A few key items play a major role in the making of a great headshot that you'll be proud to have displayed on your company's website or LinkedIn. Whether it's a session in the studio in Carrollton, or on location at your place of business in the greater Dallas - Fort Worth metroplex, the concepts hold true for both.
I don't recommend dying or cutting your hair right before your headshot session. Freshly colored hair can look too saturated and a bit unnatural on camera. This can be unsettling to the viewer causing them to look at your hair more than your face. A new haircut also looks better after a week or two, and hair color looks more natural, so lather, rinse, repeat for a few days and then scheduled your session.
I prefer a headshot with either no jewelry at all, or something small, classic, and not very reflective or flashy. Earrings shouldn’t dangle more than an inch from your earlobe. We don't want potential employers or clients to notice your jewelry before they notice your face.
Choose a professional outfit that has a classic look, how formal that may be depends on your industry. A conventional look is better for traditional industries such as medical and finance whereas creative industries like marketing and tech are open to a more casual style. We shouldn’t be able to tell what decade it is in the photo, so beware of dated trends.
I recommend avoiding bold, distracting patterns or colors, unless you can layer a jacket or sweater over it so not much of the pattern is showing. We don't want anything competing with your face. Clothing with tight grids or a small herringbone pattern can have a moiré pattern effect on camera (think of that anchorman's striped tie that seemed to be moving and grooving while reading the news), so stay away from grid-like patterns.
I'm not a fan of stark white unless it’s under something, such as a suit jacket, cardigan, or sweater (doctors excluded). Our eyes are naturally drawn the lightest part of an image, we want that to be your face, not your shirt. V-necks accentuate the neckline and generally look best on women, just be cautious of the neckline - nothing too low. I also don't recommend turtlenecks as they tend to make you look like you have no neck at all, which is a NAGL (sounds like "bagel" and is "not a good look"). It's also preferred to avoid bare arms (i.e. tank tops or short sleeves). Again, we don't want that flesh competing with your face.
Do your makeup how you usually wear it for an average day, or possibly a nice dinner. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, gets a little love in Photoshop so you don’t need to wear heavy foundation. It will look more natural if you let me smooth skin, erase blemishes, soften wrinkles etc.
I suggest light to medium eyeliners, eye shadows, and lipsticks that are only a shade or two darker than your skin tones. This brings your features out in a subtle manner without making it look like you're wearing lots of makeup. Avoid shiny eye shadows, bronzers and lip gloss, too much shine is distracting on camera and looks wet.
A good rule of thumb is that you want your headshots to be easily recognizable as how you generally look in person. For some people, that means wearing your make-up exactly how you usually wear it, for others it's wearing a little more, for some a little less. If you don't wear much makeup every day, you don't want to look completely different in your headshot.
Tracy Allard of Penny Whistle Photography is a Certified Professional Photographer with the organization Professional Photographers of America; a designation held by fewer than 2,500 photographers nationwide and a hallmark of consistency, technical skill, artistry and professionalism. Penny Whistle specializes in corporate headshots and personal portraits both in her studio located in historic downtown Carrollton as well as on location in Coppell, Southlake, Flower Mound, Denton, Frisco and surrounding communities in Dallas – Fort Worth, Texas.