Get Ready for Your Close-Up: Headshot Preparation Tips

Having a professional headshot session can feel daunting and give butterflies to even the most experienced individual. Set those worries aside – I’ll make sure your session is fun, relaxed and most importantlyHeadshot of Steven McCarty, Chief Legal Officer of Honest Medical Group. Photographed by Ludeman Photographic (, reflects you at your best.

The Tips!

  • Always bring clothes that match your style and personality.

  • Stay away from clothes with busy patterns. Solid colors are best. No logos.

  • Try to stay away from black and white. If you are a person who relies heavily on black, think about branching out to some colors that flatter your natural coloring.

  • Stay away from makeup that has an SPF rating – it will generally be somewhat more glossy when exposed to bright lights like flashes.

  • Any color is great for tops, but remember that very bright colors can draw away from your face so pick something slightly more subdued. There are even colors of clothing that are so bright that a camera has trouble reproducing them and they look completely different in the final image.

  • Men should shave with enough time to avoid five o’clock shadow if the session is later in the day.

  • A recent haircut and some light mousse/hairspray will help minimize fly away hair or unexpected hair fringe.  Bringing a brush/comb to keep the hair looking fresh is encouraged, especially if there are going to be multiple outfit changes.

  • For men in particular, correct fitting of shirt collars is vital.  A pinched neckline or a gap between neck and collar due to weight loss really detracts from the photo.  Bring a couple of matched ties that can help manage through ill-fitting collars.

  • In a headshot session, your lower half will not likely make it into the photos, but make sure that whatever bottoms you have are clean, pressed and match your tops. You never know what we might be able to get out of your session. If you are wearing a suit, be sure to bring the pants.

  • Undergarments. Make sure to include the right undergarments for the tops you bring. You might be disappointed if you bring that super cute tank top or strapless dress but you forgot a strapless bra.

  • Make sure any clothes that you bring are clean and neatly pressed. This goes double for collared shirts and suits. We do not remove wrinkles in Photoshop.Headshot of Author and Poet, Nichole Zefkeles. Photographed by Ludeman Photographic (

  • If you want to bring jewelry, make sure that it matches. Gold earrings don’t look great with a silver necklace, etc. Bring some options that you love but keep in mind that a headshot is about your face. For entertainment, unless you are shooting specific character shots, keep jewelry to a minimum. Simple studs or hoops and simple necklaces are fine, but nothing that will take away from your expression.

  • Bringing a makeup kit is a good idea – there will be a mirror available for quick fix-ups.

  • Before you head out the door, make sure to grab a unique article of clothing or two. Do you have some cool fedoras? What about a really great leather jacket or a scarf you love? You never know what might come out of a shoot so grab that item and bring it with you. Do you play guitar? Golf? Do you kick-box or collect swords? Bring something that’s unique to you and we might just be able to fit it in to the session and create something really cool.

The most important thing is you are relaxed, authentic and confident!

Researching for a team? See the recent Monad Sciences headshot post!

Headshot Photographer John Ludeman

About John

Headshot and Corporate Event Photographer serving Bellevue and the broader Seattle Eastside. Whether you need to capture key executive leaders, a whole team of engineers or a company event, John can help you out. John spent more than thirty years in high tech and senior leadership positions include Microsoft and Nutanix. In his spare time, he enjoys nature photography and road/mountain biking.