Washington DC portrait photographer

The Art of the Headshot


Headshots can be tricky - clients, jobs, and audiences often see your professional headshot before they meet you, so showing the right side of yourself is really important. Speaking at an important professional conference? The headshot for that would be different than one for a fun creative partnership, so having several photos of yourself that you love is of utmost importance. Just as you put on your favorite socks to give yourself an extra confidence boost on a big, day, so too should you be excited when someone asks for a headshot - when you have ones you love, you know you're putting your best foot forward! 

Getting Photographed? What to Focus On and Wear

For many people, headshots are the first time they're stepping in front of a professional camera and the experience can be a bit overwhelming. But never fear, that's where having a great photographer who you trust can come in handy! It's your job to leave the house looking and feeling awesome, and it's the photographer's job to make sure you look awesome in the photo.

Before you go to your shoot, ask your photographer what kind of lighting they use; both natural and artificial light can look awesome, but each will be a different experience and they can help you understand what to expect. Bring three or four outfit options; I recommend several solid-colored tops in bright colors, since patterns (especially text) can be distracting and black can be too dark. Pick things that make you feel really awesome about yourself! Next, make sure you're well-groomed; shave if you like, comb your hair, and ladies should apply natural looking makeup. I find that even if you don't normally wear them, foundation and concealer help skin look fresh, and a photographer can bring in a hair and makeup artist if you ask. Finally, try your best to get a full 8 hours of sleep before, so you make sure you'll look well-rested and refreshed. 

Let's Do This: What to Expect From Our Shoot

For each headshot session, we chat first so I can be sure I know exactly how you plan on using the photos and what you'd like to accomplish with them. I love getting to know my clients and making friends before I even pick up the camera, and I want to make sure you're totally comfortable. At the shoot, I suggest good wardrobe options that really let you shine, and can have a hair and makeup artist come help if you'd like. I also specially design the lighting to flatter your lovely features, either through natural light with a reflector, or with studio flash. The shoot itself is fun and relaxed - we put some music on, talk up a storm, and get images that you're really excited about. I let you preview the shots to make sure you love what we've captured, and let you pick the shots you like best (I'm happy to make recommendations too!).  After the shoot I carefully edit each shot and do a gentle refresh in Photoshop to make sure your skin is clear and your eyes twinkle before delivering the photos to you digitally so you can start using them right away. 

I hope those tips help! Here are a few headshots I've taken, which includes actresses, professionals and entrepreneurs. Enjoy!

Magnifying Details

Here are some portraits I shot of painter and illustrator Martin Swift. His illustrations (you can check them out HERE) are incredibly detailed, so he uses a magnifying lamp to make sure he gets every pen stroke just right. Amazing! I have three of his illustrations in my collection, and you could definitely say I'm a bit of a fan girl! We took this pair of photos one afternoon while co-working together, and I love how they turn his tools on him and make his portraits as detailed as his drawings. 

Have a happy and productive Sunday, everyone! I'm holed up working on some exciting new projects and can't wait to share.