Professional head shots are a must in today’s media-driven environment.

These shots need to tell the world about you and your personal brand because it is the first thing most people see, and your styling must be consistent with, and reflect, who you are and what you do. 

You want to come off as friendly and approachable, as well as professional and trustworthy.

They are a must for your website, your Facebook profile and your LinkedIn profile. 

But remember professional head shots aren't just for people 'in business' or for our careers. 

They are fabulous for posting on dating sites as well.

There is A LOT of competition out there everyday that we are competing NEED to put your best self forward.

That said, for best results I highly recommend making the additional investment in a professional makeup artist and hairstylist. 

You would do this for your wedding day to ensure you looked your best, so why wouldn’t you make the same investment in photos that will represent you to the world?


Makeup makes a huge difference in a head shot photo, period. 

Most women know how to apply makeup for everyday use but there are a few differences in applying makeup for photos; especially glamour. 

If you are reasonably good at applying makeup yourself though, and would rather do it yourself, here are some basic points that you might find useful. 

1. Exfoliate:

Make sure you exfoliate a few times over the week or two before your photo session to ensure your skin is smooth and there are no dry skin patches.   

2. Moisturize:

Apply a good hydrating moisturizer and remember oily skin still needs a moisturizer just one appropriate for oily skin. 

3. Foundation:

Match the color of foundation to the natural color of your skin in the neck/chest area.

Use a foundation that gives you a good even coverage. Use liquid if your skin is dry and a powder if you have an oily skin type. Make sure to blend it up into the hair line and around the perimeter of the face. There should not be a drastic difference between the color of your neck and that of your face.

Choose a foundation with NO SPF in it.  

Foundation with SPF create flash white…your face will look whiter than the rest of your skin.  

4. Concealer:

Concealer should be 1-2 shades lighter than your skin tone.  Apply concealer to hide marks/blemishes, lighten your under eyes as well as the inner corners of your eyes, and used if there is any discoloration around the lip area. It can also be used as

a base for your eye shadow to help it stay on longer. 

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5. Eye shadow:

Satin or matte finish eye shadows work best with the camera because they do not reflect the light as much as a shimmer would. Shimmers make the light reflect and cause the features to get washed out.

Avoid frosts or garish colors. 

6.Eyeliner and Lashes for eyes really makes the difference in a photo. Choose a softer color than black for your liner like charcoal and a natural style lash that just adds to your lashes but without looking like you’re going to a night club. Helps define the lash line and makes eye pop.

7.Eye Brows:

Never forget to define/fill-in your eyebrows to define your eyes. It makes a HUGE difference.


You should lightly line your lips with a liner that softly matches the color of your lipstick.

Choose a lipstick/gloss is a color about one shade deeper than you normally wear it.
Try to avoid highly shimmer and frosted on your lips.  

9. Blush/Bronzer : use more than you normally would. 


10. Plenty of powder:

Don’t be afraid to use a lot more powder than usual to keep your skin matte. You should bring yours and apply extra powder regularly.

Even if you've never used powder in your life, please use it for your portrait session.  Powder makes the difference between a beautiful portrait and just a portrait.

Use lots of it to set makeup and to keep down shine. Shine is our enemy when it comes to photos! 

Remember to apply too much In order to look great in photos you have to apply a little more make up than you would for everyday. So if it looks too heavy, it’s probably just right for the camera. If you are unsure, then go out into the sunlight with your mirror. Not so drastic anymore is it?


Natural looking makeup for a photo shoot does not mean light makeup by daily makeup standards. You’ll be applying a good amount of foundation and using a lot of powder, compared to when you are going to work. What you need is good coverage combined with natural look finish.

You will probably think you that you are wearing too much but remember that the lights take away from whatever amount of makeup you have on so don't worry.  

More tips:

Do a dress rehearsal at home in front of a mirror. Practice poses and expressions.

Do not drink alcohol the night before your shoot (you don’t want puffy eyes).

Drink lots of water and be well rested (so your eyes will not have dark circles).

Make sure you get plenty of sleep at least the night before your shoot if not two or three nights before.


What to wear:

  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you look great
  • Don't overdress
  • A simple black shirt/blouse/dress is often a good option
  • Darker clothes attract less attention and put the attention on your face and eyes
  • Solid colors are great
  • Avoid busy patterns and large lines or stripes
  • No glitter
  • Avoid red as a dominant color
  • Turtlenecks aren’t the best option


  • Keep jewelry extremely simple - small is better, unless of course it really represents your brand and personality.
  • Avoid jewelry that would distract from your face or that looks dated
  • The picture is about your face not your jewelry
  • Classic Pearls are always a good choice 

What to bring:

  •     Samples from magazines or other head shots to help communicate the look you want
  •     Makeup and hair products for touch ups
  •      Favorite music (to help relax you)

Just like a professional hair and makeup artist, you get what you pay for. These days it seems like anyone with a digital camera refers to themselves as a professional photographer. Make sure they have a website, happy reviews from prior clients, and a portfolio of their work that will speak for itself. Try to find a photographer whose work reflects that of you and your brand.

And remember there is nothing to be nervous about. 

A good photographer will know how to put you at ease and in a few minutes you will relax. 

Try to have fun and let your personality shine through.

If you need help with hair and makeup for your professional head shots please reach out to me

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