May 28, 2022
You’ve found a date, the studio is booked, and you’ve selected a package; now what? Prepping for an upcoming session can be daunting, and you want to make the most of it. This does not have to be a stressful experience; but rather a helpful exercise to determine how you’d like to be perceived in your headshots. Ready to do a little bit of homework? (Don’t worry, it’s the fun kind).
Many photographers break down their sessions into “looks”. What is a look you may ask? This is a combination of outfit, styling, and lighting choices working together simultaneously to cater to a certain character you may be auditioning for. “Girl next door” for example would probably have a much brighter look than someone going for the school bully or even a timeless period piece. Within each “look” you can also maximize the variety you get by making simple changes like putting your hair up or throwing a jean jacket on top. I like to call these mini-looks and they are super fun to squeeze in.
Now that we know what a “look” is; how the heck do we decide which ones we wanna do? Try to assign three specific characteristics to each one and a potential role you could audition for that fits within that scope. A lot of people think “well I want some that are fun and some that are serious”, this is just the beginning. Let’s get specific! Instead of saying that you want a “quirky” look; try saying you want a look that’s warm, well-meaning, but slightly off kilter and reference Rapunzel from Tangled. That styling may be much different than if you said “quirky” but really meant that you wanted to play Jess in New Girl that was dry humored, clutzy, and animated. Having three adjectives and getting specific will help your headshots stand out and will give you more to think about when you’re in front of the camera. Just like in scene work: specificity is key!
It’s the night before your session and you are scrambling packing deciding what to wear. Not to fear, I know it is tempting to want to go on a no-guilt shopping trip right before the session. However I would advise against this. Try to think about items in your closet that you’ve broken into already and you know make you feel good. Do you have outfits you’d wear on dates to a coffee shop or restaurant? Bring them! Clothes that you know you look good in will help you feel your absolute best. Also bring lots of options! The top you may absolutely love may not look how you’d hoped on camera. Having backups will give you the flexibility to make a switch if necessary. That top you were on the fence about bringing might just be the best top for headshots. Still feeling uneasy about wardrobe? This is something I address in my free consultations and am also happy to refer you to one of my styling guides I give to my clients.
Now that you have wardrobe folded and packed away in your suitcase, now all that’s left is prep! Make sure not to consume alcoholic or carbonated beverages the day before your session and try to get some well deserved rest. A tall glass of water before bed will allow for ample hydration. It may be tempting to use a new fancy mask thats been sitting on your bathroom counter; but don’t use any skincare that’s not part of your regular routine to avoid skin irritation. If anything, a little extra moisturizer and some cold spoons over the eyes in the morning is just enough. Avoid tinted lipbalms before your session as well as the pigment may stain and pill around the corners of your lips. Running a toothbrush lightly over the lips the night before with untinted lipbalm will also help the look of any dry skin.
Viola! Here’s a basic roadmap to what you’ll need for a successful headshot session. I can’t wait to see you in the studio soon!