Your Julie Collins Photography Headshot Guide 

I’m so excited about your upcoming headshot session with me! We’re going to have a lot of fun, and you’re going to love your headshot. I created this guide for you to feel completely prepared and comfortable heading into your headshot session. It’ll answer many of your questions and help you know exactly what to wear, what to expect, and everything in between. 

  1. How to Have a Great Session
  2. Women’s Headshot Guide
  3. Men’s Headshot Guide 
  4. What to Expect During the Session

How to Have a Great Headshot Session

Avoid Alcohol and Junk Food – Avoiding alcohol and junk foods (fried food, sugar, too many carbs) will help you look and feel great for your session. Hey, I love enjoying my glass of wine too, but giving these up just for the few days leading up to the session will make a big difference! 

Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Try to get a good night’s sleep before the session. You’ll look and feel refreshed. 

Hydrate – Make sure you’re staying hydrated in the days leading up to the session. This will help flush any toxins out of your system and help your skin look healthy. 

Take Care of Your Skin – Make sure your skin is ready for your close-up by protecting it with SPF and staying hydrated. If you’re going for a facial or other skincare treatment, do this a few days before your session to allow your skin to process the skincare. 

Women’s Headshot Guide

What to Wear 

  • Neutral Colors – Start with choosing your neutral color base. Look for creams, black, navy blue, light pink, deep red, and dark gray. 

  • Incorporate Brand Colors –  If you want to include a brand color, try layering it with your neutral color. You could wear a blouse with your brand color and a black blazer over it. You can always choose a complementary color with your neutral color if you look better in those colors. We want you to look your best!

  • Choose Classic Wardrobe Pieces – I recommend choosing classic wardrobe pieces that will never go out of style. Long-sleeve blouses, classic blouses, blazers, and professional sweaters work well. Avoid short sleeves as they will distract from your headshot.

  • Fewer Accessories – Choose simple, classic jewelry pieces instead of large or trendy pieces. Think stud diamond earrings and delicate gold necklaces, and avoid scarves.

Hair and Makeup 

  • Professional Hair and Makeup – I highly recommend investing in professional hair and makeup for your headshot. You will look and feel amazing! I will provide a list of trusted local vendors for you to choose from or work with your stylist. 

  • Hair Cuts/Styles – Don’t get your hair cut the night before or make a major style change right before your session. Getting a blowout is perfect for your hair. Don’t get a fancy updo or big curls if you don’t have curly hair. We want your headshot to look like you!

  • Makeup – Choose timeless, classic makeup and avoid any trendy looks. The trends will quickly fade.

Preparing for the Session Dos and Don’ts – 

DO – 

Make Sure Everything Fits!

Check Your Undergarments 

Bring a Few Options 

Wear Your Glasses 



Wear Something Uncomfortable 

Try a New Makeup Look or Hair Style 

Wear Wrinkled Clothing 

Be Afraid to Ask for Guidance

Men’s Headshot Guide

What to Wear

Choose Solid Colors – Solid colors photograph much better and will create a headshot that looks great on any branding material. Choose black, dark gray, navy, or cream. I don’t usually suggest white if you’re not wearing a jacket over it. 

Choose Classic Wardrobe Pieces – Lean towards a classic, solid button-down shirt or suit. You can add a jacket over the button-down shirt to add a layer. Avoid short sleeves, as the headshot will show your arms and be distracting. Sweaters might work if they are a solid color and look professional.

Fitted over Loose – Wearing fitted clothing will actually make you look slimmer in your headshot!

Hair and Grooming 

Hair Cut – Don’t get your hair cut the day before the session. If you want to cut your hair, do it at least 72 hours in advance of your session. 

Grooming – Make sure to groom as you normally do on the day of your session. Avoid razor burn, and make sure to moisturize after you shave. 

Preparing for the Session Dos and Don’ts 

DO – 

Make Sure Everything Fits

Bring a Few Options 

Wear Your Glasses 

Wear a Tie if You Usually Do



Wear Something Uncomfortable 

Wear Wrinkled Clothing 

Be Afraid to Ask for Guidance 

What to Expect During the Session

Now that you’re ready for your headshot, let’s talk about what to expect on the day of the session! 

Give Yourself Time – Try to schedule your headshot session so you can give yourself time before, during, and after. We don’t want you to feel rushed or stressed in any way. 

We’ll Warm Up/Relax – Don’t worry, I understand that it’s hard to have a camera in your face and most people do not like getting their picture taken. I take it slow to start and ease into the session. I won’t start shooting the second you walk through the door. We’ll take a few minutes to get set up perfectly. I want to make sure that you’re comfortable!

Expect Light, Casual Conversation – There won’t be awkward silence or anything of the sort! We’ll have a lot of fun getting to know each other or catching up. You should feel like you’re spending time with an old friend.

Natural Posing Guidance – Not a supermodel? No problem! I’ll gently guide you through natural poses. We’ll get the classic headshot poses and may try a few other poses to see if you like that as well. 

View Your Headshots Right Away – You’ll get to see your headshot right away to make sure you like your expression and pose. I’ll fully retouch your image(s) after you make your selection(s). I want to make sure you LOVE your headshot before you even walk out the door.

Questions? Let Me Know!

You’re always welcome to reach out with any questions or concerns. I’m here to help. You can email me at julie@juliecollinsphoto.com or call me at (414) 243-2695.

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