What Are the Best Tips for Taking Headshots?

pro makeup artist at work on a model to prepare for headshots
Professional makeup artist Mary Erickson tells you how to prepare for headshots like a pro
Makeup Artist Mary Erickson

One of our most popular questions is for tips to prepare for headshots. Knowing how to best prepare for headshots is the first step to ensuring the best possible results from your business headshot session. We want to ensure that you look your best for your headshot session, so we’ve published this guide on the best way to prepare for business headshots.
To that end, we consulted with professional Makeup Artist Mary Erickson. Since Mary is a 30-year veteran in the world of commercial print and advertising, having worked for many Fortune 100 clients (and a lot more of the Fortune 500). Needless to say, she has a lot of experience in this field. Mary lists her recommended tips below. (The photographer‘s comments are added in italics.)


How to Prepare for Headshots

  • Bring shirts with a collar as well as different necklines.
  • Women should bring at least 6 different tops (blouses and/or jackets) to choose from. Men should bring several different shirts, clean and ironed.
  • No sleeveless shirts for headshots.
  • No solid white (unless you’re covering it with a jacket or sports coat). If you’re very light-skinned you may want to avoid solid black.
  • Solid colors are ideal; stay away from busy patterns and busy prints. Men, please do not wear a shirt with a grid pattern of pinstripes – they are impossible to retouch if bunched or wrinkled.
  • Bring a lint brush or lint roller, since fuzz will show on dark colors. (The photographer will often have one of these as well.)
  • Make sure your clothes are pressed and clean. Very few photographers have irons or extra time. Photo retouching on soiled or wrinkled clothes will usually cost extra. Bring your wardrobe to the shoot on hangers if possible.
  • Stay away from clothes with big buttons or ornaments that shine and compete for attention.
  • If you wear earrings they should be small. Keep jewelry at a minimum, because anything flashy will distract from you.
  • Men should be clean-shaven, and a “recent” haircut is recommended.

Morton Visuals Delivers Business Headshots

Shooting professionally since 1991, William Morton has specialized in commercial and corporate photography for the last 14 years. Morton Visuals offers professional business headshots in the convenience of your own offices, in Coeur d’Alene, Spokane, Dallas, or San Diego. Whether your headshots are for your social media presence or your professional resume, present your very best image to your prospective clients or employers. We hope this article will help you prepare for your headshots.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below.

Would you like a PDF of this guide? Click here and tell us where to send it!

(Updated 7/2023)

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William Morton Owner
William Morton has been a professional photographer since 1991. Now focused on corporate photography, William travels the country providing commercial, corporate, and event photography services.

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