If you’ve never had a headshot taken before, or are still relatively new to the process, there is a tendency to want to ‘obey’ the photographer, or wait for the photographer’s instructions. This presents as wide, surprised or frightened looking eyes, tight cords in the neck and stuff posing that doesn’t change between shots.

Remember that you are the star of this show and you set the tone. When you walk into the studio, you should already have practiced your expressions and angles in front of a mirror and be ready to go to work.

  • If you’rean actor, rather than the photographer telling you what roles you’re good for, you should be telling the photographer what roles you’re going for.
  • If you’re a model, then be prepared to practice a range of expressions, keeping in mind that some smiles are necessary. Print is dead and the ‘sad’ or overly serious expressions you see on the runway or in old magazines have little benefit in modern advertising. Instead, commercial modeling (eCommerce) is currently very popular and overlaps with traditional acting quite a bit. So a warm, authentic smile is critical for some of the images.
  • If you’re a professional, like a business owner, doctor, attorney, chef, etc – know the image that you want to present to your clients and/or your team. Do you want to present as wisened and stoic, or down to Earth and engaging. If you’re an author or a film director, what image would you like to present to your redership or viewers? I always felt that author Stephen King took great headshots that reflected his writing style: Intelligent and kind, but with a hint of mystery and intrigue, as if you never know what’s coming next.

After your session, we’ll review the images and see what we have. The operative work is ‘after’ the session. If you look at the screen every three shots, you may psych yourself out and you won’t give yourself a chance to get into a rhythm. You may also lose confidence in yourself and in your photographer. Remember that each image is a microcosm of the shoot as a whole and you should look at the whole shoot before passing judgment on how well you did.

During the image review, if you think we need a couple more images taken or you want to try something different, this is the time to speak up. If you’re reviewing the images without saying a word, or you have a disapproving expression and you go ‘hmmmm’, instead say something like “can we grab a couple more quick ones?” Or if you’re not feeling the magic, consider sleeping on it and having a look the next day, or perhaps you weren’t into your zone that day and need to rebook a different date. We’re all human and your headshots are so important to your careers that I’d rather have a quick pow wow than see you walk away disappointed.