How to Prepare for your Business Headshot

Markham Headshot Photographer



  1. Bring an extra look based on the session type you have chosen. Even if your end goal is just one or two photos it’s best to have options. Please don’t bring your whole wardrobe as we’ll end up using up shooting time trying to sort through your clothes.
  2. Bring a variety of necklines and fabric textures. Simple tops are best, and keep wardrobe options in line with your brand.
  3. Clothes that fit close or slightly float away from your body are more flattering in photos. Clothes that are too large or too tight will not be flattering in your photos.
  4. Bring colors that compliment your skin tones. opt for colors that compliment and bring out your eyes, skin tone or hair are best.
  5. Avoid flashy / busy patterns that will distract from YOU. The main focus of these photos should be your eyes and the connection we feel with your personality.
  6. Jackets and uncomplicated layers can create variety without stopping for full changes.
  7. If you can wear a light tank under tops, it allows for quick changes outside, and therefore more photography time.
  8. Jewelry can distract from you, so unless it’s a vital part of your brand (and you’re confident it will stay that way until your next headshot session), you might want to skip it or wear something very simple.
  9. TRY ON your wardrobe items  before you bring them. If you’re only doing headshots, there’s no need to worry about pants (I mean, you’ll need to WEAR pants to the session, of course). Check that items still fit well. Hopefully this will remind you to pack outfit specific undergarments (i.e. avoid striped undershirts/black bras under light shirts, etc.). If you are wearing a light shirt, please wear a white or nude colour bra and bring any undershirts you might need.
  10. Please launder, iron, de-lint your wardrobe as needed.



Think of this as you would preparing for an interview…

Stay hydrated and get plenty of rest in the days leading up to your session. This will help keep your skin clear and eyes bright! Don’t stress if you wake up with blemishes the day of your session (and don’t mess with them as it will generally make them worse — let photoshop do the magic there!)

Light Exercise (even a quick walk) before your session can add a healthy glow to your skin.

Eyebrows / Nails / Facial Hair: clean up / trim / etc. as necessary. Please paint your nails if you choose a session type where your hands will be in your photos. 

Hair: Bring a brush/comb and any products necessary to control static/flyaways (or to keep in place if there’s a light breeze). Please DO NOT try out a brand new haircut/style the week before your session (take it from clients who have learned this lesson the hard way) It’s best too have your hair trimmed a couple weeks before your shoot! For the men- we recommend you get your haircut 4 to 5 days prior to the shoot so it doesn’t have that “freshly cut” look.


If you do your makeup yourself, do your makeup how you usually wear it for an average day, or possibly a nice dinner. Do not wear heavy makeup; a close headshot will show clumps of mascara or dark lipstick. Choose light to medium eyeliners, eye shadows, and lipsticks that are only a shade or two darker than your skin tones. This brings your features out in a subtle manner without making it look like you’re wearing lots of makeup. Avoid caking on heavy (or shiny) foundation, or wearing shiny eye shadows or lip gloss: too much shine is distracting on camera and looks wet. Skin blemishes, pimples, and even wrinkles can be retouched It’s not cheating. I promise. We also work with a number of professional make-up artists and stylist who we are happy to recommend *once the province has reopened due to covid 19.

Men: a bit of lip balm or chapstick can be your best friend to avoid cracked lips (especially with these cold winters!)

Beards: If you have a beard, trim it evenly so it’s nicely groomed. If you’re going clean-shaven, get a good shave the day of your headshot. Darker colored beards tend to be accentuated in photos- trim it well so it’s not too thick.


If you normally wear glasses and have a strong prescription, or glasses with no anti reflection coating, we do advise that you visit your opticians and either borrow a pair of blank frames or or get them to remove your lenses for the shoot. As we can have problems with reflection and refraction. We often shoot some shots with and some without glasses. You might like to bring along a couple of pairs of frames.

BE ON TIME: Please familiarize yourself with directions to our meeting place and leave yourself time to negotiate traffic and parking. Session times are chosen around flattering light. Nothing worse than arriving frazzled, except arriving late when light is changing (AND there might be a session scheduled after yours). 

When you first arrive, we’ll chat about your wardrobe for a few minutes, and then you’ll have time to relax into the session. 

Here’s a little cheat sheet of things that you should have on hand at your session: 

  • a couple extra outfit options if you’re not sure about your choice
  • hairbrush
  • hair product ie: hairspray (to keep flyaways away)
  • face powder or blot sheets (shine happens!)
  • the lipgloss or lipstick you’re wearing for touch-ups
  • appropriate colour undergarments for your chosen outfits

And remember to have fun and not take it too seriously! We know that’s a little difficult after all these do’s and don’ts, but we promise to make the experience as relaxing as possible. You’ve got this. 🙂

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