Four Tips to a Great Headshot (BEST Doula)

Great Headshots - Made Easy!

Perhaps you love to have your picture taken, or maybe you’re more like me and you don’t. Just the thought of having to get a headshot taken immediately brings out every introverted part of me and insecurities I didn’t realize I have. However, at this point in my career, I’ve had a LOT of headshots, worked with a number of photographers and picked up some great pointers. Here’s what we’ve learned from years of headshots!

What To Wear

I’ve taken headshots in professional wear and jeans and shirts.  As a doula I prefer a more casual look. Keep it simple, and true to you and your goal. If you wear a business suit when you work, then that may be appropriate for you.  Are you more casual at work? Then go with that. Avoid busy patterns and stripes. I love houndstooth, but it’s not going to photograph well.

Consider your setting. If your photographer will be working indoors with a backdrop you may consider what the background will be - white on white may not be the look you’re going for. If your picture will be taken outdoors, consider the climate.

Mind your neckline. You may need to use your headshot with tight crop and a low neckline can leave you looking naked.

Don’t forget your shoes!  While you have your photographer there get some full body shots too, these are useful in various places and you can always crop them down when needed.  I’ve certainly forgotten this on a whim before and ended up in flip flops! Oops.

Hair and Makeup

These should be natural and normal to you.  If you have long hair, pulling it back can create a bit of a balding look.  If you don’t normally wear makeup, keep it simple, or discuss with your photographer and stay true to you and don’t wear it at all.  However, as anyone performing on stage would tell you - a bit of blush and mascara and a smooth lip can go a long way! 

Think about what you like

Create a pinterest board and start pinning some headshots you like!  Share these with your photographer so you can communicate the type of image you’re looking for.  You can see some of our favorites here.

 Choose a great photographer

Choose a photographer that makes you feel comfortable and you’ll enjoy working with. This should be fun!  Don’t stress about the background and lighting - you have literally paid this person to make you look good!  Smile, and just be you!  Sometimes they ask you to lean a bit and stand in positions that you may not be in normally - just know you chose someone good and go with it! One of my favorite awkward tips I’ve ever gotten is to stick out my head and stretch my chin forward - it reduces the number of chins.  I like having just one.

BEST recently worked with VCB Photography in New Orleans.  We had a great time, laughed a lot, and the BEST doulas got some great headshots!