Brand photographer & educator. I play ukulele, I sing, and I laugh a lot, mostly because I misinterpret everything I hear. Want to change the way people invest in you? Work with me—I travel worldwide.

Meet Lauren

5 Prep Tips For Headshots That You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

Tips & Tricks

I used to go all out to help my clients prep for their headshots. Like make them their very own, customized style guide based on the answers in the workbook I give them.

But I felt like it was super limiting, so I started letting them dress themselves without my influence (it works a lot better that way).

However, small details add up and can make or break the quality of your final photos, so there are a few prep tips for headshots I’d still recommend.

Prep Tip 1: Exfoliate your lips

When you’re up close and personal with a camera, chapped lips can be super distracting.

They’re also not easy to photoshop because of their textures and the small area to work with (unlike skin blemishes that are much easier to remove).

Pull up a quick search on Pinterest and you’ll have the smoothest DIY lips that any lighting will complement.

Prep Tip #2: Bring a professional outfit and a casual outfit

There’s a space in the studio where you can hang clothes up, so bring whatever you want. In your session we’ll go for a variety of looks so you can maximize the use of your headshots. We do that through outfits, colors, backdrops, and lighting.

You can also make great icebreakers out of your outfits if you’re not a fan of small talk. My free guide explains how to do that here.

Prep Tip #3: Wear colors that match your vibe and your eyes

My clients teach me a lot of things, and the eye color tip’s one of them. One client said that not matching your outfit colors to your eyes can make you look way older than you are. What a great tip!

Here are 2 ways to find color schemes for your outfits:

  1. Explore Adobe Color—type in your eye color & see what palettes come up
  2. Google or search Pinterest— “color schemes for _____ eyes”

You can see the difference colors play in headshots below:

5 prep tips for your headshots you've never thought of5 prep tips for your headshots that you've never thought of

(Want a workbook that helps you figure this out for yourself? Let’s work together!)

Prep Tip #4: Wear the outfit you care least about first

This is perhaps the most important tip I can give you. Why? Because save the best for last.

Headshots are awkward (why I mostly take my own), and no one ever knows what to do for the first 10 minutes. You’re probably going to look stiff in the first couple shots, and that’s expected.

But. If you love your outfit but hate how you look in it, you’re not going to want to use any of those images. And that could mean throwing out the ones you need to use to get your next job.

Once you’re in the middle of your session feeling more relaxed and like you know what you’re doing, you’re going to bring out your best shots. You’ll want to make sure your favorite outfits are around for that version of you 🙂

(And don’t worry—we go through your photos at your session, so if you’re unhappy, we can fix them immediately.)

Prep Tip #5: Dress for full-body shots

Truth is, while I have some shots planned for your session, they’re pretty in-the-moment. So you want to make sure you’re ready for sitting and standing poses which may include just the waist up or all the way down to your shoes (so match those too!).

Other prep tips for headshots:

  • Clean up your nails (mostly if they’re chipped…they don’t have to be perfect).
  • Have your hair & makeup done professionally if you don’t trust yourself.
  • Don’t overdo your look! You want congruency. The more you match who you say you are, the more people will trust you
  • Bring some props—a hat, scarf, beer…you never know what we’ll do with them!

That’s it for now! Enjoy using these prep tips to craft headshots that are true to you 🙂

All good things,

Tired of being overlooked on social platforms?

This guide will help you find your ideal audience and show you how to catch their attention with your next headshot. Click the image to download. (It’s free)

how to prep for your headshot session - five tips you wouldn't have thought of

lauren mudrock and her cat tucker

Lauren is a personal branding photographer between Baltimore and Philadelphia in York, PA. She takes killer high-end headshots that make you say, “That’s me?!” and “That’s me.” at the same time. If you’re looking for candid event photography for your Baltimore- or Philly-based business or looking for a portrait photographer in York, PA, family photographer in York, PA, or portrait photographer in Lancaster, PA, or portrait photographer near Baltimore, get in touch!