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How to Prepare for Your Headshot Session

September 9, 2020

Molly, the owner and chief dreamer at Molly Hebda Photography, has a passion for helping creative, purpose-driven women in business feel seen with confidence and strength. Without compromising their femininity.

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Next to, “what do I wear for my headshot session”, “how do I prepare for my headshot session” is the top question my clients ask. Here is a quick guide to getting yourself ready to have a kick-ass headshot session.

Have a plan

Know where you will use your photos. Will they be used on your website, social media, or a book cover? Do you need something more casual and personal and something more professional? A social profile picture can be different than a speaker profile.

Here are some usages from clients:

  • Work profile/bio
  • New job/business
  • Website About Me page
  • Social Media – personal and professional
  • Book Cover
  • Speaking engagement
  • Podcast
  • Newsletter/Blog
  • Interviews
  • Business cards/brochures
  • Dating sites
  • Just for a confidence boost.

A week before:

  • Have an idea of what you will wear – Top 3 Looks to Wear For Your Headshot Photoshoot
  • Create a vision board of headshots you want to channel
  • Try on outfits you will want to wear
  • Shop for anything you need
  • Any personal maintenance – nails, brows, hair (don’t try anything too drastic or anything you’ll regret)
  • Drink plenty of water leading up to your shoot. It will help both your skin and your hair!

The night before:

  • Remove ALL of your makeup the night before your session, paying close attention to mascara and eyeliner
  • Pack or layout all your clothing, accessories, and items you will need. Don’t leave this until the last minute
  • Refrain from too much alcohol or salt – you will feel it, and pictures will show it
  • Take a bath or do something relaxing for yourself
  • Rest! Get a good night of sleep

The morning of:

  • Gently exfoliate your skin the morning of, and makeup will lay nicely on your skin.
  • Eat a good breakfast, you will need your energy!
  • Be sure to have freshly cleaned and completely dry hair
  • Don’t rush. We want your day to be non-stressful

Hair & Makeup 

If you are doing your own or having someone outside the studio do yours, please come ready for your shoot and follow below.

Please note – these are guidelines, not necessities. You are not expected to have hair and makeup, but when you take pride in your appearance, take time for yourself, and feel put together, it comes out in your photos as confidence.

  • Clean simple makeup is best
  • Don’t be afraid to bring a bold lip color to add but definitely bring chapstick or lip gloss
  • Heavy lower eyeliner can drag your eyes down and close them. We want you to look bright and fresh.
  • Heavy coverup can enhance fine lines, so do not overdo it on the makeup.
  • Stay away from heavy contour and highlight makeup. They do not
  • photograph well unless we were specifically shooting for fashion. Natural light will give you
  • A wonderful highlight and posing will contour naturally.
  • A nice blow-dry, smooth style or soft curls look great for headshots.

How to prep your clothes:

  • Try on everything! 
  • Bring fresh, clean clothing, wrinkles, and stains show up in photos
  • Iron or have your clothes cleaned and pressed ahead of your session
  • Dark fabrics can show every piece of lint – use a lint roller on any knits
  • Wear clothing that makes you feel good, if you hate your outfit, it will show

Get ready to have fun!

  • I want this to be a joyful, playful, and incredible experience for you! Enjoying yourself will help you get the best pictures and memories.
  • Practice tonight and the morning of!
  • Do you know what a smize is? (https://www.wikihow.com/Smize) We are going to use it. Thanks, Tyra!
  • Practice your laugh, pout, silly faces whatever gets you smiling, and seeing what your serious business face looks like. 😉
  • It’s fun and it is actually helpful to know what you like and don’t like.
  • What’s your good side(mirrors will be the opposite of the camera-mind blown!)
  • If you are not having fun, I will throw on some Backstreet Boys, pop on the fan, and subject you to some horrendous dance moves of my own!

PS – We might become BFFs after this, so watch out…

Feel free to let me know what your favorite Spotify station is, and I can have that playing when you get in. Otherwise, it will be the 80’s or Girl’s Night Out.

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  1. […] Stressed about how to prepare? Once you book you will receive a full PDF on how to prep before your session. In the meantime, read this post. […]

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On this podcast, host, Molly Hebda, and her brand photography clients as they cozy up on the emerald green couch to have fun, intimate conversations about their transformational journeys. These conversations are meant to inspire other women on their entrepreneurial journey, so they don’t feel so alone in their struggles, fears, and doubts. 

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