The #1 Most Important Feature of Headshots: Grooming

What do you base first impressions on? I know someone who makes a character judgment purely based upon how clean the person’s shoe tips are. Yes, that’s the complicated and competitive market you’re trying to advance your career or business in.

So how will people feel when they look at your current profile pictures?

Hair that’s out of place, mismatched colors or dry skin can lead to you NOT getting the job or deal you want. Ready to get grooming before your headshot session? Let me help you.

The Clothing

It’s not simply a piece of fabric. It’s what will send a message to everyone who views your headshot.

If you’re going to the most important meeting of your life you will probably spend hours contemplating your outfit:

  • What will show you’re serious about this?
  • If you’re an actor, dancer or model you need to showcase the best features of your body.
  • Which colors will make you memorable so you stand out from the crowd?

Don’t do any less for your next photo shoot because it could be used to vet you as an employee, business partner or employer. And don’t forget to iron that shirt because photo editing can only do so much.

Women: The Hair

It’s all about balance. Can you make your hair look groomed without your audience thinking you just walked out of a salon? The latter looks clinical and even uncomfortable. When styling looks too formal people may think you’re putting up a front. You want them to believe you’ll look that good every day.

Men: Hair & Beard

What is the best look you can maintain every day? Yes you can go for a haircut but doing it a week before your photo shoot will also make it look less clinical.

And here’s an interesting tip: For both corporate and artistic headshots you can get photos with & without your beard. Perhaps you start wearing a short beard in the near future and you want your photos to resemble how you look in real life. If you’re an actor you want to show the producer all your possible looks.

Therefore, grow your beard for a few days before your headshot session and ask the photographer about facilities on site so you can shave it off for the last few shots.

Important: If you have sensitive skin make sure you don’t develop a rash before your shoot.

Skin and Make Up

Here’s what most people get wrong about head shots: They think it’s about looking perfect instead of simply showing the best version of themselves. This leads many women to put on layers of make up while a natural look is usually preferred by many employers.

Here’s what’s really important: Dry skin and lips are easily seen on a photograph and can actually cause people to view you in a negative light. These are features that can’t be edited out so you must attend to them beforehand:

  • Make sure your skin looks moisturized
  • Carry lip balm with you on the day
  • Only use makeup you’re used to so your skin doesn’t react and become red on photo day


Your attempts to get it right could ruin the whole day. Don’t try to be a supermodel ready for a location shoot. Just be you—the best version of yourself.

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