Preparing for your Headshot Session
Everything you need to know, do and bring to have the best possible headshot session experience.
WHERE TO GO:
3300 WALNUT STREET, STUDIO 118
DENVER, COLORADO 80205
My studio is in the RiNo Art District (just north of downtown) inside the Dry Ice Factory Building on the northeast corner of 33rd and Walnut. Large brick building with 2 giant white smokestacks. You can’t miss it. The main entrance is on that corner as well so parking on Walnut street in front of the building is usually easiest.
Street parking is free or you can also park in the lot on the north side of the building. The front door at the southwest corner of 33rd and Walnut is open during business hours. Feel free to call me when you arrive if need help finding your way into the building or carrying your clothes
My studio is on the first floor #118 at the end of the first long hallway - Tommy Collier Productions. If you get turned around or have any trouble finding the place don’t hesitate to call. 303-709-9199
What to wear:
I really like everyone to bring around 5 to 10 different options for clothing. For headshots, you’ll really just need to concentrate on the top half of your body, so waist up. Rule #1: You have to love it! I don't want to shoot anything that you don't feel comfortable wearing. If you don’t feel comfortable in it, you won’t shoot well while wearing it.
People always ask me what colors are best and I really don't have a hard and fast rule about it. It's better for me to get a visual of something, so I suggest bringing a wide variety of colors. That being said, I’ve found that in most cases, bold solid colors tend to look best on camera. Jewel tones usually look great on everyone as does black and grey. Pastels and lighter colors tend to wash out but I certainly have shot many great headshots with light colors so if you love it, bring it. Don't be seasonal; everything from t-shirts, tank tops to sweaters and light jackets can work. I love textures and layers, but would generally stay away from crazy patterns or busy prints.
If it's not in the studio we can't shoot it, so if you find yourself questioning whether or not something will work just bring it along. I also suggest having some fun with this, if you feel your wardrobe is missing something then go shopping and we'll keep the tags on it and you can return the items you don't want to keep after the shoot. Also, no need for lots of jewelry or accessories, Ladies. This is about your face, not your bling. Small stud earrings are ok but necklaces are usually too distracting. That said, if big sparkly jewelry is your thing, bring it! :)
Ladies please arrive with your makeup and hair ready to go how you normally do it. You are welcome to have your makeup professionally done if you would like to but it’s not required. I do highly recommend professional makeup for all of my female clients and I can book one of my brilliant makeup artists for your session if you would like. I need to book makeup in advance though so let me know ASAP if you want me to book that for you.
Here are some helpful tips for a great makeup look for headshots.
- Liquid foundation always looks better than powder.
- Keep the lip color close to your natural lip color or 1 shade darker and GLOSSY - no matte lipstick.
- No visible hard-edge lip liner.
- Go easy on the blush/bronzer.
- Keep eyes looking defined but natural.
- Soft blended eyeliner.
- No hard-edge liquid eyeliner.
- Neutral color eyeshadow is usually best.
- BLEND BLEND BLEND UNTIL YOU BLEED! 😜
- No lines of demarcation or heavy smoked-out eyeshadow.
- No false eyelashes - unless you are use to wearing them and you know how to correctly apply them.
- Wear mascara and curl your lashes.
For hair, style it how you would normally do it on a good hair day. Hairstyles are extremely personal and you know how you like to wear it best. You want to look like YOU in your headshot and hair is big part of that. If you need a haircut, I encourage you to get one before your session but not the day before. At least 2 or 3 days prior. If you color your hair and need to touch up your roots, I encourage you to do so as well. If you have long hair, especially thick, heavy long hair, you might consider putting it up in a ponytail or bun for your headshot. Hair up usually draws even more emphasis to the face which is great for headshots. If you want to stop by your usual hair salon/stylist and have your hair blown-out or styled on your way to the session that is always a great decision.
I don’t usually like men to wear makeup in headshots. If you are a man that happens to wear a little concealer on a daily basis that is fine. I do recommend men to wear a facial moisturizer of some kind so we don't have any dry skin issues. And if you tend to have oily skin, I have a wonderful product that we can put on you to cut the shine if need be.
For hair, please arrive with your hair looking good how you would normally style it. Feel free to bring your hair products with you if you want to change up the look throughout the shoot. If you need a haircut, I encourage you to get one before your session but not the day before. At least 2 or 3 days prior.
Make sure you shave well the morning of your session. Dark or messy 5 o'clock shadow is nearly impossible to remove in post so take the time to shave well before your come. If you want a little scruff, that is just fine and if you have a full beard (or whatever) that is great too - just make sure your edges are nice and clean and looking how you would like to present yourself to the world. If you would like to get some shots with and without facial hair, feel free to bring your grooming products with you and we can have you shave half-way through your session.
One more note about wardrobe for you gents. If you are going for a business look (i.e. jacket and tie) I suggest bringing at least 2 different options for jackets, 3-4 shirts and at least 10 ties. A bad tie can really ruin an otherwise awesome headshot but it's hard to describe what makes a good tie so I just like guys to bring a lot of choices and I can usually pick out 1 or 2 that work best. Solid color ties are usually my preference but ones with small patterns and textures can be great too. For jackets, the fit is key - tailored or slimfitting jackets are the best and avoid the kind with shoulderpads. For dress shirts that will be worn with a tie and jacket they must be solid colors - white, cream, light blue, light pink, light purple, light grey.
Here are a few youtube videos by my mentor Peter Hurley that I encourage you to watch before you come for your session. "It's all about the jaw!" which gives some great info about how to pose your face for maximum jawline chiseling action (and no double chin), which is something that makes everyone look their best in headshots. "It's all about the Squinch" teaches a technique that I try to coach everyone to do with their eyes. It gives your face a killer look of confidence which is another thing we all want to have in our headshots. "Hold your sub" is mostly for the ladies. It teaches a cool technique for streamlining your shoulders/arms so you look as thin and trim as possible. It looks and feels kinda funny in person but it works like magic! Don't worry about retaining the information in these videos. These are just to make you aware of these techniques ahead of time. I will coach you into these during your session. It does help to practice the "Squinch" in the mirror ahead of time though if you feel like it. 😉