Headshot Preparation Guide

March 12, 2020

You’ve booked your shoot, and it’s the day before. What can you do to enhance your photographs?

I was a professional actress for three years and so I know how important headshots are, both to you, and to casting directors. Headshots are unique in the aspect that instead of purely capturing your authentic self (which we will also do), you also want to dress for different casting types. I need to know what you are wanting from each ‘look’ so that we can work together to achieve it. It doesn’t matter how niche one casting type look is, because if it’s YOUR niche, it will get you called in.


In terms of makeup, you should always wear the makeup that you wear every single day – the makeup that you would wear to an audition. Your headshots should look like you, but on a good day. That being said, perhaps you’re into Musical Theatre or you’re wanting a more bolder headshot, then bring along makeup, and towards the very end of the shoot perhaps add a brighter lipstick. This way you have all looks covered without having to wipe lipstick off. I see no-makeup headshots often and I think that’s an amazing thing, but if you’re going to walk into the casting room with makeup on, then you should look like that in your headshot.

What should I wear?

Always bring more outfits than you need, and we can always choose a selection together. I like to shoot 5 outfits as it covers a lot of bases and casting types. Unlike most headshot photographers, I provide 15+ retouched images which means that you’re getting a full portfolio’s worth of outfits and casting looks and so I really want you to make the most of it. On average we spend 10-15 minutes of continuous shooting per outfit, which is a lot of images. Also please bare in mind that I shoot on location (under a tunnel so it is rain proof) but please do wear a vest underneath.

I always always push for clients to wear different collar lines. If you were to wear 5 t shirts, different colours but all round necks, there still wouldn’t be enough versatility. By changing up the collar line, it changes your images drastically.

As you can see here, different necklines make all the difference. For example a round neck-jumper, a t shirt with a denim jacket (layers look great and very modern), a high neck lace colour for a period look, a v-neck shirt. As I was talking about dressing for your casting type – this works very effectively.

Always bring something that matches your eye colour, as this will make them pop even more.

Another tip that I like to recommend is to try on your different outfits and plan how you will have your hair with that outfit, and take selfies with them. This is particularly good because it will be around the same frame that I will be shooting you on, and you can clearly see what look each outfit is giving off. Are they versatile enough? Should your hair be up or down? Is this an outfit that you’d like to wear with lipstick? By having these 5 images on your phone of these outfits side by side you can really see if they’re versatile enough. Feel free to send me them as well for any advice or tips!

The night before

And finally – do not stress. Headshots can feel intimidating but my shoots are very relaxed and chatty, I do not rush you in any way until you’re happy. Drink water and get a good nights sleep but try and relax. We all know what it’s like to wake up on the day to a massive breakout but do not fear – I retouch anything that isn’t permanent. I shoot headshots all the time and it’s my job to capture you in the best way possible.

You will then receive your retouched images in an online password protected gallery (within 3 working days) and I promise you’ll be relieved that you made the effort when you have a diverse casting portfolio on your Spotlight!

Sophie x