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8 Tips for Taking Great Headshots

When I decided to start Bean & Bubbly, I had a checklist of tasks to complete: Acquire a self-hosted .com domain. Check! Design a user-friendly website. Check! Research blogging best practices. Check! But as I got closer to the launch date, I realized there was one thing missing from my list: headshots.

If you’re like me, the last time you were in front of the camera for a solo session was for your high school senior pictures. Sure, I could’ve found a decent-quality Facebook profile picture to throw up on my page, but if I wanted to take this endeavor seriously (and wanted my readers to take me seriously), I felt that headshots specifically taken for Bean & Bubbly were a worthy investment . . . which is how I ended up frantically reaching out to photographers three weeks before my launch date, hoping someone would be able to fit me into their busy schedule.

Luckily I did find an amazing photographer, whose personality and photography style I clicked with right away. A few days later, I found myself in front of Anna McCree’s camera, and after going through the process, I came up with a list of tips for any other boss babes contemplating a headshot session.

1. Complement your brand. 

I used a lot of blues in the design of Bean & Bubbly, so when it came time to choose outfits, I picked pieces with pops of similar hues. The result is a cohesive website color palette.

2. Get your makeup done.

Even if you don’t wear makeup on a day-to-day basis, professionally applied makeup looks fantastic in photos. Plus, a little bit of pampering (and a glass of champagne at the salon!) always relaxes me—key to looking natural in front of the camera.

3. Use props.

Whatever you do for a living, bring items that exemplify your job. Since I’m a writer, for example, I incorporated my laptop and notebooks into the shoot. This allowed the photographer to capture some fun lifestyle photos, in addition to more traditional headshots.

4. Choose a fun location.

I have a home office, but I was craving a little more variety for my photos. So instead, I met my photographer at a charming coffee shop I frequent. (If you want to take photos in a place of business other than your own, just be sure to ask for permission first.)

But don’t just take it from me! I also asked Anna for some tips from a photographer’s perspective:

1. Comfort is key.

Wear something you feel comfortable in! If you’re wearing something stiff and/or something you probably wouldn’t actually wear in real life, it’s more than likely that will show in your photos. If you’re an artist, don’t dress like an accountant—and vice versa. The difference between a suit jacket and a casual flannel will make all the difference.

2. Do your research.

Look up photos for inspiration and show your photographer before the shoot so he or she can capture what you’re looking for best.

3. Say goodbye to posing.

Smile and have fun! Some of the best photos come from when my clients are actually laughing in the moment.

4. Speak up.

Be specific and open! Let the photographer know your good side. Talk about the light and the background, and what you want to capture.

Whether you’re a writer or lawyer, bakery owner or wedding planner, having high-quality photos of yourself on your website can really elevate your brand. Besides sending a message of professionalism to your readers/clients, it’s also a great confidence booster! (And just plain fun.)

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