"Oh no, i'm scared... Are you one of those photographers that's going to shout at me and tell me off for not doing it right!?"
Absolutely not, but there are certain things that in the last decade of photographing headshots that I have come to love and hate from clients before, during and after shoots, and sharing these can hopefully help you to prepare for your session and get the beston the from your shoot.
Bring your wardrobe
Bring plenty of clothes with you, a whole bunch... seriously.
You may love that selection of black tops you have, but bring some colour, varied necklines, it may be that a certain colour doesn't suit you on camera and we need to have some more choice. For the sake of bringing a slightly bigger bag on the day, it may make all the difference to your shoot.
Remember, just because you see photos of everyone else in a certain top, colour, or jacket, doesn't necessarily mean it will suit you or your casting. Any photographer worth their money will be able to guide you on what suits you.
Don't put yourself down
A lot of the times, the key to looking good in your headshot is confidence. If you can enter the shoot with a positive outlook and mentality, it will put you in a great position for the start of your shoot.
The amount of times I've had a client say "I hate having headshots taken, this is my idea of hell" or "I always look awful in headshots - I don't photograph well", it puts you in a really negative space to start shooting. Its nice to share this with your photographer, but there is no point dwelling on it for the entire shoot.
Even if you feel like having headshots taken is the worst thing on earth and would rather have all your teeth removed with pliers, you need to trick yourself into thinking the opposite. change your mental space. Our job as photographers is to make you look as appealing and castable as possible, your job is to come with an open mind and allow us to direct you to get the best results.
Timing is the key
Being late stresses you (and me) out, being early leaves you feeling bored and anxious with waiting. Pitch it right, allow yourself to arrive 10mins before your shoot, and use tools and apps like Citymapper, TFL and google to plan your journey efficiently.
I love lists. My favourite clients are the ones that have thought about their casting, filled in the casting types survey on their client booking page (this is a tool you can use when you book a session) and come with a rough breakdown of what they expect from their shoot. If you don't tell me what we are aiming for in the shoot, you can't always expect me to get it 100% right for you.
Look at other people's headshots, work out what you like about them, is it the style? Is it the lighting? Is it the angles? Is it the clothing? What makes that headshot stand out? Save photos you like as a reference on the day, it makes a nice discussion point at the beginning of our shoot.
Above all, the biggest thing is to enjoy the shoot as much as you can and think of it like the hairdressers not the dentist! Don't take yourself too seriously and feel free to play about a bit during the shoot, it'll make it a much more enjoyable experience for everyone, and with better results at the end!