Preparing for your headshot session with Folrev Photography

(If you haven't booked your session yet, please check this page with booking information and a portfolio.)

I recommend that you begin preparations a couple of days before your shoot. Properly preparing yourself for the session will reduce your stress and you’ll get a better experience.  As a result, your photographs will look more natural and more authentic.

Before the Session

a. Know your Goal(s)

The first thing I am going to ask you when we meet for the session is : "What is your goal for today?" When we reach a shared understanding, it is easier for both of us to work together to reach that goal. The next thing we'll discuss is style. It's good idea to check my portfolio to decide the ones you like best.

b. Choose the Right Clothes

The clothing you wear is an expression of your personality and of your personal brand. People do actually judge the book from the cover or as said in French: "the robe does make the monk".  My recommendation for selecting your outfit is to make them as simple as possible while maintaining your personal style, and bring at least one additional outfit!

  • Start simple with a shirt or blouse, then add layers.
  • Avoid patterns, brands and text as they may be distracting. Solid colors are preferable.
  • Bring a few changes of clothing. For actors, you may bring an additional couple outfits that will match the type of roles you are looking for.
  • Be sure your clothes are fully ironed before the session, and bring changes of clothes on coat-hangers to avoid undoing the ironing. Wrinkles in garments are tough and too expensive to edit out. 
  • Covering your shoulders will make you look thinner.
  • Black and dark colors tend also to make you look thinner, bolder colors will make you look... bolder.
  • Avoid pure white (that's for brides :) )
  • Simplify your jewelry.

For Buisness Headshots: Dress as you would dress for a very important meeting. Also bring a different outfit.

c. Glasses

  • If you wear glasses, and contacts are not an option for you, please note that I can’t guarantee 100% reflection-free photos of your glasses. I know how to use light to minimize the reflections, and most of the time it'll be just fine, but not always. It depends on the glasses themselves.
  • If you're concerned with possible reflections, please check with your optician to borrow/adapt a frame without lenses for your headshot session.
  • Don't forget your glass cleaner/favorite soft cloth. 

d. Makeup and Face

- WOMEN: Keep it light and simple

  • Start with a natural foundation. Use just enough to hide any blemishes.
  • Bring your makeup with you, and possibly a moisturizer too.
  • For a talent headshot: If you insist on heavier makeup, then build the makeup application as we go. It's better for a headshot to stay on the natural side.
  • Keep your skin well hydrated, avoiding anything aggressive that may irritate your skin during the few days before the shoot. 
  • There is a beauty spa (Pelage) just across the street if you'd prefer getting professional makeup done before your session. 

- MEN:

  • For a talent headshot: Shave 3 hours before going to the session, unless you want to have some photos with and without a bristle. In that case, bring your shaving kit, including a cooling gel or aftershave to use during a break.
  • If you are concerned with skin blemishes, feel free to use a little foundation.

e. Hair

  • Women may begin the session with their hair down, and towards the end of the session put their hair up (in a ponytail, etc.) for a different look.
  • Bring a brush and a gel or hairspray with you to tame those pesky flyaway hair.
  • If you need a haircut, please plan to have it done about a week before your session.
  • If you'd like, you may also hire a hair stylist immediately before the session. There are many hair salons within 25 yards of the studio. Make sure they understand you want your hair styled for a photo session, not cut!

f. Come well rested

No practice needed: Just relax! But make sure you have a light healthy meal and a good full night of sleep the night before. It will make your skin look much better, and the session more pleasant!

Throughout your Headshot Session

  • This is a collaborative, experimental, iterative and fun process where we share the same goal. So, follow my direction, even if it may sound stupid or unnatural at times. Trust me, it will! I know the most effective poses and the ones that will work best with the shape of your face, for what we want to accomplish.
  • Don’t force your smile. People will notice the awkwardness of it... but if you fear that you'll be too nervous to smile, and you really want to learn how to fake it right, just google "smizing", "smile with the eyes", or check this wikihow page . But don't worry- you will smile naturally!
  • Music is a well known stress reliever. We have online radios and a Bluetooth sound system. Ask for the music you prefer during your session in the studio, or even better bring your own music on your cell phone! 
  • Relax! Your headshot session will be fun. 

At the end of the session

As soon as the photo shoot is done, we will review the images together and it will be the time to discuss again what you are especially self-conscious about: 

  • Some folks like their headshots to look 20 years younger, slimmer with perfect skin. What I typically do is: I edit out anything temporary like blemishes or other similar skin problems, I soften the skin a bit, and I whiten the teeth slightly. However I don't typically edit out anything that is part of your personality. Regardless, make sure you have this discussion with me, it is a normal discussion to have.
  • If you're in acting or modeling, be aware that casting directors will want to see a truthful representation of yourself.

Delivery

  • I spend a significant amount of time editing your headshot to your full satisfaction, so please allow at least 24 hours to receive your photo(s). If you want major photo editing work done, expect a longer delivery time. If you need your picture urgently, make sure to discuss this at time of booking.
  • Your edited photos will all come in four flavors: Rectangular and square crops (for social media profile use), in color AND black and white, plus maybe a more original crop, all in electronic format.

Hopefully, these tips will help you prepare for your time in front of my camera, and will make your experience more pleasant and relaxed!

 

Further readings:

If you want even more information, among the thousands of page on that matter, here is a selection that will complement the list above.

Organic Headshots: Great detailed information on makeup and clothing- Highly recommended if you are in doubt on that matter.

The Headshot guy: All this information is well known among photographers and is universal. For example, you may check this British photographer advices, with some good and original tips on outfit.

SA Communications: Another short list, focusing on the essential, if you are in a hurry.

Wikihow has compiled a good list of tips by a collective of photographers dedicated to business headshots.

Finally Skit Kids published a great list targeted towards children actors headshots.