Headshot Photo Session Tips

Don’t worry about your upcoming headshot photography session

Here are ten things that you should not worry about as you lead up to your headshot day. Don’t fret. Even the most confident people worry about their first headshot photo session with a professional photographer, but your anxiety will drain the fun out of your session.

Chances are, by the time you’ve decided to update your headshot, you’ve researched photographers, compared prices, and found yourself confused over styles and packages. Perhaps you’re concerned about etiquette during the photoshoot, saying and doing the wrong thing.

Standing in front of the camera sends a chill up your spine. Working with a photographer for the first time is a big deal and it’s understandable that you’re a little nervous. So this advice is written to help you feel prepared. Please don’t worry about your headshot photography session! 

Armed with a few tips, you’ll be able to arrive with a spring in your step and look confident in your headshot, staying true to the successful business owner you are, no matter how hard the journey was getting to this point.


happy women smiling in white blouse


I don’t know what photos I need!

I don’t know what type of photographs I like – Is the confusion keeping you from booking your headshot photo session? My sessions are amazingly comfortable and supportive, that’s why I love working from my home studio. It doesn’t even feel like you are about to get your headshot done. I use a bespoke questionnaire to dig deep and really understand why you need to update your headshot. You won’t need to decide straight away what type of photographs you need. In fact, I often book one session and end up shooting something entirely different on the day. It’s my job to find the best style to suit your business goals.

Questions that can help:

  • Where will you use the photographs?
  • Who are your clients?
  • What is your brand message?
  • Do you have any important projects in the pipeline?

Read my post on what options you have during headshot photography sessions

outdoor headshot man in plaid shirt


What to wear

Do I have to buy new clothes? – Go ahead and buy new clothes if it helps you feel more prepared. My guidelines are very simple and you should be able to pick items that are in your wardrobe. I’m happy to visit your home and help you select your outfit or you can send a snapshot of what you might pack.

The guidelines are:

  • solid colours,
  • long sleeves,
  • V-neck T-shirts or jumpers, jackets or blazers,
  • tailored dresses, and no busy patterns or flowing blouses.

Check out my guide on keeping your headshot affordable

lady blue coat smiling


Grooming and makeup

Should I get my hair and makeup before the session? – If you are thinking of changing your hairstyle, getting Botox, a tattoo, or tan for your headshot session. Don’t.

We want your headshots to reflect the best version of yourself, right now. Big changes in how you look won’t have time to ‘settle’ and the results will seem artificial in the photographs.

Grooming and haircare however ARE important and I recommend getting a haircut 10 days to one week before our session. That way the style has time to grow out a little and look more natural.

There are lots of talented makeup artists on the Island and recommend some of my preferred businesses in my eBooks. I highly recommend getting your makeup done professionally on the day of the shoot.

You can see how I get classy headshots here.

teen actor spotlight photos


Getting ready

How do I get ready? – One of my favourite questions is ‘what to wear’. I’ve noticed people tend to panic in the lead-up to the session and I’m often answering lots of questions just ahead of the session. I love it! It shows that you care and want to make the most of your session.

My ‘Session Guide’ eBook and ‘What to wear Guide’ outlines my recommended timeline so you know exactly what to do two weeks, 10 days, and 4 days ahead of your headshot photoshoot.

outdoor headshots and branding male



Help! I’m not photogenic – Hardly a day goes by without someone saying, “I’m awkward in photos and very self-conscious. What if I don’t photograph well?” Don’t worry about what to do in front of the camera.

I’ll fully support the session by explaining where to look, how to hold your hands, foot placement, and creating confident smiles.

Spoiler alert: I do this by showing you exactly what to do. Guiding you into the pose. Then chatting about the local news so you relax and forget that I’m about to take your photo.

Read what my clients say about my easy-going approach

branding photo for life coach in pink trousers


Will you help me?

Where do I even start with my headshot? Worrying ahead of time about your headshot will drain your energy. You are not expected to know what to do because it’s a luxury to work with a professional photographer.

I’m endlessly supportive and calm, explaining:

  • what happens in each pose,
  • why it flatters your figure,
  • how to move into the pose, and then the final *SMILE* that shines with confidence.

With a twinkle in my eye, I coordinate the session with a calm, patient, and matter-of-fact approach that puts you at ease.

fresh open headshot


Do you edit the photos?

What about Photoshop, I’ve just got a rash? – At the end of each session I ask, “How much Photoshop do you want?” It often flummoxes people and we giggle about ‘Pinterest failures’ and the time we used too much fake tan. The easy comparison is, “I’ll use the same amount of Photoshop as you see in the photo below.”

Spots, blemishes, rashes, breakouts, eye bags, necklines, bra lines, eyebrows, wobbly bits, and bulges can all be minimized, but my edits are very natural and don’t make you look plastic and unreal.

child actor wears glasses


I just want 1 photo!

I’m busy, how long will it take? – I must admit this is one of the areas that are hard to control. Sessions can take under 30 minutes or last as long as 3 hours. If one of your worries is the time it takes, my headshot specials are perfect for you: designed to be quick, and easy, and include 2 confident-looking photographs.

Headshot days will quickly become your favourite way to be photographed. Team photographs, visiting your offices, branding photographs will take longer because more people, wardrobe changes, backdrop swops, and poses are part and parcel of the package.

headshot for advisor


How do I keep the cost down?

Should I get outdoors or indoor headshots? – Don’t worry about whether you need outdoor or studio portraits for your upcoming headshot photography session. I use my grey background for Headshot Days so you can have the best of both worlds. See a full headshot gallery here.

Equally, if you book a bespoke session we can pop into the garden at the end of the session to capture outdoor headshots and top up your profile with a wide variety of images.

See a combined headshot session here. If you are unsure at the time of booking, I plan for both eventualities to offer you the best service possible.

why long sleeves are flattering

I don’t like being photographed

I hate looking at myself, can you help with choosing my photos? – It is awkward looking at photographs of yourself. Don’t worry in advance if you’ll like your photos. Remember, if you have any problems, just ask for my advice and I’ll help guide you to your best headshots that shine with confidence and expression.

Read my personal approach to photography and my own self-portraits. Remember the less you worry, not only will you have a better time during your headshot photo session, but the better time you will have during your session. And it will show in your smile and photographs.

If you have any questions about my home studio or booking your first corporate headshot, call Amanda Herbert Photography on +44 (0)7719316609 or use the email below




Please contact the Isle of Wight Studio on +44 (0)1983 617383 or Mandy on +44 (0)7719316609  email [email protected] or use the contact form below




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