photography. Look at other headshots or photos that you like to get ideas for what to wear or how to convey a specific look. You might want to come to the shoot with a few samples and references; good communication with your photographer is key to a successful professional portrait.

4. Makeup

The key to makeup in a professional portrait is to keep it natural. Stay away from bright lip colors that stand out against your skin. Instead, use naturally colored lipsticks to enhance the shape of your lips subtly. Use matte foundations, and eye shadows to this effect as well. The goal is to highlight your features without hiding your face.

5. Haircut and Style

Having a great hairstyle is important for your portrait, as it is a major part of your overall look. During your session, you want to fully focus on your expression and not be bothered by frizzy, flat, or out-of-place hairs. Plan ahead and make an appointment with your hairdresser right before the shoot. Consult with your hair stylist to determine the color and shape that accentuate your features and help you look your best.

6. Sun Kissed Look

We do not recommend you use any fake spray tans or lotions that could risk leaving your skin blotchy or uneven, especially on the face. If you often visit tanning beds or enjoy sunbathing, make sure you don’t get a sunburn in the days leading up to the shoot. You could always create a sun kissed look by using a bit of powdered bronzer on the contours of your face.

7. Be Good to your Body

The easiest way to look healthy and vibrant for your shoot is to actually be health-conscious on the days leading up to the session. Make sure you avoid alcohol, partying, or any other activities that could leave you feeling exhausted and dehydrated. Eat lots of healthy fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamins and water to perk up your skin and body.

8. Eat Mindfully

Don’t plan your shoot after eating a large meal, as you don’t want to feel sleepy and heavy during your session. Eat a light, but filling, meal before the shoot and make sure you are hydrated. Feel free to bring your favorite snack so you can stay energized.

9. Ease the Stress

There are plenty of techniques to be found for alleviating stress, which will help you stay calm and comfortable during a photo session. Yoga and meditation are good regimens for relieving pain and tension in the body, creating a relaxed yet energetic feeling from within. You want your body to feel absolutely wonderful so you won’t feel distracted or self-conscious during your shoot.

10. Retouching your Portraits

If your portraits need retouching, make sure that it is done in a subtle way. It should be artful and undetectable. If someone sees your headshot and says, “Oh, good retouching!” then it was a bad retouching. We recommend retouching to delicately remove blemishes, lighten dark circles and other imperfections that are superficial in nature. A good portrait should look just like you, but you at your best.

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